Cignal TV Partners with UFC, Brings Stephen Thompson in Manila

UFC fans converged at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia on Thursday, February 25, 2016, to see the rising mixed-martial arts fighter Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the flesh.


Mixed-martial arts (MMA) are rapidly getting popular in the Philippines that’s why Cignal TV inked a partnership deal with UFC–the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization–to bring the world’s fastest growing sport closer to more Filipinos.

Why Stephen Thompson? The charismatic MMA fighter from Simpsonville, South Carolina, is now ranked #2 in the official UFC welterweight rankings and considered a rising star because his most recent win was a spectacular first round knockout of former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks at UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson last February 6.

Thompson was a former four-time world champion kickboxer before he entered UFC in February 2012. He remains undefeated through 37 amateur and 20 professional kickboxing bouts, with 28 wins by knockout. For his professional MMA record, “Wonderboy” has 12 wins, 7 knockouts with only one loss. He currently has the highest knockdown rate among active welterweights with 1.64 times per 15 minutes.

Thompson’s fierceness in the ring is bolstered by his kickboxing background being one of just two welterweights in UFC history to earn two head-kick knockouts. He is also one of the best strikers in his division, connecting 4.68 significant strikes per minute, the 3rd highest among active welterweights.

Thompson arrived in Manila on February 22 and held a series of public appearances including press conferences, interviews, courtesy calls, media guestings and a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) clinic for local MMA practitioners. The highlight of his tour was the open workout on February 25 followed by a meet and greet at the SM Mall of Asia dubbed “UFC & Cignal Present: On the Rise, Stephen Thompson.”

His trainer and manager, by the way, is no less than his dad Ray Thompson, who joined him during the open workout.


After warming up, Thompson showcased his signature MMA moves for his Filipino fans.



During the event, the very first Pinay Octagon girl in UFC was introduced to the crowd.


Her name is Red dela Cruz and she was handpicked by UFC from a group of other Filipina models who auditioned for the part. She made her debut at UFC Fight Night 66, the promotion’s first event in the Philippines.


On the other hand, the first homegrown Filipino UFC fighter was also introduced to the crowd. His name is Mark Eddiva and he is a two-time SEA GAMES gold medalist for Wushu. He is also bronze medalist in the 2010 Asian Games.

The 30-year-old Baguio native also showcased his MMA skills during the event:

Cignal TV, the new home of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the Philippines sponsored the event, and was supported by SMART Bro. Cignal TV’s extensive UFC programming began this year with UFC 195 which was beamed live to Filipino households through HYPER Channel 53. Upcoming UFC Fight Nights will also air on HYPER, exclusive to Cignal TV.

You can catch more of Stephen Thompson on TV5, Interaksyon, Radyo5, Sports5 online and on Bloomberg TV Philippines.

For more updates on Stephen Thompson, Red dela Cruz, Mark Eddiva, and upcoming UFC Fight Nights, fans can access the following social media channels:

UFC Asia’s Facebook Page

UFC Instagram: @UFC

UFC Twitter: @UFC_Asia

Hashtags: #UFCManila, #UFConCIGNAL

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