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Meet the 13-year-old who raised the PH flag in an international MMA match in Abu Dhabi

A 13-year-old Filipina from Marikina took home a silver medal representing the Philippines during the IMMAF Youth Worlds Champoinship in Abu Dhabi.

New to the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) arena, Zoe Belize Tubiera, fought against Jagvi Pardeshi of India last August 17. She only started training last year.

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Zoe receiving her medal and a bouquet of flowers during the awarding ceremony

According to Zoe’s father, Kristopherson Tubiera, MMA was one of his chosen activities to get his children off from screens during the pandemic.

“Nagstart siya way back Feb 2021 before mag lock down. Tapos gusto ko lang sana namin exercise lang kasi para mabawasan ung screentime nila. Ayun hanggang sa naging automatic na lang sa kanila na nagtraining,” said Kristopherson Tubiera.

Since it was summer vacation, Tubiera shared that it gave them a window of opportunity to train for the competition.

“Nagkaroon sila ng maikling window for preparation sa competition like four hours sa morning and three hours sa gabi,” shared Tubiera.

As a father, he said he couldn’t be any prouder considering that her daughter has just barely began training for MMA. He said he hopes for Zoe to succeed in the arena.

“I hope syempre sana maging successful siya sa sports na yan. Kasi nandyan na sya eh. Funny thing nga kasi ayaw niya ng jiu jitsu pero dun sya lagi na pupunta and nag silver pa sa worlds. Sabi ko nga sa kanya mukang destiny mo talaga yan anak.. no matter how you escape it,” said Kristopherson Tubiera.

Zoe said she is happy to have won for the Philippines.

“Proud po kasi na represent ko yung country natin and I won kahit silver medal,” said Zoe Tubiera.

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Kristopherson and Zoe Tubiera

Both of them hopes to gain sponsors for her future fights and aims to bring home more medals for the country.

“Medyo hirap din kasi, sariling gastos hindi naman po kami mayaman. Also want to get the gold medal next year if may budget kasi pag gold ka tpos nsa podium ka they will play a part of national anthem, sobrang nkaka proud,” said Kristopherson Tubiera.



Justin Aguilar

Justin is a former TV News Reporter for ABS-CBN News in the Philippines where she covered news stories at Northern Luzon for their nationwide audience. Her news reports were featured in their TV and radio programs such as ANC, TV Patrol World, Umagang Kay Ganda, Bandila and DZMM Teleradyo. She moved to Dubai three years ago and served as an online host, Brand and Marketing Manager and Communications Executive before finding her way back to her passion which is writing stories that matters. She enjoys capturing people’s hearts by highlighting the excellence of Filipinos in her stories and bringing the latest updates to both OFWs and global readers of The Filipino Times. Want to share your story? Reach Justin on Facebook: or send your story at: [email protected]

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