Asian MMA Update: KOTC set for Philippine Expansion, 3 titles on the line at URCC 23

Former URCC Middleweight champ, Froilan Sarenas (left) will finally be dropping down to a more suitable weight class - Photo by Anton Tabuena

On the latest Asian MMA Update, big news coming out of the Philippines as long running promotion URCC will host 3 titles on their card this weekend, and King of the Cage has also scheduled their first event in the country.

There's big news coming out of the Asian MMA scene, mostly circulating around one of the hotbeds for MMA in the Philippines.

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KOTC SET FOR PHILIPPINE EXPANSION, 2 TITLES ON THE LINE THIS JULY

For the longest time, the Philippine MMA scene was centered around the URCC, which is one of the oldest promotions in Asia. As the rabid fan base for combat sports kept on growing, international promotions such as PXC and ONE FC also started hosting events in the country.

King of the Cage is the latest promotion to set up shop in the Philippines, and their expansion officially starts on July 5, when they host their first event in Manila. They will be having two titles on the line as undefeated prospects Lowen Tynanes (4-0) and Sean Strickland (11-0) will both be headlining the card in separate bouts.

Tynanes is one of the most entertaining prospects in the region, and he has already fought in the country when he scored an upset over Filipino MMA star Eduard Folayang last December. He has followed that up with two submission wins against Muay Thai champ Vuyisile Colossa at ONE FC, and Kris Ambrister at KOTC.

With the win over Folayang, Tynanes is already a familiar face for URCC regulars and the more avid MMA fan base, and while KOTC is already marketing him as being part Filipino, it will still be interesting to see if it would be enough to draw in the more casual crowd.

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3 TITLES ON THE LINE AT URCC 23 THIS WEEKEND

More MMA news from the country as one of the longest running promotion's in the region hosts their 23rd major event in Manila. After multiple changes on the card, the line up now has 3 interim titles on the line.

Headlining the card is Bantamweight super-fight champ, Reydon "The Filipino Bolo Punch" Romero taking on Team Lakay's Dave Galera. Romero already has a win over current bantamweight king, Jessie Rafols, who is out indefinitely due to injury, and the bout will be for the interim strap.

With Ricardo Sapno also out indefinitely as he deals with personal issues, the 6-foot-4 featherweight Will Chope, who is currently riding 10 fight winning streak, will still get his long overdue shot at a title when he goes up against fellow contender Andrew Benibe.

URCC lightweight champion Honorio Banario is currently fighting at featherweight and will be defending his ONE FC title this May, which also prompted the promotion to crown a new interim champion. Although already having multiple interim titles on the card, this match up is far more interesting as lightweight contender Arvin Chan will be taking on former URCC middleweight champ Froilan Sarenas, who will finally be dropping down to a weight class more fit for his frame.

Content to face off against bigger guys and not cut weight, the Submission Sport product in Sarenas has still ruled the country's middleweight division for years. Now that he will be dropping down two weight classes, it will be interesting to see if this revamps his career as he will likely be the bigger and stronger man at lightweight.

Also on the card to look out for, fan favorite Alvin Ramirez moving up to bantamweight yet again to face a Chinese striker in Fei Guo Lin, former lightweight champ Angelito Manguray, and another entertaining lightweight scrap between Vaughn Donayre and Rex De Lara.

Check out the full fight card below:

- Dave Galera vs Red Romero [Interim Bantamweight Title]
- Andrew Benibe vs Will Chope [Interim Featherweight Title]
- Arvin Chan vs Froilan Sarenas [Interim Lightweight Title]
- Rex De Lara vs Vaughn Donayre
- Edmund Velasco vs Angelito Manguray
- Fei Guo Lin vs Alvin Ramirez
- Qin Long vs MJ Abrillo
- Mark Somes vs Melchor Cases
- Suri Guga vs Onyok Transmonte
- Roy Doliguez vs Lito Adiwang

Follow me on twitter -- @antontabuena

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