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John Almanza takes on the Indian foe in Road to UFC
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John Almanza takes on the Indian foe in Road to UFC

WHEN you look at John Dave Almanza, you would think this man has just been plucked from his classroom to do an assignment in mixed martial arts and he can’t be inside or anywhere near an octagon.

Almanza, from Catanduanes, is only twenty years old. And even though he’s young, he’s undefeated at 6-0 heading into Road to the UFC Season 3 in Shanghai.

Road to UFC Season 3, the hit ‘win and advance’ tournament, takes top MMA prospects from Asia and offers them a path to a UFC contract. Thirty-two mixed martial arts athletes will compete in each of four weight classes at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai and four non-tournament fights will be included to provide more opportunities to showcase newcomers.

Almanza, who has defeated only the local opposition, now faces the biggest test of his career. His first international trip and it is the opportunity of a lifetime.

“All fighters dream of making it to the UFC,” said Almanza, determined to make his father proud.

“He was the one who convinced me to get into MMA. I’m enjoying it and I’ve had some luck so far.”


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Almanza will face a fighter with slightly more experience than him on Sunday – Indian Angad Bisht who has a record of 9-2-0.

It is also Bisht’s first international fame.

“I’m going for a knockout or a submission,” Almanza said.

The Almanza-Bisht fight will be shown on May 19 at 6pm on the streaming application Blast TV and on the Premier Sports channel on Skycable and Cignal.