19 Apr 2017 Leave a comment
11 Apr 2017 Leave a comment
Toni “Dynamite” Tauru is determined to keep his winning momentum going inside the ONE Championship cage as the Finnish fighters aims to claim his second consecutive victory under the umbrella of Asia’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.
The 32-year-old native of Utti, Finland is set to square off with Filipino standout Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon in the co-headliner of ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on 21 April.
After falling short in his first two assignments as a ONE Championship athlete, Tauru broke into the promotion’s winning territory for the first time this past December by submitting Belingon’s teammate Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio with a rear-naked choke in the opening salvo.
Tauru wasted no time in the stand-up trade with the Team Lakay representative, shooting immediately for a single-leg takedown and pacifying Eustaquio on the canvas.
From there, Tauru used his size and strength advantage to power through a rear-naked choke to compel Eustaquio to wave the white flag and notch the win in the first round.
Fresh from his spectacular submission triumph over Eustaquio, Tauru sees his three-round bantamweight encounter against Belingon as an opportunity to establish his first winning streak in ONE Championship.
“This is my chance to keep my momentum going in ONE Championship. It’s not impossible. That’s why I am exerting a tremendous amount of effort in training. I want to keep on winning,” he said.
The man standing in Tauru’s goal to make it two in a row in ONE Championship is Belingon, a former bantamweight title challenger who rose to prominence as a fierce cage competitor with the ability to finish opponents in a variety of methods.
Belingon is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Tajik prospect Muin Gafurov, who defeated Tauru by way of third-round stoppage in January 2016.
Although Belingon is the heavy favorite in the marquee match-up versus Tauru on paper, the latter is fervent to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to walk out of the state-of-the-art SM Mall of Asia Arena with his name being announced as the winner.
“Kevin is a good striker. In his last fight, he showed that he now has a good takedown defense. He is also ONE Championship title challenger like me. However, he hasn’t fought a martial artist like me. I am always improving my arsenal and honing my craft,” he stated.
“I am extremely confident for this bout. It’s the perfect match-up to show the whole world my true capabilities as a top-notch competitor in this sport. I am not going to waste this opportunity. I am coming to Manila on April 21st to get my hand raised,” Tauru added.
Tauru looks at his upcoming bout as something more than a climb back up the bantamweight ladder or a chance to erase the memory of bad luck in ONE Championship.
The Finnish submission dynamo views it as an opportunity to visit the Philippines again and win over the passionate Filipino crowd.
“The Philippines is crazy over MMA. They know the sport so well. I know I am fighting their hometown hero. I see it as a challenge to gain their respect. It will be an awesome fight between Kevin and me. Expect that,” Tauru guaranteed.
19 Mar 2017 Leave a comment
Filipino fighter Eduard “Landslide” Folayang feels extra motivated in his first defense of his ONE Lightweight World Championship title next month as he and his wife have welcomed a bouncing baby girl to their family.
His spouse Genevieve gave birth to their first-born child on an early Monday morning, 13 March at the Pines City Doctor’s Hospital in Baguio City. The couple tied the knot in April 2015, with Folayang describing his wife as his lifetime coach.
Folayang named his daughter Yeshuareigns, which means “Jesus reigns.” The 33-year-old mixed martial artist is a devoted born-again Christian and is also known for the public expression of his faith.
As a first-time father, Folayang was at a loss for words when he first saw and held his newborn child.
“This is a huge blessing for our family. It felt like I won another world title in mixed martial arts. I am so happy. This is one of the most momentous moments in my life. I hope and pray that I can be a good role model to my daughter. I will be the best father that I can be,” he said.
With over a month to go before he steps inside the ONE Championship again, Folayang stressed that his daughter will be his driving force to win.
“I can truly say that I am super motivated for my upcoming fight in April. My newborn daughter gives me the much-needed inspiration with the challenge that is ahead of me,” he stated.
Folayang will defend his ONE Lightweight World Championship belt against Malaysian-Kiwi sensation Ev “E.T.” Ting in the main event of ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on 21 April.
“I know how exceptional Ev Ting’s talent is. I am in a tough preparation for my first title defense. My main advantage over him is my experience as a fighter, especially in the lightweight division. We all know that Ev Ting came from the featherweight division, so I’m more used to fighting in this division,” Folayang said about his marquee match-up with Ting.
Knowing that Ting is driven to make history as the first Malaysian combatant to win a world title in MMA, Folayang vows to do everything in his power to make sure that he keeps the coveted lightweight strap around his waist.
“Ev Ting is an amazing competitor and has obviously earned the opportunity to challenge for the title. He is the complete package, with good striking and a really good ground game. I need to be at my absolute best to make sure I can defend the belt successfully,” he ended.
