Asian MMA Update: URCC 20 In-Depth Preview and Predictions

The Philippines' biggest MMA promotion, the URCC has been running for almost a decade now, and with their 20th major event happening this weekend, they're pulling out all the stops. To get you hyped, here's an excellent looking intro video of the 'URCC 360' that previews the milestone event. (Filipinos can catch the entire show tonight at 9:30 PM on Solar Sports):

For people outside of the Philippines, you can catch the actual event as it streams on their website on Sat, Nov 5, 8AM ET.

After the jump, more preview videos, plus predictions and analysis on the event that features six title fights.

There will be 6 title fights on the card that features 10 events, so let's focus on those. Headlining the event will be URCC interim bantamweight champion, Jessie Rafols and Reydon "The Filipion Bolo Punch" Romero. Here's the preview video of the bout:

Jessie Rafols vs. Reydon Romero [Bantamweight Super-Fight Title] - 'The Filipino Bolo Punch' is a talented featherweight contender that will be making the drop to bantamweight to take on Rafols, who is the interim URCC bantamweight champion. Romero is a good striker who has heavy hands, but Rafols is one of the most talented bantamweights in the Asian region, and I expect him to dominate and to live up to his monicker, "The Finisher". This is guaranteed to be exciting as both fighters are very gritty, but I think it's going to be Jessie Rafols by Submission.

For the co-headlining bout of the evening, it's going to be a light heavyweight championship bout between Australian fighter, Nicholas 'The Apprentice' Mann, and Chris Luna of DEFTAC. Here's the preview video of the bout:

Nicholas Mann vs. Christian Luna [Light Heavyweight Championship] - This is an excellent fight stylistically, which makes it very hard to predict. Both guys are well rounded fighters, but Hybrid Yaw Yan's Nicholas Mann, who also has black belts Kuk Sool Hapkido and a taekwondo black belt, will probably have the edge standing up, while Chris Luna, a DEFTAC fighter who is a purple belt in BJJ, will probably be better on the ground. The move to light heavyweight would be good for Nicholas, as he has faced larger men in the past, even competing against HW title contender, Igor Subora, who outweighed him by almost 50 lbs. Chris Luna has been working a lot on his stand up, but will it be enough when he takes on the bigger and more experienced fighter in Mann? Will he be able to take things to the ground and apply his BJJ game? This fight could go either way, and while most pundits are picking Luna to take this, I'm leaning slightly towards the Australian on this bout. Nicholas Mann by Decision.

Next up, the heavyweight championship bout. Check out the video preview:

Igor Subora vs. Ryan Paglinawan [Heavyweight Championship] - Igor Subora is a large heavyweight fighter from Ukraine, he has good strikes and good takedowns that stems from his Sambo background. As with all heavyweight fights, things can get a bit sloppy, but I do expect this to be very explosive and quick, with Subora getting his hand raised after a brutal mugging. Igor Subora by TKO.

Froilan Sarenas vs. Robin Jose [Middleweight Championship] - Sarenas is the current URCC middleweight champion, coming out of Submission Sports Philippines, which is an Atos affiliated team. Atos, as some of you might already know, is the best grappling team in the world, and is home to guys like Ramon Lemos (Anderson Silva's BJJ coach) and Andre Galvao among others. That is where his strength lies, as he effectively uses his BJJ base to quickly clinch up and submit guys. His opponent, Robin Jose, is a late replacement coming in on short notice, and going against a guy as talented as Sarenas, that certainly isn't a good thing. Froilan is a bit undersized for middleweight, and he's probably looking to drop at least 1 weight class for future events, but I still think he outclasses Jose here. Froilan Sarenas by Submission.

Honorio Banario vs. Patrick Manicad [Lightweight Championship] - Honorio Banario is from the famed Lakay Wushu camp that is home to other top Asian champions such as Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, and Roy Docyogen. He's the youngest on the group, but he also has a lot of potential. He was supposed to take on MFC veteran, Sabah Fadai, but the Canadian had to pull out due to injury, so Manicad steps in against the Wushu fighter. Banario is young, and he's still learning, but I fully expect him to extend his perfect record to 6-0 after this. Honorio Banario by TKO.

Frank Navarro vs. Pete Brooks [Cruiserweight Championship] - Brooks is long and lanky with his 6-foot-6 frame, and he trains on high altitude in Baguio, as he prepares to secure the vacant cruiserweight belt (199 lbs.). Unfortunately, his original opponent, Mac Sabiano, was in a motorcycle accident that forced him to pull out of the fight on less than a week's notice. Although frankly, I would've picked Brooks against either guy, and even if his new opponent, Navarro, had a full training camp. Brooks takes this and improves to 5-0. Pete Brooks by Submission.

Videos from Headrush Productions

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