The Ultimate Fighting Championship will plant its flag in the Philippines when it travels to Manila for a Fight Night event on May 16.
The Las Vegas-based organization announced the card via press release on Wednesday evening. The UFC will partner with SM Lifestyle Entertainment inc, a southeast Asia-based company which owns 12 major brands -- including a number of movie theaters -- and “aims to incorporate entertainment and leisure in the lives of every Filipino,” according to its website.
The UFC Fight Night event will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, which has previously hosted basketball games and tennis matches, according to SMLEI President Edgar Tejerero. No bouts have been announced for the card, which will likely stream on UFC Fight Pass.
“We are thrilled to be kicking off our Asia event calendar in Manila this year. The UFC has a loyal and passionate fan base in the Philippines and we’re looking forward to bringing the very best of mixed martial arts to Manila for the first time,” said Ken Berger, the UFC’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of Asia. “We have found a great event partner in SM Lifestyle Entertainment inc. and are excited that the SM Mall of Asia Arena will be home to a historic UFC event that fans will remember for years to come.”
The UFC has held a number of cards in Asia, including events in Macao, Singapore and Tokyo. According to the release, Carlos Condit held an open workout in Manila last year which attracted an audience of 4,000 fans.