No Christmas break for first homegrown Filipino fighter in UFC

There will be no holiday break for mixed martial arts fighter Dave Galera as he nears the final stretch of his preparation for his dream appearance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night 34 in Singapore on January 4 next year.

It’s not that he isn’t going to enjoy the Christmas season which the tightly knit Filipino families have learned to enjoy through the years, but Galera’s daily routine is only at the gym, working so hard and focused on his debut in the most popular mixed martial arts promotion in the world.

Galera sweats it out in the ring twice a day for his conditioning, striking and ground techniques under the care of Team Lakay owner and coach Mark Sangiao.

“It’s a dream come true for me to fight in the UFC and I’ll make sure I’m all ready,” said Galera, who will go up against Singaporean grappling expert Royston Wee at the Marina Bay Sands.

Wee, an in-house trainer at Impact MMA Gym in Singapore, sports a 2-0 win-loss card and is currently the Malaysian MMA bantamweight champion.

This only means that Galera ‘s diet is on a tight watch and no respite from gym works.

“Yes , it’s all work and no vacation for Dave,” said Lakay Team owner and head coach Mark Sangiao.

Galera is the first homegrown fighter to see action in the UFC, which is acknowledged as the National Basketball Association of MMA. The Filipino-American Galera spent his childhood in Baguio City before settling in the U.S. He came back four years ago and started to train with Team Lakay to hone his striking skills.

Galera holding URCC belts of teammates at Lakay and his own belt wrapped around his waist

Galera holding URCC belts of teammates at Lakay and his own belt wrapped around his waist

He was already a blue belt holder with Charles Gracie Jiu Jitsu based in Reno, Nevada before joining Team Lakay. It was only in 2011 where he started fighting professionally and compiled a clean 5-0 record.

“My striking was zero before joining Lakay and I’m glad I joined the right camp for me,” said Galera, who currently holds the Ultimate Reality Combat Championship’s bantwamweight belt following a technical knockout win over Red Romero last April.

Also serving as a big motivation for Galera are the thousands of his countrymen who are suffering because of super typhoon Yolanda.

He selected the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Brother IZ  as his walkout song. “Its’ for the Yolanda victims,” he said.

Headlining the UFC Fight Night 34 are Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine and Pacific Xtreme welter titlist Hyun Gyu Lim. The event will be shown live to American audience by Fox Sport. ABS-CBN’s Balls Channel is the official network carrier of UFC in the Philippines.

*Picture credit: MMANewsBlog


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Categories: Featured, Interview, MMA, Philippines, UFC


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