by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Filipinos were among the many fight fans who packed the Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco to witness the American debut of the Universal Reality Combat Championship, or URCC.
Filipino fighters abroad and from the U.S. definitely put on a show for the crowd.
In one of the main events of the evening, Bay Area native and Fil-Am, Derrick Easterling, made his opponent — Mefi Monterroso — tap out after two rounds of intense mixed martial arts action.
With this victory, Easterling became the URCC’s new interim World Flyweight Champion.
“It’s been 10 plus years in the making. All the blood, sweat, tears that I’ve put into my training has finally came down to this very moment right here,” Easterling told BA. “It paid off. This is just showing the fruits of my labor and this is just the beginning.”
In the main card, Filipino-Swiss Chriss Hoffman — two-division URCC champion — defended his middleweight title against David Douglas.
Hoffman won via technical knockout, after numerous bloody strikes to Douglas.
“Counting the damage that he was taken, I thought it was kind of late, but I saw his eyes and he was there. He was awake, so I totally understand the referee. I didn’t look at the referee. I focused on getting picked shots so the referee would stop it,” he said.
URCC founder and CEO, Alvin Aguilar, was pleased with all the fights, especially the performances of Easterling and Hoffman.
“It’s just an awesome feeling, to be able bring Filipino fighters and showcase their skills to the world. And we saw it. We saw Hoffman. We saw Easterling. We saw how good Filipino fighters really are, and this is just the beginning,” Aguilar said.
“Some fighters got TKO’d in the visa part, but they’re going to be back here for sure and we’re going to expose them to the whole world.”
But not all Filipinos that evening were able to go home as winners.
Within 57 seconds into the first round of the women’s competition, Fil-Am Jamielene Nievera was defeated by Jamie Thorton via submission.
With this win, Thorton claimed the interim URCC Women’s Flyweight championship.
According to Aguilar, the first URCC event in the US was a success, and plans are already underway to hold a second event this August, once again in the Bay Area.