Juego Todo, a weaponized cage fighting first introduced in the country in 2014, delivered on its promise to produce its first-ever champion and provide non-stop entertainment to mixed martial arts fans in Sta. Ana, Cagayan last month.
Now, Juego Todo organizers are looking to bring the sport closer to the people by attracting more talented Filipino fighters this year.
Underground Battle Mixed Martial Arts founder Ferdie Munsayac is confident he can achieve his goal this year.
“Juego Todo showcased the innate skills and talents of the Filipinos in mixed martial arts, especially arnis. We did it in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and produced our first champion in Genil Francisco last Dec. 20. But we don’t want to stop from there,” said Munsayac during the 53rd “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports at the National Press Club in Intramuros yesterday.
Munsayac said Filipinos can excel in Juego Todo sice “this sport is a hybrid of Filipino martial arts back in the days of our ninunos.”
“Juego Todo is like bringing in the modern-day Filipino gladiators, or the arnisadors as we know them, and putting them in the modern-day arena, which is called octagon in the MMA,” added Munsayac, a retired United States Navy chief petty officer, who earned the monicker “Papa Goat” in the local and international MMA community.
“This year, we will stage juego todo competitions in Metro Manila and we are inviting interested fighters to join in our qualifying tournament scheduled in April,” said Munsayac during the weekly public cservice program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, PAGCOR, Community Basketball Association and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drinks.
“'Yung mananalo, papasok sa Top 16 at magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na labanan para the championship ang ating bagong kampeon na si Genil Francisco,”explained Munsayac, a native of Ilocos Norte.
Last month, Francisco bagged the distinction as the first-ever juego todo champion during competitions held in Cagayan.
For his effort, the Antipolo-based Francisco earned a brand-new house and lot from Balai Cagayano courtesy of Vergel Glorioso, a motorcycle, P50,000 worth of Kabuhayan package, P20,000 cash prize and a custom-made champion’s belt made in Pakistan and adorned with precious stones.
“Sa susunod, bagong house and lot uli ang naghihintay kay Francisco kung maidedepensa niya ang kanyang titulo or kung gusto niya, isang gym complete with equipment amounting to P1-million ang premyo,” said Munsayac.
Glorioso personally handed the certificate of title to the house and lot to Francisco in the presence of Munsayac, UGBAMMMA officials and TOPS officers and members.
“We fully support this Juego Todo competition since we believe in their advocacy to raise the standard of living of our MMA fighters through various financial packages as prizes,” said Glorioso.
Also present during the weekly session also shown on Facebook live by Glitter Livestream are Jonah “Choi” Geronimo, Juvanie Bacus and RC Arcilla and UGB officials Perla Mae Tagacay, Sarah Geronimo and Ahvie Humua.