19 Mar 2017 Leave a comment
19 March 2017 – Clark, Pampanga: COLOR MANILA, currently the most aggressive ‘concept fun-run’ organizer in the country today, just capped the weekend with another sold-out event at Clark Parade Grounds for the CM Challenge Run.
This is the fourth time that COLOR MANILA had its event at Clark, Pampanga, their last event was held just last December 2016.
Thousands of runners trooped to Clark as early as 4 a.m. Some of them came all the way from overseas, while a good number came from different parts of the country.
Runners got to enjoy the various challenges, they were also seen taking selfies at the color stations. The color festival which highlighted DJ Franco Zarate also proved to be a treat. Celebrities such as JC Parker, Ms. Global England 2015 Sophie Rankin and Antoinette Taus were also seen participating in the event.
“I’m excited to join my first COLOR MANILA run. I’ve always liked obstacle courses and I’ve seen a lot of photos of their other events. I can finally join one,” says actress Antoinette Taus.
“We are so happy that all of you guys got here, for making this another sold-out event in Pampanga. We would also like to encourge our followers to start signing up for our next big event in Manila, the CM Blacklight Run, to be held on May 27, 2017, at Filinvest City, Alabang. We are most likely expecting 12,000 participants there,” says Justine Cordero, VP of COLOR MANILA.
Sponsors for the CM Challenge Run include Clark Development Corporation, Task Us, Toby’s Sports, Runnr, Fontana, Skechers, Anytime Fitness Angeles, Pascual Yoghurt, 100 Plus, Starbucks Coffee and SM Tickets.
Up next for the CM Team is the Blacklight Run in Filinvest, Alabang this May.
For more information about CM Blacklight Run on May 27, 2017, please visit www.colormanila.com
22 Dec 2016 Leave a comment
ONE Championship heavyweight champ Brandon “The Truth” Vera made a promise and it is coming true this New Year. This news rings as a great start to all mixed martial arts enthusiasts this first quarter of 2017 . Do read on!
Former professional mixed martial artist turned fight coach, George Castro, is set to arrive in Manila the first week of January 2017 to make good on Brandon Vera’s promise to bring the world-famous Alliance MMA gym to Philippine shores. Castro, who has worked with Vera for the past four years, previously served as the strength and conditioning coach at Alliance MMA in San Diego, California.
“The plan is to bring a new style — my style of training — to the Philippines. I want to go everywhere and show everybody what I know and spread my knowledge,” said Castro. “Asia has a bunch of tough fighters with a lot of heart, especially in the Philippines.”
Castro is no stranger to working with world-class talent, having had a hand in the careers of fighters like Jeremy Stephens, Ross Pearson and Wilson Hayes.
A veteran of the fight game, Castro began his MMA career in the early 2000’s, being introduced to the sport by MMA veteran Don Frye. He was then later acquired by MMA fighter Dominick Cruz at Alliance MMA where he then met Vera. The two clicked instantly.
“He (Brandon Vera) is ‘The Truth’. He keeps it real, he’s one hundred percent He’s black and white. I’m the same way. I just keep everything legit, no lying, no backstabbing. Let’s just be real with each other,” said Castro.
“If we click, we click, if we don’t, we don’t. With Brandon we did click, so that’s why we became so close. Even though I’m a little bit older than him, I consider him my big brother.”
Castro, along with ONE Heavyweight World Champion Vera, is expected to bring elevated combat sports training into the country. MMA is huge in the Philippines. More and more youth are starting to take up martial arts as a sport. But because eastern martial arts is more focused on the striking aspect of fighting as opposed to the west which has focused largely on wrestling and grappling, the level of well-roundedness of local fighters as a whole is slightly below par. That’s all set to change with Castro’s arrival.
Castro believes that technique can easily be taught but that it is very difficult to find athletes who are completely dedicated to their craft. He however stressed that he sees a lot of potential in the Philippines.
“If you have the heart and you love to work hard and you love to grind, I will always take that person and train somebody like that. Because we can teach that person skill but heart and dedication, you can’t teach,” said Castro.
“Putting up Alliance MMA is going to be great. We’re going to help a lot of young fighters and maybe hopefully pull some kids off the streets and give them a better chance at life like MMA did for me.”
Castro will spend the holidays with family and will complete a few more obligations before the year ends, but after that, he’s all-in to move to Manila and begin the next chapter in his career. After 2016, which has been one of the best years of Philippine MMA, Castro’s addition to the country’s training resources could produce some fantastic results.
With Vera spearheading Alliance MMA’s entrance into Asia, the possibilities are endless.
“(Brandon) is a legend in the sport and he’s very well-rounded in every aspect of the sport. Going out to the Philippines with him has been nothing but a blessing for me,” said Castro. “Working with him in opening up this gym is a dream come true for me and I’m a hundred percent excited to get that going.”
