A BAR fight between controversial celebrity Baron Geisler and indie actor Kiko Matos has led to an official MMA (mixed martial arts) match slated on June 25.
Now the fight has taken a life of its own.
According to Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) founder and president Alvin Aguilar, demand for tickets to the exhibition match has become so big that they have decided to move it to a bigger venue, the Valkyrie Grounds at The Fort, from the Palace Pool Club.
The one-off duel was spawned by a viral video of Geisler and Matos getting into a fight during a benefit concert inside a Quezon City bar over the weekend. The two have since agreed to a fight under the auspices of the URCC when Aguilar stepped in and made the offer.
Although he admitted that the proposed fight will help boost MMA's popularity in the country, Aguilar said this will in no way be no circus show, adding it will be used as a platform to discourage street fighting.
That's the reason the URCC wants Geisler and Matos to settle their differences before they meet inside the octagon, Aguilar said.
“We’re rushing the contract (for the fight to really happen), but what we want first to make this happen is magbati muna sila and after they agree na magbati, then we will push through with the exhibition fight,” said Aguilar, who himself was involved in street fights during his college at De La Salle.
“Magbati muna sila and because we don’t want to make it appear that we’re glorifying street fighting and everything,” he added.
Aguilar stressed that they will not hesitate to pull the plug on the fight if both Geisler and Matos refuse to mend fences.
“Ah hindi sila pwede (na maglaban). But we will see to it that they resolve their differences first, kasi wala naman talaga silang pinag-aawayan eh. They were fighting over nothing kasi pareho silang lasing, tapos nadamay na lahat,” he said.
“Kaya I will make sure na magkakasundo muna sila. The reason why we are doing this is after the fight, magkakamay ulit sila at magkakainuman na,” said Aguilar.
Aguilar bared that proceeds from the fight card, which will be bannered by the titanic showdown between Chris Hoffman and Arvin Chang, will be donated to various charities.
The URCC chief said it was MMA fans who first broached the idea of having Geisler fight under the organization's auspices after the actor got into a fight with students from the University of the Philippines - a video of which also went viral a few weeks ago.
"Kasi when Baron first got into a fight sa isang student from UP, everybody started messaging me na: ‘Ilagay mo ito sa URCC ganyan, ganyan,' pati sa (Facebook) page namin may suggestions,” he said.
“And as patawa, nilagay namin ('yung challenge kay Baron). Tapos ngayon nga (less than a week after) napaaway ulit siya, kaya lalong dumami (yung suggestions sa amin),” added Aguilar, a first degree blackbelter in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Shotokan.
Aguilar plans to impose a catchweight on the Geisler-Matos fight and assures that it will be a very fair yet exciting bout. The weight will be known after Aguilar meets with Matos on Wednesday afternoon and Geisler later this week.
Geisler is a black belter in taekwondo while Matos is a trained boxer who works out in South Manila (Paranaque), Aguilar added.
Asked if Matos can handle Geisler, who incidentally is the brother of Southeast Asian Games multiple taekwondo gold medallist Donald Geisler, Aguilar said he believes so.
“Yes, trained fighter 'yan even though pangit yung nakita n'yong suntok niya sa video, he is also trained,” he said. “Their fight will be an exhibition bout in the pro-am division. That’s the category for up and coming fighters, d'yan lumalaban yung mga parang nagta-try out.”
Aguilar said the URCC recently set a record of 2.47% TV rating for its URCC 27 Rebellion card last April 23, and he expects the sport's popularity to benefit from this card.
“Yes, I think so. Right now, demand on tickets begin to shoot up. It’s also the reason why we moved to a new venue, Valkyrie,” he said.
“(This will give us the needed popularity boost) Of course and it works both ways kasi we send a strong message that we are not condoning street fighting and anything like that, kailangang magbati talaga sila,” he said.
“People kasi are glorifying street fighting eh. Para hindi na ma-glorify yan, we do it properly. We have to be socially responsible, so I offered them and they both agreed,” he said.
Listen to the interview with Alvin Aguilar: