by Nick Giongco
A bunch of top-notch mixed martial artists will make up the Philippine team that will vie for eight gold medals in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) the country is hosting Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas (SKP) said yesterday.
Leading the SEAG aspirants is veteran MMA campaigner Robin Catalan, who has fought extensively overseas using the ONE Championship platform.
The SKP said that regional tournaments will begin by late January until February with the top performers slugging it out for slots to the national finals.
Two eight-man groups will then be sent to train and compete abroad in the run-up to the SEAG toward the end of 2019.
The nerve center of kickboxing in the Luzon area is Baguio although Metro Manila is not far behind owing to the abundance of MMA clubs in the capital.
Cebu and Dumaguete are the leaders in the Visayas while Cagayan de Oro and Davao make up the best of practitioners in Mindanao.
The SKP, headed by cycling chief and Tagaytay Rep. Bambol Tolentino, was accepted as an associate member by the Philippine Olympic Committee just recently.