Bacolod-born Kru (Master) Vince Patrick Esteban Casa Soberano, the first and only Filipino-American to fight and win at both the Queen's and the King's Birthday on the same year in Bangkok, was recognized for his achievements in the ring by URCC Founder Alvin Aguilar during the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) 12 “Supremacy” held recently at the A. Venue Events Hall, Makati City.
Aguilar also honored Grandmaster Napoleon “Nap” A. Fernandez, Founder of the Filipino kicking art of Yaw Yan with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the event.
Soberano is best known in the Philippines for coaching China’s first professional MMA delegation to the Universal Reality Combat Championships (URCC) “Art of War” at the Araneta Coliseum, where all 4 Chinese fighters defeated the Filipino URCC champions.
Soberano’s latest conquest was the World Professional Muay Thai Federation (WPMTF) Super Middleweight title when he knocked out Jaipech of Thailand in the 1st round on February 13, 2008 at the Bangla Stadium, Phuket, Thailand (watch the match at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPMM_0Yz9zE).
When Soberano was 10, his father Atty. Joe Soberano brought him to Bangkok for a vacation. His father brought him to the Lumpini Stadium to watch a Muay Thai competition. The youngster persuaded his father to enroll him to a Muay Thai camp at a former prizefighter's garage the following day. The short vacation turned into a 3 months intensive training. Soberano spent his succeeding summers in Bangkok to master Muay Thai. He had his first bout at 13. Later, he moved to the US. He turned pro in 1990 in Las Vegas and opened his first Black Tiger Academy in San Diego the following year.
Soberano, a software engineer by trade, traveled from Orange County, California, USA to Beijing, China in 2004 on a work project for his previous software company. The following year he started his own software consulting company.
Also in 2005, he met Prof. Chet Quint, an American black belt in Gracie Jiu-jitsu and together they founded the Black Tiger Academy at 9F Jianwai Soho complex, Central Business District (CBD) of Beijing, China in mid 2006. The school population had grown to over a hundred students, mostly foreigners and expatriates, the succeeding years. Soberano and Quint are pioneers of Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in China respectively.
Soberano captured the World Professional Muay Thai Federation (WPMTF) Welterweight title by knocking out fighters from Hong Kong and Serbia and finally a Thai opponent with a devastating left hook and elbow in the 3rd round of the championship bout in that weight class during the King’s Cup held in honor of the Thai King on his 80th birthday on December 5, 2007 at the Suanlaam Park (in front of the Royal Palace), Bangkok, Thailand. The 2-day tournament was participated in by Muay Thai boxers from 50 countries and witnessed by more than 60,000 spectators.
He was crowned WPMTF lightweight (140 Lbs.) champion when he knocked out veteran Somchak of Thailand with a right hand in the 2nd round during the Queen's Birthday in August 2007, also in Bangkok, Thailand. 50,000 witnessed the fight.
He was also the 1995 World Muay Thai Association World Welterweight champion and the 1994 International Kickboxing League World Welterweight champion.
Most updated data on the internet place his Muay Thai/Kickboxing record at 30-2, Mixed Martial Arts at 8-2, and a total fight record of more than 64 amateur, professional, and unsanctioned bouts.
Soberano is an alumnus of the University of St. La Salle (USLS) Integrated School and is a film and telecommunications graduate from San Diego State University.