5 Best Filipino MMA Fighters

5 Best Filipino MMA Fighters

The professional sport of mixed martial arts has spread worldwide. The influx of high-grade MMA talents across regions demonstrates this growth even in remote nations. However, one nation, in particular, is quickly developing into a hub for MMA; the great nation of the Philippines. 

Filipinos are never too far behind regarding outstanding prominence in the ring. With the popularity of MMA (mixed martial arts), several Filipino fighters have established themselves on the global scene. The best MMA betting site in the Philippines is also taking advantage of this popularity.

Since ONE Championship — a fight promotion company, announced a global competition to identify the next top Filipino fighter, it is clear how popular mixed martial arts has become in the Philippines. The plan was to begin a competitive series, and the best fighter bags home a reward of $100,000. Undoubtedly, the Philippines have groomed some of the best martial artists in the world today, and it would only be fair to look at the top names in the country. This article will examine the activity, legacies, and achievements of the 5 Best MMA fighters in Southeast Asia.

1. Brandon Vera

Born on October 10, 1977, in Norfolk, outskirts of Virginia, United States, Brandon Vera, the American-Italian of Filipino origin, sits top on our list. With major fight statistics (16-7-1), Vera is not only one of the top MMA fighters currently competing for the Philippines, but he is also possibly the best MMA fighter the nation has ever produced. With 13 UFC victories under his belt, "The Truth" has even defeated two veterans of the sport, Reese Andy and Frank Mir.

Ironically, Vera showed his expertise and fierceness in a defeat. It was in UFC 105 that Vera gave the legendary Randy Couture his all before falling short by a razor-thin decision. Vera is still highly formidable at the age of 44, which is a couple of years after the Randy Couture fight. He aims to become a universal champ-champ while holding the heavyweight title in the ONE Championship series.

Vera will compete against light heavyweight champion Bibiano Fernandes at ONE FC Century, which takes place in October. The dual national will join an elite group of divisional champions if he defeats Fernandes. The likes of Henry Cejudo, Amanda Nunes, and Conor McGregor are the only members of this group at the moment. 

2. Eduard Folayang

Eduard "Landslide" Folayang, born November 22, 1983, is one of the most well-known names in the Philippine MMA. Folayang, who stands 5'9" tall and competes in the lightweight division, has a career record of 21 wins and 8 losses. Lakay MMA, a Filipino group, based in Baguio City, has been his long-term career affiliation.

Folayang, undisputedly the leader of Team Lakay, is one of ONE's most well-liked fighters. He made his debut in 2007 with the URCC and has since become the face of mixed martial arts in the Philippines. 

Landslide finally brought his skills to ONE in 2011, where he successfully won the lightweight championship twice. After defeating Shinya Aoki in the ONE Championship battle of Defending Honor, Folayang first took home the title in 2016. In the Conquest of Champions the following year, he retained the title by conquering Amir Khan. 

Folayang, who will turn 38 soon, appears to be nearing the end of his career. We definitely won't be surprised if there is another title reign in the last act. 

3. Rolando Gabriel Dy

Rolando, also known as Gabriel Dy, is a Filipino mixed martial artist (MMA) competitor, rated number 17 across the Middle East in the Pro Men Lightweight division.

The Paranaque-bred fighter was born on August 11, 1991, stands 5'8" tall, and competes in the ADW Featherweight division. He was formerly the featherweight champion for the Abu Dhabi Warriors before he formed his own Dy Incredible team. It's said that since Dy is Rolando Navarrete's son, a retired WBC super featherweight champion, fighting significantly runs in the family. Hence, his major fight statistics boast an impressive 12 wins over 7 losses.

Currently competing as a veteran under the UAE Fighting Championship series is 30-year-old Dy. He defeated Kazakhstan's Yerzhan Yestanov in a fight to win the promotion's featherweight title in May. Dy dedicated his first-ever MMA gold medal to his ailing grandfather in what was a victory that would define his career. 

4. Kevin Belingon

Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon, born on October 30, 1982, is another of the best fighters from the Philippines. Belingon, who stands at 5'5" and competes in ONE's Featherweight class, with a record of 20 wins over 6 losses, also belongs to Lakay MMA.

Belingon started his professional journey in the URCC in 2007, as Folayang did. After five years of active performance, "The Silencer" eventually defected to ONE. After defeating Martin Nguyen in July 2018, he was named the interim bantamweight champion.

Later that year, Belingon unified the category by defeating Bibiano Fernandes, a longtime rival and reigning champion. Coming into the match, Fernandes had a winning streak of 14 matches and had previously submitted Belingon to a loss. A few months ago, as part of ONE's loaded Century fight night, the two faced off again, with Belingon losing at the end of the evening. Although the Kiagan native's loss was a major setback, he continued his career relentlessly. 

5. Mark Striegl

MMA world champion Mark Striegl is a native Filipino-American trained fighter. Striegl had his early childhood in Japan at the peak of Pride FC, and he made it a habit to watch the country's top MMA program every day on television.

Born on June 23, 1988, Mark "Mugen" Striegl from Baguio City, Philippines, is 5'8" and is ranked under the URCC Featherweight division. He stands on a record of 18 wins and 2 losses, and the Borneo Tribal Squad Gym in Malaysia is Striegl's team affiliation. 


Sports are the best way to get your heart racing, and the Philippine community has proven that it can compete internationally. Cage fighting, often known as mixed martial arts (MMA), is undoubtedly a thrilling activity.

The Filipinos have also found a way to succeed in the sport, even though it may occasionally be violent. The best fighters in this sport are professionally trained, so do not practice any form of it at home. 

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