As early as “Mayhem in Manila” the URCC has encouraged all styles of martial arts and its practitioners to test their skills in the sport of MMA. After ten years of exciting fights and memorable events, the URCChas seen the transformation of its fighters. Gone are the days when someone was only good in one aspect of fighting. Nowadays all successful URCCfighters practice all the major arts.
One has to be well rounded these days. Just to survive.
To be a complete Mixed Martial Artist, one has to train and immerse himself in several disciplines. Traditionally, most MMA fighters started off specializing in only one martial art and most had great success with it. As the years passed we have seen MMA fighters evolve from being a one dimensional fighter into a complete Mixed Martial Artist. Grapplers and submission specialists started to immerse themselves into striking through the sports of Boxing, Muay Thai, and even Karate. Strikers on the other hand, went out of their comfort zone and dove into the completely strange world of takedowns and submissions. It may have been awkward at first, but this stage soon passed, the URCC and Philippine MMA grew into the very dynamic sport that we love today.
If you have been watching the URCC since 2002, you would notice that the generation of fighters and champions that we have today are actually products of the revolution of Mixed Martial Arts in the Philippines. In the first few tournaments of the URCC one may have been witness to one sided fights wherein one fighter may have been at a disadvantage from the start because of the lack of skill and knowledge needed for MMA. Out of these few early fights in the URCC, these same fighters and the others who followed suit, only did two things: they eventually retired or evolved by absorbing as much as they can from the different arts. Practitioners of Filipino Martial Arts, Boxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at first dominated the Philippine MMA Scene. Then the next generation emerged. These were the practitioners of Wushu Sanda, which is a SEA Games recognized sport wherein almost all the elements of MMA are practiced. And just by looking at the list of Champions that the URCC has at present, these are the fighters who are dominating the Philippine MMA scene.
It’s very exciting to have been able to observe the evolution of Mixed Martial Arts in the Philippines. What’s even more exciting is that URCC fans can look forward to more action packed and exciting fights in the future, mainly because of the improvement and dedication of our fighters and their trainers.
Personally I have been waiting for athletes from one combat art to break into the scene in the URCC. Wrestlers in my humble and unbiased opinion, are one of the more highly adaptable set of fighters that could dominate Philippine MMA. As of to date only a handful of wrestlers: Mike Natividad, TJ Tiu, and Marcus Valda have evolved their game for Mixed Martial Arts and were successful in their runs in theURCC. Wrestlers have the utmost potential due to their being used to competition, pressure and heavy physical training. I’d like to see them one day challenging for the titles in the URCC. Wushu Sanda vs Wrestling?! BAKBAKAN NA!
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