December 3, 2013

Dave Galera of Baguio City Joins the UFC

Mixed martial artists based in Baguio City/La Trinidad continue to make their marks in the sport. Eric Kelly just made a successful comeback last Saturday when he easily submitted Jianbo Lu in the main event of URCC 24: Uprising. Team Lakay fighters Honorio Banario, Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Gege Eustaquio and Edward Kelly are also set to enter the cage this Friday (December 6) at the Mall of Asia Arena for One FC 13: Moment of Truth

And now, news just came out that Dave Galera, a member of Team Lakay, has signed with the UFC and he's scheduled to make his debut under the company on January 4, 2013 when the UFC stages it's first event in Southeast Asia at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Galera is undefeated in 5 fights. He will be facing Singapore's Royston Wee, a fighter sporting a record of 2 wins and no losses. Galera and Wee will kick off UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs. Lim.

As the largest and most influential mixed martial arts organization in the world, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) enjoys being the MMA outfit that most fighters dream of signing up with. For most fighters, the UFC is "The Goal". If you make it there, you've made it in the sport.

The road to the UFC's octagon isn't a straight stretch. Fighters have to climb their way to the company's doorstep. For sure, getting there is a lot easier for others, especially for those who've made names for themselves in other promotional companies. A lot of the UFC's top names today came from the likes of Pride, Pancrase and the now-defunct Strikeforce which was bought by Zuffa LLC (owner of the UFC) back in 2011.

With the UFC's inevitable expansion into Asia, the company is starting to scout for fighters coming from the area and pitting them against each other in events that are also to be staged in Asia. Case in point is the upcoming event UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs. Lim at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The event will be the UFC's first foray into Southeast Asia, a region where the MMA scene is currently dominated by One FC, a Singapore-based company established just two years ago.

The card is stacked with fighters, most of whom are Asians. It will be headlined by a welterweight showdown between Hyun Gyu Lim of South Korea and Tarec Saffiedine of Belgium. Saffiedine was originally scheduled to face Jake Ellenberger but the latter had to pull out in late November due to an injury.
Also known as the Scarecrow, Galera fights in the bantamweight division and with a height of 5'11, he is much taller than most of the fighters in the said division. The current UFC bantamweight champion is Dominick Cruz. The top five contenders are Renan Barao, Urijah Faber, Michael McDonald, Eddie Wineland and Raphael Assuncao.

At this point, it's really difficult to picture Galera sharing the octagon with any of these guys. But if he wins impressively against Wee this coming January, he'll make a point, not the type that will have him being mentioned alongside Cruz or Barao but one that will get people's attention. This is his debut after all. Good luck to him.

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