UFC star Urijah Faber came to the Philippines to do a PR tour in a country crazy about combat sports. The former WEC kingpin had a whirlwind of press events as he traveled all over the country doing open-workouts, meet and greets, seminars, and a myriad of other media appearances throughout the country.
"It's been awesome," Faber told Bloody Elbow prior to his appearance at SM BF Paranaque, "The trip has been intense, but it's been filled with some good people, and good times. The food has been really good."
Fighters such as Alexander Gustafsson and Mark Munoz (Gallery), had similar, albeit shorter, tours in the Philippines last year, and much like the others before him, Faber also got a sense of how large their fan base is. The California Kid toured multiple cities including 6 malls in 5 days, where he got to meet thousands of the hardcore MMA fans the country has been increasingly known for.
"It seems like (the fans here) are really educated. I'd say it's because of the 'Balls' station that has all the fights on," he said, referring to the UFC TV deal that has every event shown for free, "The people are really getting exposed to it, and that's the most important thing, so it's pretty cool."
"I think the level of awareness here is better (than other Asian countries) for sure. Everywhere I go, people recognize me. Everyone speaks English here, which probably helps, and they have an eye on the culture in the US as well. I feel like the people here definitely have a better understanding."
A few photos from one of his mall appearances are available above, and expect a more in depth interview with Bloody Elbow to be published soon.
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