Cultural | MAT’s Davao Urban Fighting Championship

   You have got to hand it to Marco Antonio Tamayo.  This Davaoeno health and fitness enthusiast who operates his own i.Flex Fitness Gyms, both in Davao City and Dubai, has made it a point to give back after all the successes he has attained through his hard work as an overseas worker.  He is now more passionate than ever with his Davao Urban Fighting Championship (DUFC) project which is a grassroots mixed martial arts training program and a quarterly competition conducted by his i.Flex Fitness Gym in Davao City.

“My objective along with that of i.Flex Fitness Gym’s mission is to train, develop and discover our very own local fighters who have the potential to compete in both National and International Professional Mixed Martial Arts competitions.  This project is made possible in partnership with Davao’s PN Ninte Metal Award Products,” divulges Marco.

From a small training camp started in 2012, DUFC has grown to bepresently recognized by most MMA Fighter camps across the country. The popularity of the competitions staged by MAT’s i.Flex Fitness Gym has drawn fighters and scouts from all over the Philippines to visit Davao to compete for the coveted DUFC championship belts.  This has given Marco the opportunity to discover new and talented athletes who can join professional competitions.

Marco’s event held last February, 2018, featured URCC fighters from Manila, Iloilo City, and Koronadal City as well as the URCC scout, Ronald Joseph Catunao. The Davao Urban Fighting Championship continues its goal to create a community for aspiring local talents to grow and develop into fine martial artists. “I will not give up until we produce our very own MMA Superstar,” promises Marco.

Marco Antonio Tamayo, a Physical Therapy graduate and the first  Mr. World-Philippines from Davao City, is passionate about his goal.  The guy first concentrated onfashion fitness, thenbodybuilding, followed by fitness education, and now its Mixed Martial Arts for him. Even though he is based in New Zealand and goes regularly to Dubai to check on his fitness business, Marco is quite committed to work hard to realize his vision of makinga difference in life.  “I am trulydetermined to make my passion my purpose in life…”

Marco brought new and better opportunities for Davao’sfitness enthusiasts.  Earlier this year, he brought foreign fitness personalities to Davao to provide growth, progressive development and a good understanding onfitness education.  Happily, he conductedhis free fitnessseminars especially for the out of school youths of Davao City.

As a promoter of Mix Martial Arts, he invited the Malaysian International MMA referee,Kimberly Lee Tan, as the official referee for his recent MMA event for DUFC’s Fight Night 12 called “Thy KingdomCome— Labanan ng Matatapang” held last June16,2018 at the i.Flex Fitness Gym in Ma-a Davao City. The main event had fighters like Pepito Masangkay of team i.Flex Spartan fighting against the Indian Warrior Punyajit Likharu of Alex Alves Team BJJ Malaysia for the Super Fight Championship belt.It was the first time DUFC invited an international fighter to join the competition. The Indian community of Davao showed their support for their fellowman but the Davaoenowas the proclaimed winner.

The DUFC Champs Scooby Coquia Jr. and Steel Nacionales also won their bouts.Coquia is now training with the best team in the country called Team Lakay under the supervision of MMA coach Mark Sangiao; whileNacionales won Gold in a Sambo competition in Indonesia under the supervision ofcoach Paolo Tancontian.  Nacionales is presently in the United Arab Emirates to train internationally under the i.Flex Fitness.

Congratulations, Marco Tamayo and all his friends and supporters who have so generously given our Mindanao martial artists the opportunity to shine ever so brightly.



  1. Marco Antonio Tamayo, founder of Davao Urban Fighting Championship
  2.  Edilberto Coquia Jr., the youngest DUFC Champ  and Pride of Panabo City
  3. (L-R) Dr.Tabar,  Benjie Oliveros, URCC matchmaker Ron Catunao, Marco Tamayo, Rey Nacionales, Dr.Ronald Tangente
  4. (L-R) Paolo Tancontian raises the hand of Pepito Masangkay as DUFC winner of FIGHT NIGHT 12
  5. Punyajit Likharu of  New Delhi, India, a member of Team Alves REPS BJJ Malaysia


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