ONE FC brings biggest MMA event to Manila
The largest Mixed Martial Arts event in Philippine history is set to take the stage on August 31; Rappler to livestream the press conference.

MANILA, Philippines – Mixed martial arts fans: Rejoice!

The country’s biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) event is about to come to town.

Fans can mark their calendars for Friday, August 31, when several of the best MMA athletes in the world will gather in Smart Araneta Coliseum for “Pride of a Nation,” to give Manila a taste of world-class, high-caliber MMA fights.

The event is organized by Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC), Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization.

Rappler will host the exclusive live stream of ONE FC’s press conference announcing the event, on Wednesday, July 18, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Best of the best

Among the fighters who will come in August are top fighters Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki.

Both Aoki and Fernandes signed with ONE FC in June, and will debut in the ONE FC cage in Manila.

Aoki, one of Asia’s most popular fighters and the former DREAM Lightweight Champion, will look to extend his three-fight win streak to four. The black belter in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo is known for his flying submissions.

GRANDMASTER OF FLYING SUBMISSIONS. Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki owns 19 of his 30 career victories by submission. Courtesy of ONE FC.

Fernandes on the other hand, a superstar in the Bantamweight division, is expected to deliver yet another victory via TKO or submission as he has done in most of his fights.

Victor Cui, the CEO of ONE FC, said he is excited to see both fighters – who have a habit of finishing their opponents “in spectacular fashion” – showcase their talents in Manila.

“I’m positive that fight fans around the world are looking forward to it as much as I am,” he said.

Cui will be present at the press conference to talk about the event, as well as Fernandes, Aoki and two more fighters who will be competing come August, Eduard Folayang and Andrei Arlovski.

Folayang – a URCC Welterweight Champion and 2011 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist – hails from Baguio City, while former UFC heavyweight champion Arlovski is from Belarus.

Fastest growing sport

Over the past few years, MMA has gained steam as the sport has grown in fans and popularity around the world. The Philippines in particular, has responded positively to the new sport, embracing it with excitement and enthusiasm.

FILIPINO FIGHTER. Eduard Folayang will defend his nation in Manila. Courtesy of ONE FC.

MMA athletes come from various fields of martial arts, and use the best techniques from their specific disciplines to best their opponents.

Fighters use moves from Karate, Muay Thai, Kung Fu, Silat, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Kali, Shuai Jiao, Aikido, and other martial arts — which makes the sport of MMA all the more exciting.-