MANILA, Philippines – The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is ensuring a festive fight week heading to its second Philippine card as the mixed martial arts (MMA) organization’s notable figures are expected to be in attendance to grace the event on October 15.
MMA legend Chuck Liddell will set foot on Philippine soil along with ex-UFC lightweight titleholder Anthony Pettis, former heavyweight title challenger Alistair Overeem, and No.8-ranked lightweight contender Michael Chiesa to promote UFC Fight Night Manila 2 and interact with local fight fans.
Liddell was one of the most recognizable faces in the UFC during its rise to popularity in the early 2000’s due to his fan-friendly fighting style.
The 46-year-old native of San Luis Obispo, California captured the UFC light heavyweight title by knocking out Randy Couture in the first round of their April 2005 rematch and successfully defended the gold-plated strap on 4 different occasions.
Liddell was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July 2009 before he decided to call it a day in December 2010 with a professional MMA record of 21-8.
Meanwhile, Pettis won the UFC lightweight championship by defeating rival Benson Henderson in August 2013.
Pettis, 29, made his first appearance as a featherweight fighter last August by submitting Charles Oliveira with a third-round guillotine choke.
Making his return to the Philippines is Overeem, one of the two prizefighters in history to bag world titles in both MMA and kickboxing at the same time.
In the sport of MMA, he held the inaugural Strikeforce heavyweight championship by forcing Paul Buentello to submit with knees to the body, before claiming his second world title in December 2010 by knocking out Todd Duffee in 19 seconds to win the DREAM heavyweight belt.
Overeem has a kickboxing record of 10-4 with 7 knockouts and spent most of his time in K-1, where he won the 2010 World Grand Prix with a first-round stoppage of Peter Aerts in the finals.
The 36-year-old Dutch fell short in his UFC heavyweight title bid against Stipe Miocic, yielding to the Croatian-American by first-round knockout.
The other visitor on the list is Chiesa, who won the 15th season of the “The Ultimate Fighter” reality television show in June 2012.
UFC Fight Night Manila 2, which takes place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, is headlined by a scheduled 5-round featherweight clash between BJ Penn and Ricardo Lamas.
The event will also feature Jenel Lausa’s highly-anticipated UFC debut as he is set to lock horns with Chinese combatant Yao Zhikui in a 3-round flyweight contest. – Rappler.com
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