New opportunities and a bright future for Alvin Ramirez


Four-time URCC title challenger Alvin Ramirez is seeking new opportunities in order to secure a brighter future.

Professional athletes–be it in basketball, football, or MMA–have a very small window of opportunity to make as much money as they can and make their mark before their bodies become incapable of performing at the highest level. When that window shuts, you either live off of what you’ve saved or invested in, or you take a job as an endorser, an analyst, or something else related to your sport.

Such opportunities post-fighting are rare, especially in the Philippine MMA scene. Fighters, even at their peak, do not make much money. Even the most high-profile Philippine-based fighters like ONE Championship’s Eduard Folayang or Brandon Vera aren’t seen driving expensive sports cars or moving into mansions. The simple truth is that fighting won’t set you up for life; it’s merely a stepping stone to hopefully start your own business or make money through other means (i.e. Vera is now going into movies). In other words: You likely won’t be able to save up for retirement solely by fighting.

Alvin Ramirez knows this. The fighter from Yaw-yan Buhawi in Marikina has been fighting for years and has even worked as a martial arts trainer in Malaysia. He’s started his own local MMA Apparel brand Kastigo Fightgear, and he’s always on the look out for new ways to augment his fighting career.

Knowing that his window of opportunity to make money as a fighter won’t stay open too long, he’s made a move that he hopes will pay off both during and after his fighting career. Ramirez has recently signed on as a management trainee for UFC GYM Philippines, which opens in Manila this year. It is one of his hopes that this new job brings him one step closer to fighting for the UFC, the world’s marquee MMA promotion.

“Masaya ako kasi UFC ‘to,” he told Dojo Drifter. “Although hindi ako lumalaban [para sa] UFC, baka pwede ko rin maging susi ‘to na makalaro ako sa promotion. Hindi natin masasabi.”

“Masaya dito kasi buhay ko na ang MMA eh, tapos mashe-share ko pa yung ‘Pinoy Style’ kickboxing ko sa mga tao, napro-promote ko din ang Pinoy Martial Arts,” he added.

The 24-year-old says he plans to continue his career as a fighter for URCC while pursuing work at UFC GYM Philippines. For him, this is a long-term move, as he can be “Coach Alvin” to his UFC GYM students even after he steps away from professional fighting.

“Sabi nga ng boss ko, pwede ako mag-turo, so yun yung magiging bread and butter ko after ng sa fight career ko. Coach ako, tawag nila sakin dito ‘Coach Alvin.’ Nakakatuwa nga eh,” Alvin said with a smile.

The fight game will not last forever, and the bright lights and the media coverage will one day pan out. Knowing this, Ramirez is making moves to secure a future where he can continue the fight in his own way.

“After ng fight career ko, siyempre eto na yung sunod na chapter ng buhay ko: magiging UFC Gym coach ako,” he shared. “Although undergrad ako sa college, yung resume ko naman sa pakikipaglaban, yung lahat ng hirap ko ba, worth it naman kasi may fallback din ako after ko makipagsuntukan.”

This article was written and edited by Mike Miguel and Gab Pangalangan.

Dojo Drifter Editors

Dojo Drifter Editors

Dojo Drifter is the Philippines' #1 MMA Website. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @dojodrifter
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