UFC’s fighting Filipino nurse draws inspiration from Pacquiao

NEW YORK CITY – With only a little over a month left before fight night, Phillipe “The Filipino Assassin” Nover is hard at training at the Church Street Gym in New York and he is ready to redeem himself.

Five years ago, Nover was released from the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC after suffering an injury and having a dismal 0-3 fight record.

On May 16, this Filipino registered nurse is coming back to the octagon to face-off with Korea’s Nam Yui Chul in a featherweight bout at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.

This 31-year-old MMA fighter says he’s prepared to give his kababayans back home a great fight.

“I’ve been working hard for this my whole life so, and the opportunity now exists so I’m training harder than I’ve ever trained in my life and I’m training smarter than I’ve ever trained in my life.” Nover said. “I’m dedicating it to my friends and family in the Philippines, my fans in the Philippines.”

Now halfway through his 20-week training schedule, he says he could still enjoy Filipino food even if he’s on a strict diet.

“Adobo is good, sinigang, nilaga, I could do all that. It’s just the fried stuff and the rice. I just gotta put those aside,” he said.

Nover is described by those who know him well as a caring nurse. But being an MMA fighter, Nover says he has learned to flip that switch from a nice guy in real life to become  the “Filipino Assassin” once he steps in the ring.

“There’s no other sports that allow you to do this, man. So you legally can take out all that frustration in life, just ball it up and beat the crap out of someone without getting arrested,” he said.

With the biggest fight of his life happening in the same month as the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao mega-fight in Las Vegas, Nover says the Pacman has inspired him to give it his best shot.

“His talent is insane. So I watch him training. I watch his fights. I study his footwork. He’s just a speed demon,” Nover said. “I’m so inspired when I watch him fight.”

Nover’s prediction for the May 2 Pac-May mega-fight: “If Manny goes out there and he does what he usually does, he opens up and gets aggressive, you know if Mayweather doesn’t dance around and just try to get points, I think Manny will KO his ass,” he said.

Nover says he will be watching the Pac-May fight before he heads out to the Philippines for the UFC Manila Fight Night.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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