UFC STRIKES NEW DEAL WITH MALL OF ASIA ARENA AHEAD OF ITS FIRST FORAY INTO THE PHILIPPINES.

The UFC has today announced its inaugural, and much anticipated, UFC Fight Night Manila event in partnership with SM Lifestyle Entertainment.

The company’s first event in Asia in 2015 will take place on 16 May at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Ken Berger, the recently appointed executive vice president and general manager of UFC Asia, said it was a thrill to be kicking off its Asia 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. 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.”

UFC did not release any names for the Manila event, but said former UFC champion Carlos Condit recently drew some 4,000 fans to an out an open workout in Manila for a media and fans.

Previous UFC events in Asia have taken place in Macau, Singapore and Tokyo.

The company said it has signed close to 40 Asian fighters, adding that the UFC in Asia was growing “at an exponential rate”.

Edgar Tejerero, president of SM Lifestyle Entertainment, added that the Manila card would be the UFC’s only event in Southeast Asia this year.

“We are happy to share that this is the only UFC event to take place in South East Asia this year.”

Tickets for the Manila card will go on sale in March.