FOR now, all eyes will be on Eugene Toquero, who is expected to be one of the flag-bearers when ONE Fighting Championship returns to the Philippines in two months.
So far the only Filipino announced to take part in the still-developing 10-fight card, Toquero hopes to make the country proud when he takes on Malaysian rising star Gianni Subba in ONE FC: Rise of Heroes on May 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
They Said It!
"Kaya nga (halos) lahat ng kalaban ko one round lang K.O. kasi ayaw ko magulo yung buhok ko." MMA fighter Eugene Toquero
And for the 32-year-old Cebuano, it seems carrying that huge responsibility is easier to handle than keeping his gelled hair in place.
“Kaya nga (halos) lahat ng kalaban ko one round lang K.O. kasi ayaw ko magulo yung buhok ko,” Toquero said on Tuesday during the press launch of the event, drawing laughter from the crowd. “Pina-paspasan ko eh.”
The exciting mixed martial artist boasts a 4-1 win-loss card, with all his wins by way of knockout, including three in the first round.
ONE FC CEO Victor Cui said more Filipinos will participate in the card, bannered by the bantamweight title bout between defending champion Bibiano Fernades and Masakatsu Ueda, and will be announced in the next few weeks.
Cui tried to touch Toquero’s head, but Toquero was quick to react: “Oops, don’t touch my hair.”
Coming off the first loss of his career, a unanimous decision won by compatriot Geje Eustaquio in ONE FC: Moment of Truth last December, Toquero is relishing the opportunity to once again fight in front of the home crowd.
“Mas okay pa ’to ngayon kasi yung crowd akin lahat hindi kagaya nung nakaraan, hati.”
But the Submission Sports product will have to be wary of the taller and younger Subba, who is undefeated in three fights and is considered a top flyweight prospect in Asia.
Also possessing boyish good looks, Subba is not afraid to engage the striking Filipino and get his face bloodied.
“It’s Eugene who should be worried about his face,” the Malaysian grappler-wrestler warned.
Only one thing scares Toquero, though.
“Mas takot ako pag nagulo buhok ko.”