Vaughn Donayre on his ONE FC debut in Dubai: “My biggest inspiration is ONE FC itself”

ONE FC's Vaughn Donayre
ONE FC’s Vaughn Donayre

Former URCC top lightweight competitor Vaughn “The Spawn” Donayre is set to make the biggest fight of his life on August 29, 2014 against Mohammad Walid at One FC 19 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


The said show is historic as it is going to be One FC’s first-ever show outside South East Asia that will feature three much-anticipated title fights as Japanese title holders Shinya Aoki, Nobutatsu Suzuki, and Koji Oishi will defend their respective belts.

The 35-year-old Cebu City, Philippines native Donayre will be taking on Dubai FC’s Welterweight Champion Walid. Donayre is the no. 2 ranked lightweight in the Philippines behind Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang. He was undefeated during his stint in URCC, piling up six impressive victories.

“The Spawn” is a massive 155 pounder with menacing striking and grappling abilities. He can stop his opponents both on the feet and on the ground which makes him a very exciting fighter. He is now working and training in Dubai with Champion Club Fight Team.

Walid could be as dangerous as Donayre. He is 3-0 in his pro MMA career, stopping two of his opponents via rear naked chokes and one by way of first-round TKO.

The Syrian fighter comes from a family who is known for competing in various martial arts disciplines. He and his brother Khaled Walid, who is also a 2-0 MMA fighter and a BJJ brown belt train together under one gym run by their father.

MMA-in-ASIA spoke with Donayre during fight week in the lead up to his One FC debut.


MMA-in-ASIA: First off, how did you get into the sport?

Donayre: I hail from Cebu, originally fighting out of Yaw-Yan Ardigma and Deftac Cebu. I am currently fighting for the Champion Club Dubai. I grew up in an environment of the sport, my dad and my grandfather were martial artists.

MMA-in-ASIA: You were on a roll in the Philippines under the URCC banner. You were undefeated with five stoppages and a split decision win during your URCC campaign. What made you decide to leave the Philippines and work there in Dubai despite your successful MMA career in your home country?

Donayre: Let’s just say I wanted more. I want to chase the dream and back home, I wasn’t paid enough so I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to keep the dream alive.

MMA-in-ASIA: How is living and working in Dubai so far?

Donayre: It’s a blast man, I get to train, fight, and teach MMA. I’m surrounded by great people. I couldn’t be more happy.

MMA-in-ASIA: Can you tell us something about your team there?

Donayre: I fight under the Champion Club Fight Team. We are a Muay Thai and kick boxing-based team under Prince Amir, a 3 time World Kickboxing Champion.

MMA-in-ASIA: You had your first career loss couple of months ago against Australia’s Gokhan Turkyilmaz. Can you tell us a bit about that fight?

Donayre: It was a hard-fought battle. I specifically asked for him because of his experience with 25 fights. My game plan didn’t work that night and he came out with a UD win.

MMA-in-ASIA: Your next assignment is to take on the Dubai FC Champion Walid. What are your thoughts about him?

Donayre: It’s just another fight for me honestly. Walid is a welterweight, so this might be the first time I fight someone bigger than I am.

MMA-in-Asia: Right, this fight is going to be at a catch weight of 76 kgs. You’ve been fighting your entire career at 70 kgs. Do you think this will affect your performance come fight night?

Donayre: Well look at the bright side; I only have to lose 4kgs for this fight. I feel strong and explosive. I am going to hunt him down come fight night.

MMA-in-ASIA: How have you prepared for this fight?

Donayre: This is my 3rd fight this year so I’ve been very active. I’m working more on my conditioning and stamina to outlast my opponent.

MMA-in-ASIA: What is going on through your mind regarding your One FC debut?

Donayre: I’m very excited. I dreamed to fight for One FC since the organisation started and it’s going to come true on the 29th.

MMA-in-ASIA: What are your thoughts about the stacked One FC lightweight division and its champion Shinya Aoki?

Donayre: Oh man, the division I’m in is probably the toughest, that’s why you can’t be lazy or you’re going to get a bad ass whooping. Shinya has the experience and the skill set to beat anyone in the division.

MMA-in-ASIA: Who is your biggest inspiration for this fight and why?

Donayre: My biggest inspiration is One FC itself. I want to show them that they made the right decision by having me and giving me this opportunity to fight and represent my country the Philippines.

MMA-in-ASIA: What can fans expect from Vaughn Donayre on August 29 against Walid?

Donayre: I am going to come out with a bang!