UFC fight card in Phl mulled for next year

- Joey Villar () - November 30, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - With the emergence of Fil-Am Mark Muñoz, talks are now being held to hold a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fight card in the country next year.

“There’s a chance the UFC will hold fights in the Philippines, the UFC is working it out with ABS-CBN and Balls, maybe next year,” said Kevin Chang, UFC-Asia’s senior director for media in yesterday’s press conference highlighted by the appearance of former two-division champion BJ Penn in Quezon City.

Chang is here along with Penn, one of the only two fighters besides former light heavy and heavyweight champion Randy “The Natural” Couture who won titles in two divisions after winning as a lightweight and welterweight, for a promotional tour set at 4 p.m. today at the Music Hall of Mall of Asia.

UFC has already invaded Asia as the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world as it holds the UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan, the first big fight card to be held in the region.

And if plans pushes through, the UFC could put Muñoz, who is reportedly fighting top middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen next year, in one of the main fights in the card along with recent Manila visitor Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who is fighting in the loaded light heavy division.

UFC has considered holding bouts in the Phl as early as three years ago when UFC top honcho Lorenzo Fertitta visited the country.

But while the plan didn’t push through due to economic crisis, the UFC kept treating Filipino fans with popular fighters, including Vera, retired legend Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, reigning welterweight titlist George St. Pierre or GSP and now Penn.

Penn, in his second visit since coaching a pair of students in an international MMA fight eight years ago, is enjoying every minute of his short but meaningful stay in the country.

“I never got to go outside too much but it’s the same because there is the same temperature and vibes here just like in Hawaii,” said Penn, who signed autographs, posed with fans and granted one-on-one interview.

Balls, headed by Jojo Estacio, has been showing UFC fights with replays aired on Studio 23.

CHAEL SONNEN FIL-AM MARK MU GEORGE ST. PIERRE JOJO ESTACIO KEVIN CHANG LORENZO FERTITTA MUSIC HALL OF MALL OF ASIA PENN QUEZON CITY UFC ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP
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