The Philippines is now set to be the host of a UFC event sometime in the summer of 2009, 6th-Round.com has learned. The UFC has reported that Chuck Liddell took part in an open workout at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City. The event drew over 4,000 folks amped to catch a first hand glimpse of the rockstar-status Liddell.
The international expansion of the top MMA organization (Ultimate Fighting Championship) should come as little surprise to those who learned of Lorenzo Fertitta’s move into full-time CEO status several months ago. Fertitta has planned for promotion of the UFC outside of the U.S., and this is clearly the first step in doing so.
The event to be held in summer 2009, is said to be a mixed of local Filipino fighters and well-known UFC faces. The addition of Filipino light heavyweight Brandon Vera would surely be a hit in the pacific island area. MMA (particularly the UFC) is huge in the Philippines and we can see that Dana, Lorenzo and company have certainly taken note. One of the hallmarks of the UFC over the years has been delivering the same loyalty to the fans as the fans deliver to the organization. In regards to the upcoming event, Fertitta was quoted as saying:
“It will be a combination of bringing over some of our stars and then hopefully having some local Filipino fighters, and maybe bringing in some of the guys from Japan and South Korea.”
In the long-term picture, what this does for MMA could (and likely would be) monumental in the evolution of the sport’s booming growth and acceptance. The Phillippines holds a long history of martial arts being a strong part of the culture and the UFC’s involvement with the country will be something to surely keep both eyes on.