First homegrown Filipino in UFC fight feels 'big responsibility'
Galera said that just like any Filipino fight fan, he is thrilled about the prospect of seeing a Filipino MMA strutting his wares in the UFC.
“I think everyone is as excited as I am,” he said in UFC.com. “I think they can’t wait to see what we Filipinos can bring into the Octagon.”
Galera, who was born in California but grew up in Baguio City, will be making his mark as the first Philippine-based fighter ever to fight in the UFC.
He will be facing Singapore’s Royston Wee on the undercard of UFC Fight Night 34, which will take place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The 5’11” Pinoy admitted he feels a bit of pressure to please his countrymen who have been dreaming of seeing a homegrown fighter in the UFC.
“I feel like it’s a big responsibility for me to carry, and that makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable,” he said. “But I’ll do my best to act right and be a good role model, not only for aspiring MMA fighters but also for other athletes.”
Unlike most Filipino MMA fighters, Galera underwent ground fighting training first by studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the US.
He later teamed up with Mark Sangiao’s Team Lakay to hone his stand-up skills.
“I never had a boxing or any striking background, so it has never entered my mind to compete in boxing,” he said. “I just learned striking at Team Lakay, and it’s a Wushu Sanshou kind of standup game.”