20 Dec 2016 Leave a comment
Any fighter’s goal is to win. Especially after months to years of hardwork and training. And in order to achieve this goal, a lot of sacrifices are at stake. Being away at times from respective families can take its toll. Winning on the other hand, is another chapter and the hard earned fruit of all labor.
For Filipino fighter Rene Catalan (1-2) winning in international Wushu tournaments had made him bring home numerous gold medals for the Philippines.
However, having his hand raised as the winner in mixed martial arts (MMA) has been elusive since he transitioned to the world’s fastest-growing sport in 2013.
Like capturing the gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, one unforgettable moment in his illustrious fighting career was when Catalan finally claimed his first victory as an MMA competitor last September.
With an incredible work rate and accurate striking, Catalan dominated Chinese combatant Zhang You Liang to win the three-round strawweight encounter via unanimous decision at ONE: UNBREAKABLE WARRIORS.
After his remarkable conquest of Zhang in September, Catalan moves onto his next assignment as he faces ONE Strawweight Indonesian Tournament Champion Adrian Matheis (3-1) at ONE: QUEST FOR POWER in Jakarta, Indonesia on 14 January.
The 38-year-old Filipino Wushu veteran sees his marquee match-up against Matheis as an opportunity to extend his success inside the ONE Championship cage.
“This is my chance to establish my first winning streak in ONE Championship. It’s not impossible. That’s why I am exerting a tremendous amount of effort in training. I want to keep on winning,” Catalan said.
According to Catalan, he is inspired to win against his Indonesian foe because this gives him another opportunity to give honor to the Philippines.
“I am inspired to win the fight because I am representing the Philippines. It is always an honor to fight for my country. My goal in this fight is to win and bring pride to my nation,” he stated.
Although both men possess superb striking pedigrees, Catalan believes that he still has the upper hand in the stand-up department.
With the aim to be a more versatile fighter than his cage counterpart, Catalan revealed that he worked extensively on his ground game in training camp.
“For this fight, I added more emphasis to my ground game. Even though I am coming off a win, I shouldn’t be complacent. I trained with the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the country to hone my grappling skills,” he bared.
Catalan hopes that if he secures a decisive win over Matheis, it will grant him a date with Yoshitaka Naito for the ONE Strawweight World Championship belt.
“Every fighter dreams to become a world champion. I really hope that ONE Championship will give me an opportunity to fight for the title in the future. This fight might be the door to a world title fight. Let us all hope for the best,” he said.
01 Dec 2016 Leave a comment
It’s another exciting One Championship weekend this December 2 here in Manila!
Reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes may have been born and raised in Brazil, but the ONE Championship titleholder feels deep in his heart that Manila is his home away from home.
Fernandes (19-3) is the promotion’s top bantamweight talent and is one of the best fighters in the world. He will take on Filipino-Australian sensation Reece “Lightning” McLaren (9-3) in the co-main event of ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION which takes place Friday, 2 December at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Fernandes has competed four times so far in Manila. His stint this upcoming ONE Fight Night will be his fifth. The Brazilian says making his ONE Championship debut in Manila was a special moment in his career.
“First time I went to Manila I thought about Muhammad Ali, the boxer, and that I fought in the same arena he fought,” said Fernandes, who debut for ONE at the Araneta Coliseum. “For me that was a big thing. Ali fought there and I fought the same place as him. So for that reason, fighting in Manila is very special for me.”
Fernandes began his tenure with ONE Championship back in 2012 at the event dubbed “Pride of a Nation”. It was ONE’s fifth show overall since establishing the promotion in 2011. Fernandes at the time was being positioned as a superstar in Manila.
Since then, Fernandes has strung together eight straight victories including four exciting finishes. He hasn’t lost since dropping a unanimous decision to Japanese fighter Hiroyuki Takaya in 2010, making him ONE’s longest reigning champion.
Yet victory hasn’t come easy he says. Fernandes believes that the key to his success is the work he puts into training.
“I believe in myself. I believe if I train right and do everything right I’m going to do my best and when I do my best the outcome is victory,” said Fernandes. “I always have confidence with my training, I always try to be healthy. What happens in the fight is in the fight. Be sharp, be strong, be smart, be quick.”
Out of his 19 total victories, nine have come by finish. The proud champion is hoping to put on a good showing against McLaren, who is 11 years his junior. At 36-years old, Fernandes has not shown any signs of slowing down. In fact, he gives fans a slight hint at what’s to come on fight night.
“[Reece McLaren] is a young guy. He wants to fight. He’s going to bring the fight,” said Fernandes. “But they call me ‘The Flash’ because I finish guys quick. Until today I still have that nickname.”
Good luck and may it be a very safe fighting to both Bibiano and Reece who always excited me when I meet them in person in their Manila stints.