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Boxing facing challenge from mixed martial arts -- Newsday.com
ANCHOR: And now heres a report on the controversial sport of mixed martial arts. Considered a combat sport, mixed martial arts is gaining popularity in the Philippines. Heres more.STORY: Boxing remains a crowd favorite in the Philippines, but mixed martial arts is drawing more and more fans—from all levels of society.On October 18, Jose Mari Ugarti, sponsored the Black Tie Brawl in Manila. He said the variety in mixed martial arts makes it a more interesting spectator sport. Tickets sold for up to 200 U.S. dollars.[Jose Mari Ugarti, Editor-In-Chief]: "We decided to do mixed martial arts because you have a variety of taekwondo, you have jiu-jitsu, you have all these Brazilian arts, you have local Filipino arts. It's just a whole variety, so it's a lot more interesting to watch."Mixed martial arts matches tend to be more merciless than other contact sports, although no deaths have been recorded in any local officially sanctioned event. Professional mixed martial arts started in 2002, with only 37 registered fighters in the Philippines.For mixed martial arts fighters, a sizable paycheck is as much of a draw as the thirst for blood. Carl Sabeniana, a preschool teacher by profession, says the sport is a potent source of additional income, especially for young men in low-income neighborhoods.[Carl Sabeniana, Preschool Teacher]: "Instead of getting involved in street brawls where you do not get any money apart from getting your face smashed in, at least you get paid when you fight in it."Despite efforts to professionalise, mixed martial arts promoters are still struggling to prove the sport's legitimacy. Many frown at its apparent savagery.
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