Manny Pacquiao, Richard Gomez, and Monsour Del Rosario top this year’s list.
After playing a key role in popularizing mixed martial arts in the country, the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) held its first ever Hall of Fame awards this year with awardees like Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez for fencing, eleven-time world boxing champion Senator Manny Pacquiao, Makati 1st District Representative Monsour Del Rosario (taekwondo), and Senator Miguel Zubiri (arnis). Baron Geisler and Kiko Matos also earned a citation as the URCC’s first celebrity fighters with their impromptu cage match in June 2016.
The URCC Hall of Fame awards was envisioned to honor the organization’s best and brightest luminaries as it makes its way internationally with the creation of URCC Global. Baron considered the citation an unexpected blessing after going through a very different kind of experience. “Three years ago, the URCC gave us the opportunity to play out our ‘social experiment.’ Kiko and I are forever grateful for that opportunity, but I also hope that underneath all that hype, we can take a more introspective look at our fascination with violence and ask ourselves, ‘Are we really entertained?’” he said.
Awardee Manny Pacquaio also shared the URCC’s vision in penetrating the Southeast Asian region and to eventually assemble a contingent of iconic fighters willing to compete head on with Caucasian counterparts. “I salute the triumph of my brothers-in-arms from the URCC. We may be of different fighting disciplines, but we all share the same heart, the same fists of victory fueled by the same hunger and yearning to fight to bring honor and glory to our country,” he said.