Mariano Jones made headlines after becoming the first mixed martial artist to go on record about enjoying sexual relations with transexuals earlier this year. But as well as being one of the very few advocates for the LGBTQ community within the sport he is also an active fighter and will be back in action on July 4th.
The sexually adventurous Cuban has been matched with Caloy Baduria in a middleweight fight URCC 86. He has won two fights out of two for the Manila based promotion and will be looking to extend his perfect professional record at the Xylo Nightclub next month.
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Jones (2-0) is coming off a stoppage win over Arvin Chan at URCC 84. In the buildup to the fight the two men exchanged words and the topic of the Cuban’s sexuality came up.
Jones came up with a retort which made headlines in the Philippines and endeared him to members of the LGBTQ community across the world. He declared during a press conference,
I f**k hot trans. So what?
It also opened him up to some ridicule in the Philippines. But Jones silenced the critics in the best possible way by stopping Chan in the second round. Afterwards the Filipino veteran announced he was retiring from the sport.
He has been matched with another experienced Filipino opponent at URCC 86. Baduria (11-6-1) first fought at URCC 2 in 2003. Ten year’s later he is still going strong and has fought 19 times for the promotion.
Baduria has previously challenged for both the URCC light heavyweight and heavyweight titles. But he has not fought since 2018, when he came up short in his bid to win the latter belt.
Jones might not have been competing for URCC for a decade like his opponent. But being so outspoken about an interest in transexuals in a conservative country like the Philippines is sure to get plenty of attention.
There have been numerous messages of support for Jones from all over the world. He has also encountered some hostility and is competing in a sport which isn’t always associated with tolerance and understanding.
But whether they want to cheer him on or see him lose people will definitely be tuning in to see the charismatic Cuban fight.