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Filipino fighter Jenel Lausa makes UFC debut in October

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fighter Jenel Lausa will make his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut at the mixed martial arts (MMA) organization’s second live event in the Philippines on October 15. 

Lausa inked a 20-month exclusive deal with the world’s premier MMA promotion that will guarantee him 4 fights under the UFC banner. 

“It’s a dream come true,” Lausa told Rappler. “I won’t waste this opportunity. This is it!” 

The 28-year-old native of Concepcion, Iloilo is set to square off with Chinese combatant Yao Zhikui in a 3-round flyweight bout on the undercard of UFC Fight Night Manila 2, which takes place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. 

Lausa (6-2) is riding high on a 4-fight winning streaking, which included a title-winning performance against compatriot Crisanto Pitpitunge in January of this year.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, Lausa captured the vacant Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) flyweight championship by edging out Pitpitunge via split decision. 

With his razor-thin conquest of Pitpitunge, Lausa became the fourth homegrown talent from the Philippines to win a world title in the sport of MMA. 

Lausa has to relinquish the Guam-based MMA company’s flyweight belt as he joins the likes of former PXC champions Hyun Gyu Lim, Louis Smolka and Michinori Tanaka in the UFC roster.

In the other corner, Yao (2-3) has only won once in his last 3 Octagon outings and is coming off a 44-second stoppage loss to Freddy Serrano in November 2015. 

The 25-year-old Chinese was supposed to lock horns with Team Lakay representative and PXC alumnus Roldan Sangcha-an at UFC Fight Night Manila 2, but the latter failed to get a much-needed clearance from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Facing a Pinoy stalwart is not new to Yao as he owns a split decision win over Filipino-American standout Nolan Ticman in May 2015.

UFC Fight Night Manila 2 is headlined by a scheduled 5-round featherweight clash between BJ Penn and Ricardo Lamas. – Rappler.com