Rey Transmonte battles Andrew Benibe as URCC returns after a one-year break
URCC founder Alvin Aguilar is eager to hold the MMA outfit's first event in a year. Jerome Ascano

THE Universal Reality Combat Championship makes its comeback from a hiatus of almost a year as it stages URCC 25: Takeover on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After the re-launch of the brand in July, the Philippines’ premier mixed martial arts organization returns with its 25th edition, its first since holding URCC 24: Uprising in November 2013.

The 11-year-old outfit’s upcoming event was originally slated in September, but was pushed back a month.

The eight-fight card is bannered by the title fight featuring Rey Transmonte versus Andrew Benibe.

“It will be a night of explosive fights,” URCC founder and president Alvin Aguilar said on Tuesday in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum. “We have the best fighters from the country. It will be one hell of a night.”

It will be a rematch between Transmonte and Benibe as they battle for the vacant bantamweight title seat, with the former going for a repeat after scoring a split decision win in their bout in 'Uprising'.

Transmonte is riding the momentum of a three-fight winning streak and is seeking to improve his 5-2 card, while Benibe (5-7) hopes to snap a three-fight skid.

Red Romero was also scheduled to defend the featherweight belt against Malaysian Jian Kee Chee, but the champion suffered an undisclosed injury.

Aguilar is eyeing a return for Romero “early next year.”

“Although game naman siya lumaban, pero ako siyempre as a promoter, I wouldn’t want to risk him,” Aguilar said.

Filipino-Swiss Chris Hofmann makes his debut against Nickson Kola, while Alvin Solinap takes on Arnel Lomibao in the event, where they will fight in the URCC cage for the first time. Previous URCC fights were held in rings similar to the ones used in boxing.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos