Galera all set for UFC Singapore debut

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Saturday, January 4, 2014


DAVE Galera's five unbeaten fights will be tested tonight as he debuts for the Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night in Singapore.

The 25-year-old fighter from Team Lakay, considered as the country’s top mix martial art team, will face another emerging MMA fighter who hails from Singapore, Royston Wee, who has two victories in his career.

“I know he is a great fighter. He trains well and wants to be the best fighter in this division, just like me,” added the California born fighter.

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Skipping the holiday season, Galera had almost two months of training prior to his fight doing strength and conditioning in the morning and striking and grappling skills training in the afternoon.

“When me and coach Mark (Sangiao) first heard of the UFC stint, we were reluctant in confirming but when it was finally confirmed recently, I was a bit apprehensive because I have only been fighting in MMA for the last 15 months so it’s kind of a big blessing for me,” added Galera.

Sangiao, meanwhile, said UFC has been scouting for fighters in the Asian circuit and finally, a Baguio fighter was tapped to join the big league.

“I never thought we could fight in the UFC. It was all [but] a dream for us. Now, it’s coming true and it’s a big break for Dave,” said Sangiao.

Galera currently holds the interim bantamweight belt in the Universal Reality Combat championship after scoring a technical knockout against Red Romero in April last year.

Galera's fighting skills will be put to test tonight with only almost two years experience as a fighter with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background and a Wushu Sanhsou standup game.

UFC in its website said with that mix, when Galera is in the Octagon, an unorthodox form of striking excitement will follow, and when he combines it with his solid ground game, it’s no wonder that he has not just won all five of his pro fights, but has finished them as well, with submissions and two knockouts.

"He is known to be a grappler and he won his previous fights by submission, so I might have to look out for his takedowns and ground game," said Galera to UFC adding with his Filipino heritage alone, will have plenty to live up to when it comes to the fight game.

The main card will feature a five-round welterweight bout between two world-class fighters Jake Ellenberger and former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine.

Ellenberger is number four in the division, while Belgium-born Saffiedine, is set for his UFC debut in Singapore after posting four straight wins in Strikeforce to become welterweight champion before the promotion was closed.

The first ever UFC event in Southeast Asia will also showcase the UFC debut performance of long-time Japanese star fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri, riding a five-fight victorious streak, going up against Brazil’s Hacran Dias in the feather weight division.

Also in the undercard is Japanese and South Koreans Kiichi Kunimoto and Hyun Gyu Lim fighting (welterweight), Shunichi Shimizu will clash against Kyung Ho Kang (bantamweight).

Rounding up the card is another UFC debutante Katsunori Kikuno of Japan, also on a five-fight winning streak taking on Quinn Mulhern at lightweight.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 04, 2014.

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