Vaughn Donayre wants to be ‘in your face’ at next month’s MMA event

Filipino fighter is scheduled to appear in the ONE Fighting Championship in Dubai and wants to be 'in your face' at next month's event, writes Ali Khaled.

Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Vaughn Donayre won seven professional fights in his native country and now trains in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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Ana Julaton may be better known, but she will not be the only Filipino fighter at the One Fighting Championship fight night in Dubai on August 29.

Vaughn Donayre, from Cebu, is one of the top lightweight fighters based in the UAE and next month’s big fight is set to push him even more into the world’s top tier.

“I turned professional in MMA in 2010,” he said after a training session at HM Fitness in Dubai. “I had seven fights in the Philippines and I was undefeated.”

Nine months ago he moved to Dubai and things immediately became more challenging.

“I came here, had two fights and lost one,” he said. “The quality of fighters abroad and here is much higher, but I’m so happy and excited to be part of One FC now.”

Training has gone as well as he had hoped.

“I came to Dubai to the Champions Club, which is a very high level club,” he said. “Facilities, training, fighting, everything is on a higher level. This is the most prepared that I can be.”

Though an all-round fighter, Donayre, 35, does have a preference.

“Back home I fell in love with jiu-jitsu. I actually won the gold in the Pan-Asian competition in 2010,” he said and then decided to become a professional.

“I like freestyle fighting. I like fighting as a whole not just standing up or on the ground. Whatever the fight brings me I’m ready for it.”

Donayre said he would be happy to take on anyone, but he might reconsider that now that his opponent has been named: the popular Syrian Mohammed Walid. “I’ll just fight the way I fight,” Donayre said. “I’m in your face. If he moves around too much, I’ll chase him.”

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