Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) celebrates its tenth anniversary this year making it the longest running promotion in South East Asia by some distance. To mark the occasion, the Filipino promotion is heading to the brand new SM Mall of Asia Arena for a show which will feature ONE FC stars Eric Kelly and Eduard Folayang.
There will be no fewer than three URCC titles on the line with Kelly and Froilan Sarenas defending their belts and Jessie Rafols and Keigg Mangusan competing for the vacant bantamweight belt.
Folayang is the welterweight champion but has been competing exclusively at lightweight in recent years and so his fight with Hawaiian Lowen Tynanes will be for a 'Superfight' belt. According to URCC promoter Alvin Aguilar, Tynanes was selected for his wrestling ability because he wants to see how well Folayang copes against an opponent with this particular skill set.
In the co main event Kelly, who like Folayang is on the verge of a ONE FC title shot, will defend his URCC featherweight against another American, Brad Terrey. The Filipino shot to fame by defeating Mitch Chilson, Bae Young Kwon and Jens Pulver but will be returning to his roots to make the first defence of a title he won back in 2010.
The SM Mall of Asia Arena has a capacity of 20,000 and was only completed this year but has already played host to concerts by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez and the world championship boxing match between AJ Banal and Pungluang Sor Singyu.
This will be the first mixed martial arts (MMA) event to take place at the venue and the four main fights will see Filipinos taking on foreign opposition. Sarenas is defending his URCC middleweight title against Brazilian Rodrigo Praxedes in what promises to stylistically be a very tough fight for Sarenas who is primarily a grappler himself but will be going up against a decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt.
In a non title fight Reysaldo Transmonte takes on Japan's Hideo Morikawa while another bantamweight match-up pits Reydon Romero against Sulpiano Laurio. There will also be another chance to look at rising Filipino prospect Jonathan Sumogat who puts his 3-0 record on the line against Rasel Iniong.
URCC is notable because fights are held in a ring and the opening round lasts for a full 10 minutes, meaning that bouts seldom go the distance. Aguilar feels his organization, which has held approximately 50 events, has played a key role in developing the sport in the Philippines and he dreams of finding the next Filipino superstar to follow in the footsteps of legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao,
"I can proudly say that URCC played a great part in propagating and popularizing MMA in the country. MMA is getting bigger because we produced world-class athletes and my goal is that the next Manny Pacquiao comes from MMA."
URCC 22, SM Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, December 1st
- Eduard Folayang vs. Lowens Tynanes [Super-Fight Title]
- Eric Kelly vs. Brad Terrey [Featherweight Championship]
- Hideo Morikawa vs. Reysaldo Transmonte
- Jessie Rafols vs. Keiff Mangusan [Bantamweight Championship]
- Froilan Sarenas vs. Rodrigo Praxedes [Middleweight Championship]
- Caloy Baduria vs. Panchito Estrada
- Reydon Romero vs. Sulpiano Laurio
- Jonathan Sumogat vs. Rasel Iniong
- Roy Doliguez vs. Dennis Salazar
- Jun Jun Sinco vs. Lito Adiwang