MANILA, Philippines – Another Filipino-American fighter has been booked for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s maiden fight card in the country on May 16 as Nolan Ticman takes on Yao Zhikui in a three-round flyweight tussle.
The bout between Ticman and Yao will serve as one of the undercards at UFC‘s first Philippine live event now-numbered as “Fight Night 66” that is scheduled to take place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.
Ticman (4-2), who hails from Palm Springs, California but now resides in the same state’s Huntington Beach, was last seen in action this past August when he suffered a unanimous decision loss to bantamweight stalwart Frankie Saenz in his UFC debut.
Following his disappointing defeat to Saenz, Ticman decided to move down to flyweight, which has a weight limit of 125 pounds.
Since he started his prizefighting career in 2009, Ticman has been trained by renowned striking coach Rafael Cordeiro, who also works with other UFC superstars such as Fabricio Werdum, Lyoto Machida, Wanderlei Silva and Rafael dos Anjos.
The 26-year-old Ticman will be making a homecoming of sorts as he attempts to place himself back on the winning track in the organization’s first trip to the Philippines.
“Fighting in the Philippines will be a dream come true. My goal is also to be a representative for the Philippines,” he said in an April 2014 interview with Fight Life UAE.
Similar to Ticman’s UFC introduction, Yao (1-2) also suffered a setback in his first Octagon appearance as he yielded to Royston Wee via split decision at August’s UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau, China.
The 24-year-old Chinese competitor’s lone victory in his professional record is his 37-second submission of Daoyuan Wang under the Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation banner in May 2013
Aside from Ticman, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has already slated three Pinoy combatants for UFC Fight Night 66.
Phillipe Nover makes his UFC comeback against lightweight prospect Yui Chul Nam, while Mark Eddiva faces Alex White in a featherweight match-up.
Meanwhile, Roldan Sangcha-an aims to get his first UFC triumph by squaring off with Guamanian flyweight Jon delos Reyes.
UFC Fight Night 66 is headlined by a featherweight super-fight between Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar. – Rappler.com