Iiiiiit's time, FHM Nation!
Earlier today, local media and fight fans gathered at Solaire Resort and Casino's Grand Ballroom for the press conference of the biggest and most anticipated MMA event of the year, UFC Fight Night Manila!
On May 16, the UFC will bring the Octagon to the SM MOA Arena for a fight card that features superstars and former champions Frankie "The Answer" Edgar (18-4-1) and Urijah "The California Kid" Faber (32-7-0) on the main event. Given these two fighters résumés, we're quite certain it's going to be an epic night of fights!
Former UFC lightweight champ Edgar is known as one of the best boxers in the Octagon. He's been on a roll since dropping down to the featherweight division, winning three out of four matches—his only blemish being a close loss to longtime champ José Aldo.
He now gets a chance to headline the first UFC card in the Philippines, and he seems pretty psyched about it. "It's been great so far. The weather's a lot nicer than where I am from in New Jersey," says the 145-pound fighter. "The fan base is great, the people are amazing."
Returning featherweight Faber has always been a contender ever since he started his MMA journey 12 years ago. A super fight with the dangerous Edgar will not only cement his status as one of the sport's greats, but a victory might also reward him another crack at the title.
"Frankie is on top of the heap, a win over him can definitely get me there [the championship]," shares the former WEC 145-pound titleholder (a belt he last fought for in April 2010, when he lost a lopsided decision to Aldo; the WEC and its entire roster was later absorbed by its new owners, the UFC, a few months later). "I think it's going to be a close fight. We're going to know who's faster. I hope I'm faster. We're going to know who's stronger. I hope I'm stronger. From the beginning of the bell until the end of the bell, I'm going to go for that finish."
Since their announcement last January 29, SM Lifestyle Entertainment President Edgar Tejerero revealed to the media that their customer care department has been getting non-stop calls and inquiries regarding the availability of tickets to the historic event.
And alas, the wait is over! SM finally announced at the press conference that ticket selling for UFC Fight Night Manila will officially open at exactly 10 a.m. this Friday, March 13, at all SM Tickets branches nationwide, and will also be available online at www.smtickets.com.
UFC Asia Executive Vice President and General Manager, Ken Berger, also announced the other entertaining bouts come May 16: For the co-main events, middleweights Costas Philippou (13-4-0) and Gegard Mousasi (36-5-2) will try to inch closer to top of their division while American Neil Magny (14-3-0) will face UFC China winner Lim Hyun Gyu (13-4-1) in a welterweight showcase.
Berger also shared that aside from the big-named fighters, they will also be bringing in UFC ring girl and FHM cover girl Arianny Celeste and iconic announcer Bruce Buffer. He also unveiled another surprise that brought down the house: also seeing action on the Octagon come May 16 is the Filipino Wrecking Machine, Mark Muñoz!
The Filipino-American MMA fighter (13-6) will take on Luke "Bigslow" Barnatt (8-2) of England. Despite losing via submission to Roan Carneiro at UFC 184 just last February 28, his third consecutive defeat, Muñoz couldn't miss the opportunity to fight in front of his home crowd. Here's hoping the home-cooking will help motivate him to get the W in what will probably be his last professional fight.
Mark your calendars, set an alarm on your phone—heck, why not bring your girlfriend and officially make it a date. Because there's no way you'll want to pass up on the UFC's first Manila offering!
UFC Fight Night Manila, featuring Edgar vs. Faber, happens on May 16, at the SM MOA Arena. Tickets will be officially available starting March 13, 10 a.m., in all SM Tickets branches nationwide and online through www.smtickets.com!