FORMER UFC campaigner Will “The Kill” Chope returned to the Universal Reality Combat Championship in style, capturing his third title in as many weight classes with a smooth performance on Tuesday night.
Chope easily negated Filipino Arvin Chan’s striking skills with his expertise in grappling and jiu-jitsu, finishing his foe off at 1:45 in the first round via rear-naked choke to annex the interim welterweight belt at URCC 81 Decade of Success at the Cove in Okada Manila.
“I just wanted to cement my legacy here in the URCC,” said the 33-year-old Chope, the 2013 featherweight and 2016 lightweight URCC champion. “This is like my comeback fight in the URCC and Arvin Chan has a seven-fight win streak, so I did my best to get him at his neck.”
Chope’s impressive win was witnessed by over 3,000 live spectators.
The 6’4” Chope, now based in Bangkok, Thailand, improved his win-loss record to 40-19 — 27 by submissions, 23 of which came by way of the same rear-naked choke move. The 5’10” Chan fell to 9-6.
After the fight, reigning URCC welterweight champion Jon Adajar climbed up the cage and challenged Chope to a unification bout next year.
Meanwhile, the durable South Koreans busted the Filipino troika of Sugar Ray “The Mammoth” Estroso, former URCC champion Caloy “The Bad Boy” Baduria and Boss Bullet Manlilic in a thrilling 3 Versus 3 battle that was part of the main event.
Despite losing Won Tae Cho due to a disqualifying kick against the fallen Bullet, the Koreans still prevailed after Estroso suffered an injured shoulder prior to the fight’s resumption. This forced Team Philippines’ Baduria to fight on his lonesome against South Korea’s chosen fighter.
Team South Korea then chose the bigger Jeong Minhun over Jeon Young Jun, and Minhun easily clobbered and pinned Baduria to the corner. Baduria fought valiantly but absorbed several unanswered blows that prompted a referee stoppage.
“It was such an awesome night. Everybody went all out, but it’s just too bad the last fight ended that way. The Koreans were supposed to be disqualified for a foot stomp [on Bullet], while Sugar hurt his shoulder,” URCC founding President Alvin Aguilar said.
“We had no choice and I didn’t want to declare it a no contest. Everybody’s here, everybody goes to the URCC for a fight so we asked the fighters to do it the old school way. Are you guys game in pitting one of yours and one of theirs? And they said yes — and that’s what happened. I am still very, very happy of the results.”
In the other MMA bouts, Mariano “The Hitman” Jones of Costa Rica crushed Filipino Gester Maglaque at 4:39 of the first round to get the stoppage win in their 185-lbs clash.
Meanwhile, Dunlee Stewart beat John Tirona via a first-round technical knockout in their 170-lb tussle.
Kimbert Alintozon defeated Junie Kimayong via rear-naked choke in the second round of their 125-lb affair; Rhyle Lugo won over Alex Aballe (145 lbs) via a first-round stoppage; and Eros Baluyot outlasted MJ Abrillo (125 lbs) via arm bar in the second round.
In the similarly thrilling bare-knuckle bouts, Joseph “King Pinoy” Cabral defeated Damsa Abrenica via first-round stoppage; Mark Jalaron blasted Denzel Dimaguila via a first-round TKO; and Dondon Serrano whipped Sherwin Niro won via second round TKO.