Has MMA outkicked the sport of boxing?

The world of boxing is lucky. There’s Manny Pacquiao. Without him, who’d be the superstar? Other sports have plenty. There’s Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic; there’s LBJ and KB; there’s Michael Phelps.

Boxing? Take out our Pinoy pride and there’s no more Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield. Wasn’t boxing centered on the heavyweights? Yes. It was. Yes, that’s the past tense. Because heavyweight-superstars have disappeared.

Mixed martial arts? I confess, years back, to switching channels when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was shown on SkyCable’s Balls channel. It was too bloody. Muscled men hugged and exchanged embraces. Someone was sure to die from this!!!

But, as time passed and superstar names like Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Brock Lesnar and, now, Jon “Bones” Jones appeared, I’ve gotten to like the MMA. In fact, I’ve gotten to really like the UFC. I’m just as excited to watch an upcoming Gladiator-like UFC contest as I am in watching tennis or running.

Tomorrow, Friday, I’ll finally get the chance to watch this sport in person. Together with my neighbor on this page, Atty. Jingo Quijano, I’ll be at the CICC for the URCC-Cebu 7. URCC stands for Universal Reality Combat Championship and the event is entitled, “Dominate.”

“Undefeated kickboxing star Renante ‘Limbas’ Noblefranca of Yaw-Yan ArDigma has vowed a swift knockout victory as he faces Brazilian Jiu-jitsu specialist Jonathan Sumugat,” wrote my fellow sportswriter from The Freeman, Lemuel Maglinte, himself a mixed-martial artist. “It will be a battle between a striker and a grappler as Noblefranca, who is known for his deadly ‘spinning back fist’, will try to assert his mastery in kickboxing against the Davao City-native Sumugat, a gold medallist in the 2010 Pan-Asia Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Open.”

Noblefranca, only 19, has fought 28 times (wow, how old did he start, at 12 years old?). Last year at the 6th edition of the URCC-Cebu, he won a first round TKO.

“Yaw-Yan Cebu ArDigma CEO/Founder and Vis-Min director Master Benigno “Ekin” R. Caniga, Jr. expressed his confidence not only to Noblefranca but also to his other two boys that will be showing their stuff in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) card. They are Geronimo Etac and Roel Rosauro,” continued Lemuel in his story. “Etac will challenge URCC Visayas pinweight title-holder Victor Torre of Bacolod City , while Rosauro will figure in a grudge rematch of sort against Arnel Ylanan of Mandaue’s Bullet Fighting System.”

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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