SINGAPORE — ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong expects Filipino fight fans to fill up the Mall of Asia Arena again when the mixed martial arts outfit returns to Manila for ONE: Age of Domination on December 2.
Brandon Vera defends his heavyweight title for the first time against Hideki Sekine and ONE Championship eyes a sold-out event with the home crowd rallying behind Vera and other Filipino fighters in the card like Mark Striegl, and Team Lakay’s Geje Eustaquio and Honorio Banario.
Sityodtong said the Filipino market has always been vibrant, especially with the rich history of Philippine fighters excelling in combat sports like boxing and MMA.
“I think it’s one of the best markets for MMA in all of Asia because I think the average Filipino has warrior blood in them,” said Sityodtong in an interview with reporters from Manila and China on Friday before the ONE: Defending Honor event here.
“Whether it is Manny Pacquiao and boxing, whether it’s MMA, Filipinos love combat sports and for us, it’s always exciting to come back,” said Sityodtong.
The ONE Championship official is equally excited to see the 39-year-old Vera, who captured the heavyweight crown against Paul Cheng in 2015, defend his belt in front of a boisterous home crowd.
“It’s always a pleasure for us to go back to Manila because of the huge fan base that we have there and the fact that we have such a magnificent roster of Filipino fighters. I’m very excited for Brandon Vera in his title defense,” said Sityodtong.