Mark Climaco competes in Road to UFC Season 2 flyweight tournament

Mark Climaco competes in Road to UFC Season 2 flyweight tournament

FILIPINO-AMERICAN Mark Climaco is a step closer to his UFC dream as he competes in the opening round of flyweight tournament of the Road to UFC Season 2 across two days on May 27 and 28 at the UFC Performance Institute Shanghai in Shanghai, China.

The 25-year-old Climaco, who has Cebuano roots, is up against South Korean Jung Hyun Lee in the opening round of the tournament.

Climaco has been blazing through the flyweight division of UFC’s farm organization, Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA). He’s 4-1 in the LFA, with his only loss, a first round stoppage in the hands of Japanese Yuma Horiuchi in 2021.

Climaco won his last two fights against previously unbeaten Cody Davis and Miguel Sanson.

Climaco has also fought in Bellator FC in 2018, wherein he knocked out Daniel Oseguera in the first round.

Climaco is training in the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) under the tutelage of Javier Mendez. Some of the elite fighters past and present that have trained in the AKA are Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, Khabib Nurmagomedov, BJ Penn, Luke Rockhold and Islam Makhachev.

The 20-year-old Lee has been dominating the flyweight division in the Asian circuit. He’s currently fighting in South Korea-based Road FC. Lee has yet to taste defeat and won back-to-back fights against Seigo Yamamoto and Taiki Akiba by a first round knockout and by unanimous decision, respectively.

Climaco is 8-1 with two knockouts and a submission win, while Lee is 8-0 with four wins via stoppage.

The three other fights in the flyweight tournament are Japanese Rei Tsuruya (6-0) vs. Indonesian Ronal Siahaan (7-0), Chinese Jin Niushiyue (11-2) vs. Indonesian Billy Pasulatan (10-2) and Indian Sumit Kumar (4-0) vs. South Korean Seung Guk Choi (6-2).

Also hoping to earn a UFC contract is Filipino-Swiss Chris Hofmann.

Hofmann takes on South Korean Sang Hoon Yoo in a welterweight non-tournament bout.

Hofmann is a light heavyweight, middleweight and welterweight champion in the URCC.

After losing his first pro fight back in 2013 against Doo Hwan Kim, the 33-year-old Hofmann won nine fights in a row.

He just won the URCC welterweight belt after a second round stoppage of Min Seok Kim last month.

Yoo, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since winning the Angel’s Fighting Championship middleweight belt with a second round stoppage of Jae Young Kim in 2021.

Hofmann is 9-1 with nine wins by knockout, while Yoo is 7-2 with five wins by knockout.

Each winner of the four tournaments—flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight divisions—will earn a UFC contract, while contracts will also be handed out to the chosen fighters in the non-tournament bouts. (EKA)


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