In the UFC, Randy “The Natural” Couture proved that even at the age of 47; as long as you are passionate about what you do, nothing can stop you from doing it.
The longest running mma show in the Philippines, Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), has its own Randy Couture in the likeness of Angelito “The Saint” Manguray.
Angelito “The Saint” Manguray is a Doctor by day, fighter by night. This Doctor of Dental Medicine started out as a Karatedo Champion back in his early days. He started put in MMA last 2002 by joining some amateur fights before debuting in URCC on 2009. Since then, The Saint has won and gained a lot of followers due to his determination and excellence in the sport.
Easily one of the most revered MMA stars in the Philippines, even at the age of 44; Angelito Manguray has never failed to bring fireworks.
The Saint is scheduled to fight Will “The Kill” Chope on Saturday in URCC21: WARPATH. It will be Manguray’s first fight after a one year recovery due to an injury he sustained in training. A win over Will Chope could put The Saint into a title contention.
We can easily compare him as the 47-year-old Randy Couture of the Philippines, but every time Manguray steps inside the ring/cage, he is fights like the 33-year-old Shotokan Karate phenom and the former UFC lightweight champion, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida.
Manguray Vs. Wiggand at Martial Combat, Singapore.
Fighting Style: Powerful striker, all wins by TKO. Defies the norm that age is an athletic deterrent to great performance.
Here’s our interview with the former URCC lightweight champion, Angelito “The Saint” Manguray.
MMAOrient: What’s your martial arts background?
MMAOrient: When was your very first mma fight, and how was it?
My first MMA fight was in 2002, I lost the amateur fight. It was a rude awakening. From that loss, I started training in boxing & BJJ.
MMAOrient: What is the reason behind your moniker “The Saint”?
It’s a moniker given to me by my coach, Bambi Posadas. Because I never trash talk any of my opponents, I give them due respect. He says I’m always level-headed inside or outside the ring/cage.
MMAOrient: Your popularity has been really tremendous in the Philippines because of the URCC. Tell us what it means to you to be competing in the longest running mma promotion in the Philippines.
I’m very thankful for URCC. I started my Pro MMA fights with them. I’m glad they are celebrating their 10th anniversary now. And for giving a chance to promising fighters all over the country enhance their craft.
MMAOrient: Are you gunning for another shot at the title this year?
Given the chance, why not?
MMAOrient: You’ve been tagged as the “Randy Couture” of the Philippines because of your unfading sharpness and very intelligent fighting style. Give us your thoughts about it.
It’s an honor to be compared to a world champion but the bottom line is maybe they’re only comparing us with our ages. (Laughs) I don’t mind really.
MMAOrient: You are set to fight Will “The Kill” Chope, a very good muay thai fighter who has been very successful in his run in the URCC. Do tell us something about your next foe.
Chope is a good fighter. We’re not taking any chances for this fight.
MMAOrient: Your last fight was against the current URCC lightweight champion, Honorio Banario of Team Lakay on April of 2011. What was the reason behind not fighting in over a year?
Accidents happen while training. I got injured and I had to recuperate.
MMAOrient: What do you think will be your biggest advantage over Will Chope?
hat would be experience… and charm. (Laughs)
MMAOrient: What holes do you see in Chope’s game?
MMAOrient: Can you tell us something about your preparations going to this fight?
A lot of strength and conditioning, training both stand up & ground game every day. Like I’ve said, we’re not taking any chances.
MMAOrient: Do you have any favorite Submission/Strike to use in any fight?
None, I try to mix my fighting style every now and then.
MMAOrient: Who is your biggest inspiration?
My kids and all my karate instructors who have helped me hone my skills since I was a child.
MMAOrient: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
Lyoto Machida of course, since we’ve been compared on our martial arts skills.
MMAOrient: What can URCC fans expect from you on April 28th against Will Chope?
They can expect the best that I’ve ever been… and my new haircut. (Laughs)
MMAOrient: Do you have any people/sponsors to thank?
Thanks to Luzviminda Bonded Warehouse Services, Inc., Skyline Resources & Energy Dev’t Corp. Davao Sportswriters’ Assoc., SCOOP-Davao Chapter, BEEfit gym, our team Python’s Pit, & One Mindanao MMA Management. Thank you most especially to all the support of our family, friends, & MMA enthusiasts out there!
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