Fighting's new gold mine...the Philippines

With Europe taking many of the biggest boxing matches away from the U.S. could we see the same thing happen with mixed martial arts? By the looks of the UFC's promotional trip to the Philippines, you may see fewer pay-per-view events on U.S. soil in 2009 and beyond.

Chuck Liddell was the featured fighter on the trip. He's seen here visiting the Mall of Asia. We covered the UFC's trip to the Mall of America. The crowd in Minneapolis was impressive but it's blown away by the thousands who jammed the Filipino mall in Bay City.

UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta was fired up about the trip when he spoke with ABS-CBNNews:

"We're hoping that we can organize something for the summertime, maybe around May. But as I said before, there are a lot of things that goes into that, but definitely, we're going to be here in the Philippines as soon as we possibly could."

Liddell almost appears to be in fear for his safety. His recent knockout at the hands of Rashad Evans didn't seem to take away any of his luster for the fights fans in the Philippines. What must the crowd reaction and attention be like for Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao? We've heard his popularity in his home nation compared to that of Michael Jordan in the U.S. You know that you're a big star when your next fight is over three months away and there's a newspaper story seemingly every single day.

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