- Ernesto Montilla Jr. will have his international MMA debut on March 17
- Montilla is set to face Tatsumitsu Wada at ONE Friday Fights 9
- ONE Friday Fights 9 will happen at the Lumpinee Boxing Satdium in Thailand
The long wait is finally over for Filipino mixed martial artist Ernesto Montilla Jr. See the article : South Africa’s Naval Exercise With Russia, China Raises Western Alarm. as he will finally get an opportunity to showcase his talent in front of a global audience.
Montilla is set to make his long-overdue debut on the international stage of the sport through ONE Championship’s “Friday Fights” weekly offering at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand next month.
The 30-year-old resident of San Pedro, Laguna in the Philippines has been plying his trade in the local circuit ever since he began his professional stint in 2012, gaining an outstanding reputation among die-hard fans with his aggressive striking and no-frills wrestling.
In addition, he owns an MMA record of 10-4 with six wins by submission and two via knockout.
Montilla has shared the stage with the who’s who of the Philippine flyweight scene, including Ruel Catalan, Jerome Wanawan, Roldan Sangcha-an, Jenel Lausa, Nilo Vidal, Jiar Castillo, Edilberto Coquia Jr., and the late Ale Cali.
It has been a difficult and uncertain road for Montilla, a former URCC flyweight champion and one-time PXC 125-pound title challenger who has been yearning for an international break.
“It’s somehow frustrating. I know for a fact that I am ripe to compete against the best that the MMA world can offer. I’ve fought athletes who are high level, and I’ve managed to exceed expectations because of my hard work and dedication. As you see, I’m still at this level,” he told the author of this article in 2020.
In 2022, Montilla was one of the 16 contestants who vied for an exclusive multi-fight contract worth $100,000 and a spot on the ONE Championship roster on the ONE Warriors Series Philippines reality television show.
However, he bowed out of the competition in its homestretch, citing lingering injuries he sustained from the grueling challenges.
After a number of unexpected detours throughout his career, Montilla has arrived at his desired destination.
In his first assignment under the organization’s banner, he will be squaring off with Japanese veteran Tatsumitsu Wada.
Wada, who holds a 24-12-2 standing, has been a staple of the outfit’s stacked flyweight division since 2018 and has faced the likes of Reece McLaren, Danny Kingad, Demetrious Johnson and Kairat Akhmetov.
“The Sweeper” is no slouch of an opponent for the debuting Montilla, but a huge payoff awaits the Filipino if he will walk out with his hand raised in triumph.
Montilla vs. Wada will be one of the key attractions for ONE Friday Fights 9 on March 17, featuring the rematch between Regian Eersel and Sinsamut Klinmee for the ONE lightweight Muay Thai championship in the main event.
On the same fight card, the legendary Sam-A Gaiyanghadao will make his illustrious return to take on Ryan Sheehan.
Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as Rappler.com, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times, Philboxing.com, MSN.com, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.