MANILA, Philippines – SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena is now the official home of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the Philippines as the state-of-the-art venue agreed to a lucrative deal with the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.
The Henry Sy-owned showground announced the groundbreaking partnership on Monday, January 26, but details of the agreement were not disclosed as both parties will spearhead a press conference on Thursday, January 29 at the arena’s Coral Way lobby to discuss the length and terms of the pact.
“The Ultimate Fighting Championships is set to expand its global influence after announcing its deal with Mall of Asia Arena to welcome the arrival of mixed martial arts and UFC in the Philippines,” as stated in the press release.
MOA Arena is an indoor sports ground within the SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City, Metro Manila and has a seating capacity of 16,000 for sporting events and a full house capability of 20,000.
Aside from the Las Vegas-based combat company, the aforementioned location has also an existing joint venture with ONE Fighting Championship that requires Asia’s largest MMA organization to hold two affairs in one year at the MOA Arena.
In addition, UFC’s eastern counterpart is expected to make its way back to the Manila suburb of Pasay on April 24 to hold its 28th fight card that is headlined by ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren defending his gold-plated belt against Luis Santos.
On the other hand, the UFC reportedly plans to stage its first event in the country on May 16 that will likely feature homegrown talents like Roldan Sangcha-An and Mark Eddiva.
Meanwhile, Filipino-American stalwart Mark Muñoz remains uncertain to be part of the Philippine visit as he is scheduled to compete versus Roan Carneiro at UFC 184 on February 28 (March 1 in PH). – Rappler.com