MANILA, Philippines – When film actors Baron Geisler and Kiko Matos agreed to face each other inside Universal Reality Combat Championship’s cage under mixed martial arts (MMA) rules, the news spread like wildfire in every mainstream media outlet.
It may sound unusual as two non-prizefighters will try to settle their differences in an MMA match that stemmed from an altercation nearly a week ago at a local bar, but homegrown talents and officials in the local combat scene are looking forward to seeing the bout between Geisler and Matos.
Rolando Gabriel Dy, who competes as a featherweight under the Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) banner, is willing to spare time from his busy schedule just to watch Geisler getting his hands on Matos.
“I am not a URCC fighter, so I don’t care if Baron and Kiko will fight in that cage,” Dy wrote on his Facebook account. “I would like to watch it also. Who doesn’t want to see two celebrities, who think that they are tough, fight each other inside that cage?”
But Dy expects Geisler and Matos to run out of energy as both men are not professionally trained MMA fighters.
“I can imagine myself laughing while these two celebrities are gassing out,” he quipped.
Meanwhile, Jenel Lausa might not be in attendance for the highly-publicized confrontation, but the PXC flyweight titleholder stressed that he has no problem training with either actor.
“I have a boxing match on the same date, so I will definitely miss it. But if they’re going to train with me, I am open. One of my friends offered me to train Kiko Matos, but I begged off because I have a scheduled fight,” Lausa said.
Franco Rulloda, URCC’s resident referee and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, offered his services to oversee the fight between Geisler and Matos.
“I volunteer to referee this fight. Time to lace up your gloves, boys. Let’s make this happen,” Rulloda said.
Longtime referee Joey Lepiten also expressed his interest to officiate the bout even if it is under amateur MMA rules.
“I want to referee their fight. Even if it’s in an amateur bout with headgear and shin guards, I am willing to do it,” Lepiten said.
URCC publicly confirmed on Tuesday, May 31, that Geisler and Matos accepted the organization’s invitation to square off as a co-featured attraction on its “Fight Night” card on June 25.
“One of the reasons why I started URCC was to give a proper venue for people to settle their differences. If you guys are going to fight at a bar, you guys are both actors and that doesn’t make sense for anybody. Why not settle it like real Filipino men? You go in the cage, you finish it, then after that kamayan na, tapos tapos na (and then end it with a handshake),” URCC president Alvin Aguilar said.
Aguilar, who founded URCC back in 2002 and is widely regarded as the father of Philippine MMA, noted that proceeds of the match-up will be donated to a charitable institution.
“If this does push through, you know we will charge tickets. But we will give it back to charity,” he said.
After Geisler and Matos accepted URCC’s offer to resolve their beef inside an MMA cage, URCC announced a few hours later that the promotion will hold its “Fight Night” event at a new venue.
Due to growing ticket demands, URCC transferred from The Palace Pool Club to the Valkyrie Nightclub, which are both in Taguig City.
“URCC Fight Night will now be held at Valkyrie, the Palace, Uptown BGC to cater to a larger audience as the requests for tickets have been very overwhelming. Tickets will be sold starting Monday. See you all on June 25, 2016.” – Rappler.com
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