UFC has done it again showcasing what the fans want the most and had a step up against its so called competitor the boxing world. We rarely see a fight with great undercards in boxing not to mention the biased judges and some unethical referees with special mention to Laurence Cole. Last Sunday two of the best champions from different organization in MMA come together to witness the fight of two great champions from PRIDE and UFC Quintin “Rampage” Jackson the Middle weight UFC champion versus the Middle and lightweight champion of Pride Dan Henderson.
It was a treat for all fans in the MMA and the undercards also featured some good matches. Although I’d love to see other nationalities fighting for pride and honor in the octagon but there was no way an average Filipino weight could matched up the 180 lbs fighters from the US and Europe which are highly dominated in that weight category.
But the sport has grown and somewhat slowly developed here featuring our own the URCC and the local version here in Cebu the USF. The fights here are scarce and underdeveloped because promoters just don’t want to gamble in such a raw sport considering that we are a basketball loving country. And our great pride is focus on Manny Pacquiao.
There was one fighter in Cebu nicknamed the Predator who showed great skills and was unbeaten in almost all his fights. Sometimes in order to get active and increase his record he even travels from Visayas and Mindanao for a fight. He has strong leg kicks and good ground skills. Ryan Solana and other MMA fighters struggled to get a fight here in the Phil. Particularly here in Cebu where fans are discriminating and if there are no promoters it would be less air time and people gave no importance to the sport.
Ryan was challenged by omjiyokai Aikijitsu’s best Rannie “The Warrior” Ballesta. Both are well matched and well prepared for the competition which was held here in Cebu which titled Only the Strong 2. Ryan has the advantage when it comes to experienced and skills while Rannie has the height and the hunger to make a name for himself. It was a matched which has a lot of doubts in my mind. Ballesta won the match but a controversial choke was questioned because a mark was found on Ryan’s neck which was believed to be a marked of Ballesta’s thumb. It was a dangerous maneuver and it could also lead to something deadly Ryan eventually had his first lost in his untainted career. After a few months call it Karma but Ballesta lost to a lesser fighter in an arm bar in the first round. As I watched the UFC matched between Jackson and Henderson I wonder if there is such a rematched between the two cebuano fighters. Ryan offered a rematch but Ballesta declined and after seeing Ryan not physically in shape he quickly accepted the rematched. Ryan said he has nothing to prove and he knows that Ballesta resulted to cheating. Oh well there’s one thing for sure I’d love to see both of them settle their differences and find out who is the best among the best. Sad to say both fighters are semi retired after promoters and the people made no interest on the sport. I can say MMA is a fast rising sport but not here in Cebu.