I was a little reluctant to write this article because I know that it will eventually turn into an essay on why Joe Frazier is the true peoples’ champion and that Muhammed Ali simply used race and politics to get to the top and carve his place in American history. I mean, do you guys even realize that Ali actually preached at a Ku Klux Klan rally? You didn’t, I know you didn’t. People say that it was a different time back in the 70s, but Ali’s actions are atrocious, regardless of temporal location.
The truth is, it’s impossible for me to separate my feeling towards Muhammad Ali and the city of Manila, so you guys are going to have to live with it until August 31st, the date of ONE FC: Pride of Nations. The event takes place directly in the heart of Manila, Philippines and it features Bibano Fernades, Shinya Aoki, Ole Laursen — even a rematch between Melvin Manhoef and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi is rumored to go down at the event.
We caught up with Victor Cui, the CEO of ONE FC, to get his take on why the promotion chose Manila as the location of their fifth event. Unfortunately, he we didn’t get his opinion as to why Joe Frazier is the true peoples’ champion. Bummer. There’s always next time.
“I am extremely pumped up about ONE FC: Pride of the Nations because it will be the largest, sold-out ONE FC event thus far! Manila is a city that has a rich history in fight sports and there is an unprecedented number of passionate fight fans in this city. In 1975, Smart Araneta Coliseum hosted Muhammad Ali’s ‘Thrilla in Manila,’ which is still regarded as one of the greatest fights of the 20th century. Filipino boxing sensation, Manny Pacquiao has also competed here and I am proud to be bringing the biggest MMA event in Asia to fight fans in the Philippines for the first time. This is one card that you don’t want to miss because I can tell you right now, it’s going to be stacked!’
‘Manila is continuing to define itself as the fight capital of South East Asia. Wherever you walk in Manila, you will see bars showing MMA fights, top fight gyms are popping up everywhere and Filipino fighters are competing on an international stage. The national pride that Filipino fighters and fight fans have is unlike anything I’ve seen before. There is no other country in South East Asia which possesses such as huge, knowledgeable MMA fan base as the Philippines has.’
We were hoping that Victor Cui would announce that he signed Philippines own ‘Weng-Weng’ for the promotion’s debut into Manila, but he’s probably too busy rocking powder blue tuxedos and shooting bad guys with miniature machine guns. We warn against clicking that previous link if your ‘awesome’ meter has reached its capacity for 2012.