Kiko Matos is someone who is always up for a new challenge. After taking on a wide range of roles in various independent films, he is now taking mixed martial arts seriously.
On July 6, I had a sit-down interview with Matos at BAMF MMA Center in Parañaque, Metro Manila, where he regularly trains. After the interview, I watched him do his training and sparring and in the middle of the sparring match, I asked him about the MMA fighters he looks up to.
“Well, I’m really old school,” Matos told me. “I look up to Royce Gracie, Royce Gracie because of jiu-jitsu mainly. The guy wasn’t really athletic. He wasn’t really a puncher. He wasn’t a striker but it was all technique with jiu-jitsu. Other than him, Conor McGregor.”
I asked Matos about the upcoming superfight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Matos simply said he just wanted to see how the fight ends considering that an MMA fighter and a boxing champ are going to battle it out in a boxing match.
At the time, Matos was informed that he will be in the fight card of “URCC: XXX” on Aug. 12 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila, where the “Thrilla in Manila” fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier took place in 1975. However, it was only during the “URCC: XXX” press conference on July 25 at the Winford Hotel and Casino in Manila when it was announced that Billy Jack Sanchez will Matos’s opponent.
Also in the “URCC: XXX” fight card is Mark “Mugen” Striegl, who is making his URCC comeback. His opponent will be former former URCC Bantamweight Champion Andrew Benibe.
Watch my interview with Matos here: