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‘This is ours’ - New ONE interim champion Geje Eustaquio dedicates title to fellow Filipinos

  Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena, Team Lakay flyweight Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio brought another championship back to the Philippines, as he bested former ONE flyweight world champion Kairat ‘The Kazakh’ Akhmetov by Unanimous Decision to become the new ONE interim flyweight champion. It was a true test for the Pinoy, who showcased his elite striking and his ever-improving grappling game to earn the judges’ nod after five rounds of action. “The feeling is unexplainable,” Eustaquio said during the post-fight press conference and talked about his teammates Honorio Banario and Eduard Folayang both having runs as ONE world champions. “Honorio had this before, Kuya Eduard had it, he defended it one time. We’re proud and I’m happy, the feeling is unexplainable because one more time, we have this one in The Land of The Orient Pearl.” As far as the Baguio City native is concerned, the new piece of hardware that he’ll be bringing back home to the famed Team Lakay gym isn’t solely his, rather it’s an honor he shares with everyone, from his team, his family, and also his fellow Filipinos. “Every fighter who stands in that cage, dreams to have this one, and I’m proud, with the people on my back, we have this, and one more time, this is not mine, this is ours.” “To all the Filipinos out there, this is ours, to the people who are there on my back since day one, this is ours.” added Eustaquio. “This is a product of team work, it’s not just Gravity who came up to the cage and grabbed this belt. It’s not about me, it’s about the people who stand in my back, its about the people who cheered, who go to Mall of Asia Arena, who watch on their TV in order for this sport to grow.” Along with former featherweight king Banario and former lightweight king Folayang, Eustaquio becomes just the third member of Team Lakay to bring home ONE gold. Furthermore, he becomes just the fourth Filipino to become a ONE world champion, including reigning ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera. This isn’t Eustaquio’s first dance for gold however, as he challenged for the vacant flyweight world title back in 2014, losing via submission to current champion Adriano Moraes. With the interim title in his possession, Eustaquio will soon get another crack at Moraes to unify their flyweight champsionships. When asked about his inevitable matchup with the reigning champ, Eustaquio’s response was simple. “If he’s ready, I’m ready. Rock and roll, let’s go.” Eustaquio said with his usual calm confidence. “As I said, I got the best in the business on my back, they can prepare me anytime, anywhere.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 29th, 2018

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio to defend title in Manila

ONE Championship's first of four trips to Manila in 2019 will feature Team Lakay star and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio defending his title against a very familiar opponent in former champion Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes.  The strawweight world title bout headlines ONE: Hero's Ascent set for Friday, January 25th at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.  This will be the third meeting between Eustaquio and Moraes after splitting their first two encounters, both times for the ONE Flyweight World Championship.  Moraes won the first bout in 2014 after submitting Eustaquio in the second round to capture ONE's inaugural strawweight title.  Eustaquio, who captured the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship in January of 2018, went on to win the second encounter in June of the same year, avenging his previous loss to Moraes with a split decision win to unify the titles.   The highly-anticipated grudge match could ultimately decide who will be waiting for the winner of the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix which begins in March in Tokyo, Japan.  Eustaquio will be the second world champion from the Philippines to defend his title in 2019, following teammate and reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio who is set to face Japanese challenger Yosuke Saruta on January 19th in Jakarta.  Another fellow Team Lakay star in Eduard Folayang has also been scheduled to put his ONE Lightweight World Championship up for grabs, taking on former champion Shinya Aoki in Tokyo this March as well. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 21st, 2018

ONE Championship: Mark Sangiao looks to carry over Team Lakay s success in 2019

2018 will be over and done in a few days, but it will be remembered as the banner year of the legendary Team Lakay.   Widely associated with the local mixed martial arts scene in the Philippines due to the big number of notable homegrown talents that it has produced since its inception in 2003, Team Lakay has reached new heights in 2018 as it now houses four world champions under the ONE Championship banner.   Since the beginning of the year, the legendary camp from Baguio City, Benguet has been on an extraordinary run in the organization.   Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio kicked off the year for Team Lakay by copping the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Kazakhstan’s Kairat Akhmetov in a rematch this past January.   Eustaquio was enshrined as the undisputed flyweight kingpin of the promotion five months later when he edged out Brazilian arch-nemesis Adriano Moraes in a world title unification bout.   It was followed by Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, who had his first taste of gold last July when he routed two-division titleholder Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen by way of clear-cut unanimous decision for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship.   Belingon became ONE Championship’s official bantamweight champion by defeating longtime division ruler Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes via split decision in their highly-anticipated title unification rematch last November.   Meanwhile, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio settled the score with Yoshitaka Naito in September, dethroning his Japanese rival by unanimous decision to bring home the ONE Strawweight World Championship.   Eduard Folayang joined Eustaquio, Belingon and Pacio in the cast of Team Lakay world titleholders, recapturing the ONE Lightweight World Championship at the expense of Singapore’s Amir Khan this past November.   Speaking on behalf of his teammates, Folayang believes that Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao played a pivotal role in their success.   “Coach Mark should have a belt,” Folayang said. “We are a good team because we have a brilliant and selfless coach who supports us all the way.”   At the peak of his professional career in 2010, Sangiao opted to hang up his gloves for good to focus on coaching Folayang and other members of Team Lakay.   Although he had to make the ultimate sacrifice of calling it a career at the age of 30, Sangiao disclosed that there is no tinge of regret in his decision, especially after seeing what his athletes have become.   “When I see these belts, I know that my sacrifice was worth it. I feel that I’m also a champion,” the Team Lakay headmaster stated. “I decided to retire eight years ago. I’m a positive guy, so I don’t regret my decision to retire. I’m very happy with it.”   Finishing their campaign with four world titles in ONE Championship, Sangiao acknowledges that 2018 is Team Lakay’s most successful year so far.   “It’s our biggest year. We won titles and received many awards this year. This is the result of our hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. These awards and titles are just the fruit of our hard labor,” he mentioned.   With the achievements that they are presently basking in, Sangiao conceded that not even in his wildest dream did he expect Team Lakay to be highly acclaimed in the sport or reach its present stature.   “When I started this group in 2003, I did not even think that it would get to this. All I thought at the time was that I liked what I was doing,” he remembered. “I am happy with the outcome of my passion.”   It appears that everything Team Lakay lays its hands on turns into gold, but for Sangiao, this is only the tip of the iceberg.   “It’s only the beginning. There is more to come. We look forward to defending our belts and prevailing as champions for a long time,” he declared.   Sangiao may be looking to carry over Team Lakay’s success into 2019, but he knows that it will be no walk in the park.   “We had an amazing run in 2018. With all of the titles that we won, we have a big target on our back. Tougher challenges await us next year. Like we always say, we will do our best,” he expressed.   Pacio, Eustaquio and Folayang are all booked to defend their respective world titles in the first quarter of 2019.   Team Lakay may have cemented its position as a global force in mixed martial arts in 2018, but Sangiao assured that he and his wards are not resting on their laurels.   "This is definitely the best year for us, but of course, we will not stop. We have to keep on improving and defend those belts,” he vowed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

2018 s most memorable bits of boxing

The sweet science is always a source of headlines in the sporting world, especially in a country that's full of fight fans like the Philippines. Over the last twelve months, we've seen comebacks, championships, and even a little controversy.  Here are some of the best bits of boxing from 2018!    PAC BACK ON TOP 2018 saw Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao once again claim world championship gold following a bitter and controversial loss to Jeff Horn in 2017.  Fighting in Asia for the first time since 2014, Pacquiao challenged reigning WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Champion Lucas "La Maquina" Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia back in July.  Billed as a durable, heavy-hitting brawler, Matthysse was supposed to be the one to threaten Pacquiao with a KO finish.  Instead, looking like the Pacquiao of old, it was the Filipino star who came out aggressive, landing bombs until finally scoring a seventh-round TKO finish, his first since 2009.  Just months shy of his 40th birthday, Pacquiao was a world champion for the eleventh time in his storied career.    THE BREAKUP Prior to Pacquiao's win over Matthysse, the Filipino boxer made headlines the world over after a split from long-time trainer and head coach Freddie Roach.  In April, months before Pacquiao's return to the ring against Matthysse, reports surfaced that Pacquiao, for the first time in over 15 years and 34 bouts, would not be working with the Hall of Fame trainer. According to various sources, the split stemmed from a disagreement between Pacquiao and Roach following the loss to Jeff Horn back in 2017.  Taking Roach's place as head trainer was Pacquiao's best friend, Buboy Fernandez, and judging from the result of the Matthysse bout, it paid dividends.  Still, the split didn't last too long.  Soon after Pacquiao's first WBA title defense against Adrien Broner was announced, both Pacquiao and Roach have confirmed that they will be working together once again.  This time however, Roach will be serving more of a consultant role, guiding Fernandez who remains as Pacquiao's head trainer.    CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS CANELO-GGG 2 In 2017, middleweight stars Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez went to an exciting 12-round draw that warranted a rematch in 2018.  In January, it was announced that the two warriors would square off once again in a Cinco de Mayo rematch. The rematch was put in jeopardy however, when Canelo tested positive for a banned substance in March. By April, the fight was off after the Mexican star decided to withdraw from the highly-anticipated rematch.  The fight eventually pushed through in September, with Alvarez picking up the majority decision win to hand Golovkin his first career loss, and more importantly claim the WBA (Super) and WBC Middleweight World Championships.  Three months later, Canelo would stop British boxer Rocky Fielding in the third round to capture the WBA (Regular) Middleweight World Championship as well.    ALL-FILIPINO For the first time in 92 years, two Filipino boxers faced off for a world championship when reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas defended his title against Jonas "Zorro" Sultan in California.  In the historic meeting, it was Ancajas who emerged victorious, defeating Sultan via unanimous decision as the reigning IBF 115-pound champ continued his run of dominance with five successful title defenses. Four months later, Ancajas would retain his world championship once again, but this time after figuring in a split draw against Mexican Alejandro Santiago.    DONNIE NIETES MAKES THE JUMP Speaking of all-Filipino bouts and going to a draw, Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte experienced both in just one bout.  Following a spectacular albiet short-lived run at Flyweight, which saw him capture and retain the IBF's 112-pound title, Nietes made the decision to move up to the 115-pound super flyweight division, where he'll be in the same pool as the big names like Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, and compatriot Jerwin Ancajas.  Nietes' debut bout at 115 however, would be against fellow Negrense in Palicte, and it would be for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Championship in September.  In what many believed as a win for Nietes, the 12-round bout went to a controversial split draw, that denied Nietes of the distinction of joining Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. as the only Filipinos to capture four world titles in as many divisions.  Nietes still has the chance to do that before the end of 2018 however, as he gets another shot at the title on New Year's Eve when he meets Japan's Kazuto Ioka in Macau.    BUD MOVES UP Following years of dominance at junior welterweight, Terence "Bud" Crawford also made the jump up to a heavier weight class, and immediately made a splash.  Facing off against WBO Welterweight World Champion Jeff Horn, Crawford announced his arrival at 140-pounds with a dominant TKO win over the Australian in June.  Four months later, Crawford successfully defended the title against Jose Benavidez Jr. with a 12th-round TKO victory.    FLASH FORWARD Nonito Donaire Jr's 2018 didn't start off as well as he would have wanted.  The Filipino Flash lost his April bout to Carl Frampton for the WBO Interim Featherweight World Championship, prompting questions regarding the former four-division world champion's future.  In a surprising move however, Donaire announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury. As a result, Donaire advanced into the next round of the tournament with the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship around his waist.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.    WILDER AND FURY GO TO WAR In one of the most talked-about heavyweight bouts in recent history, WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a 12-round war that ended in...surprise, surprise, a split draw. Fury used his movement and technique to dictate the pace over Wilder throughout the 12-round bout, but the reigning champion dropped the British challenger in the final round that led to the draw decision, setting up what could be another highly-anticipated rematch in the future. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018

Filipino star Kevin Belingon hailed as ONE Championship’s 2018 Warrior of the Year

2018 has been nothing but spectacular for Philippine-based mixed martial arts stable Team Lakay. The humble gym located in the La Trinidad, Benguet has, in 2018 alone, produced four world champions under the ONE Championship banner. Veteran Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio became the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion in Macau, China back in June, while young star Joshua “The Passion” Pacio captured the ONE Strawweight World Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia back in September. Arguably the biggest star in Philippine mixed martial arts today, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, became a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion after dominating Amir Khan in Manila,  Philippines back in early-December. Rounding out the four world champions from Team Lakay is none other than Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, who completed a long road to the ONE Bantamweight World Championship. While Eustaquio, Pacio, and Folayang all had impressive runs in 2018, Belingon’s year was arguably the most dominant. Already riding an impressive four-fight winning streak dating back to 2016, Belingon kicked 2018 off with a dominant performance over former world championship contender Andrew Leone, obliterating the American wrestler with a spinning back-kick heard ‘round the world. Many believed that Belingon had already earned another crack at the world championship, then held by Brazilian submission ace Bibiano Fernandes. Fernandes however, was still injured at the time and had no timetable for a return. Belingon instead drew Vietnamese-Australian two-division world champion Martin Nguyen - who was hunting for a third world title in as many divisions - for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship. In July at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Belingon and Nguyen squared off in an exciting five-round war and in the end, it was the faster Pinoy star who earned the unanimous decision nod. The win finally secured Belingon a rematch with Fernandes and a shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Championship. While Belingon has improved exponentially since their first encounter back in 2016, the Team Lakay star was considered an underdog. Fernandes, after all, had not tasted defeat since 2010, and was riding a five year reign as the ONE bantamweight king. Many have tried and all have failed to dethrone “The Flash” from his place atop the bantamweight division, Belingon included. At ONE: Heart of the Lion in Singapore however, Belingon made sure that history would not repeat itself. Banking on superior striking and a much-improved grappling skillset, Belingon survived multiple submission attempts and dictated the pace in the standup department for much of the five-round affair. In the end, Belingon earned the split decision nod, and had accomplished what no one else has in ONE Championship, and that’s defeat Fernandes. It was Belingon’s stellar 2018 campaign that earned him the nod for ONE Championship’s 2018 Warrior of the Year, beating out the likes of reigning ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang of Myanmar, reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, and Team Lakay stablemate and reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang. Of the four ONE world champions from Team Lakay, only Belingon has yet to be scheduled for a title defense, with all three of his brothers set to put their titles up for grabs in 2019. The smart money would be on a trilogy match with Fernandes for the title in 2019......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018

Kings of the World: Team Lakay s dominance highlights 2018 in Mixed Martial Arts

As always, 2018 offered up another year's worth of memorable moments from the world of mixed martial arts.  From the East to the West, the world's fastest growing sport found a way into sports headlines, and here are some of the biggest stories inside and out of the cage from the past twelve months.    "CHAMPIONS ARE NOT BORN, THEY ARE MADE" 2018 definitely belonged to famed Filipino mixed martial arts stable Team Lakay.  The humble La Trinidad, Benguet-based gym has established themselves as the top team in the Philippines for the past few years, but in 2018, they cemented their status as one of the best in the world.  Building off their elite-level striking skills and continuously-improving grappling accumen, the boys from Baguio City dominated Singapore-based MMA promotion ONE Championship, capturing four world championships in just a span of a single year.  Flyweight star Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Six months later, Eustaquio dropped the "interim" tag by defeating two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  After putting together a tremendous winning streak, young strawweight star Joshua "The Passion" Pacio earned a well-deserved rematch for the ONE Strawweight World Championship against two-time champion Yoshitaka "Nobita" Naito. Back in September, Pacio erased the bitter memory of his previous defeat against Naito two years prior by stifling the Japanese submission specialist with impeccable grappling defense to earn a unanimous decision win and capture the strawweight crown in Jakarta. Much like his stablemate Eustaquio, Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon had to go through two world champions to take his place at the top of the bantamweight division. After blasting former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April, Belingon dominated then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to become the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion and finally earn a long-awaited rematch with long-time bantamweight king Bibiano Fernandes. In November, Belingon did what no other man in ONE has done and defeated Bibiano Fernandes via split decision to become the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion, ending Fernandes' seven-year winning streak and five-year reign as ONE world champion.  Capping off Team Lakay's spectacular 2018 campaign was the return to glory of arguably the biggest homegrown MMA star in the country, Eduard "Landslide" Folayang. After losing his title twelve months prior, Folayang put on a masterclass against dangerous Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to once again capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  Outside the ONE Championship banner, another world champion from Team Lakay continues to reign, as BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen "The Sniper" Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.    THE TRUTH RETURNS Speaking of Filipino world champions, the biggest one of them all finally made his return in 2018.  After a two-year absence due to outside commitments, reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera made his way back to the cage, and his comeback was nothing short of explosive.  Taking on the hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila last December 7th, Vera needed only 64 seconds to dispatch Cerilli via knockout and remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    NOTORIOUS Conor "The Notorious" McGregor was arguably the biggest combat sports star of 2017, after crossing over to boxing and facing off against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the year's biggest combat sports event.  In 2018, the Notorious one was all over the headlines once again.  In April of 2018, McGregor was stripped of the UFC Lightweight World Championship due to inactivity.  Earlier that month, the Irish star was at the forefront of a backstage melee during the UFC 223 media day in Brooklyn, New York that saw McGregor hurl a dolly at a bus full of fighters, leading to a number of minor injuries. McGregor would later be slapped with charges due to the attack.  In August, it was announced that McGregor would be making his return to the Octagon to challenge reigning lightweight king Khabib "The Eagle" Nurmagomedov, who was the initial target of McGregor's backstage bus attack earlier that year.     "I COME FOR SMASH THIS GUY" The drama-filled leadup to the UFC Lightwieght World Championship bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor made it no doubt one of the most anticipated matches of the year, and when the two were finally locked inside the Octagon, it didn't disappoint.  Nurmagomedov ultimately imposed his will, grounding McGregor for three rounds, before finishing the Irishman off in the fourth round with a rear-naked choke to remain unbeaten and retain the UFC's 155-pound strap.  What happened after, however, overshadowed everything that came before it.  After forcing McGregor to tap out, Nurmagomedove scaled the Octagon fence and jumped out to the crowd to confront Dillon Danis, McGregor's grappling coach.  It didn't take long for mayhem to ensue, as chaos broke out inside and out of the cage.  Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor have been suspended indefinitely, with the final hearing, which will decide the fate of the two fighters, expected to take place this month.    THE HOME OF MARTIAL ARTS Since ONE Championship's inception in 2011, it has primarily operated as a mixed martial arts promotion. In the past years, ONE has put on grappling superfights and special martial arts bouts.  In 2018 however, ONE took it to a whole new level by introducing the ONE Super Series back in April, which features Muay Thai and kickboxing bouts.  The new wrinkle has attracted some of the world's best strikers, including Giorgio Petrosyan, Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, Andy Souwer, Cosmo Alexandre, and many more.  ONE also dipped their foot in boxing, bringing in reigning WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai as the headliner for ONE's October card in Bangkok, where he successfully defended his title against Mexican challenger Iran Diaz in front of a raucous hometown crowd at the Impact Arena.    "DC" ALSO STANDS FOR "DOUBLE CHAMP"  No other fighter has had a better 2018 than Daniel "DC" Cormier.  After being named the UFC Light Heavyweight World Champion after Jon Jones tested positive for banned substances during their 2017 title bout, Cormier successfully defended the 205-pound belt against Volkan Oezdemir.  Six months later, Cormier jumped up to heavyweight and shocked the world by knocking out the once-dominant champion Stipe Miocic to become just the fifth two-division world champion and the second simultaneous two-division world champion in UFC history.  In November, DC made even more history by becoming just the first fighter in UFC history to successfully defend world titles in two weight divisions after submitting Derrick Lewis in the second round.    BIG STARS HEAD EAST Asian mixed martial arts giant ONE Championship made worldwide MMA news in 2018 after snagging a handful of big name talents in former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez, former long-time UFC Flyweight World Champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, and former UFC lightweight and welterweight standout  "Super" Sage Northcutt.  Alvarez and Northcutt signed with ONE after their UFC contracts had expired, while Johnson made his way to ONE via the first-ever trade in MMA history, which sent former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben "Funky" Askren to the UFC.  All three stars are set to make their debuts in 2019.  Aside from bringing in top-tier athletes, ONE also brought in another big name to fill an executive spot, with former UFC and Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight World Champion Miesha Tate coming in as a Vice President. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2018

Catriona Gray s Miss Universe win inspires Filipina warrior Rome Trinidad

Filipina mixed martial artist Rome "The Rebel" Trinidad has a newfound inspiration in Catriona Gray, who was crowned Miss Universe 2018 last Monday, 17 December in Bangkok, Thailand.   The 24-year-old Filipina beauty queen bested 93 other candidates from all over the world, standing out for her signature "lava" catwalk, which made headlines in the news around the globe and trended on social media.   “Catriona is truly an inspiration for us women. She is a living proof that anything is possible through hard work,” Trinidad said.   A familiar face in the Philippine modelling world, Gray is also a martial artist, singer, and advocate of free education and HIV/AIDS awareness.   Touted by both casual and long-time pageant followers as a shoo-in for the crown, she represented the Philippines in the Miss World 2016 pageant but failed to bag the crown, settling for Top Five.   Two years later, Gray won the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 trinket, making her the country's delegate to Miss Universe 2018.   Gray's impact to women is undeniable as it motivates the likes of Trinidad to go the extra mile when it comes to chasing her dream.   "She didn’t give up on her dream. Failures didn’t stop her to reach for her ultimate goal. It is empowering to have a fellow Filipina like Catriona Gray," she stated.   "We belong to a totally different kind of fields, but seeing her succeed boosts my morale and inspires me to pursue my dreams just like her."   2018 has been a big year for the Philippines, especially in the world of combat sports, where six of its celebrated athletes copped gold on the international stage.   Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao claimed the WBA Welterweight World Championship, stopping Argentina's Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round last July.   Meanwhile, the Philippines established the unprecedented record of most mixed martial arts world title wins in the history of ONE Championship this 2018, courtesy of Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio and Brandon Vera.   Trinidad, a professional model before she ventured into the mixed martial arts scene, is more motivated now than ever after witnessing how far the Philippines has gone in 2018.   She believes that hard work is in a Filipino's DNA, commending her countrymen for the tremendous amount of effort and dedication that they exerted in their respective fields.   "Seeing the Philippines excel in the worlds of boxing, mixed martial arts and beauty pageant is a big motivation," Trinidad shared.   "Our boxing hero Manny Pacquiao became a world champion again this year. In mixed martial arts, the country ended the year with five ONE World Champions. To top it off, Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018."   Trinidad was last seen in action this past May when she took on Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol  ONE: GRIT & GLORY, yielding to the Indonesian hometown hero by way of first-round submission.   Although her 2018 did not turn out the way she wanted it to be, the nation’s banner year in combat sports and beauty pageant fuels Trinidad to strive even harder as she aims to carve her own success story next year.   "2018 proved to be a year of success for the Philippines. I am drawing inspiration from that success as I open a new chapter in 2019. Like them, I am not giving up. I will be back stronger than ever,” she vowed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2018

Team Lakay big winners at 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards

Filipino mixed martial arts stable Team Lakay were big winners at the 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards, Thursday evening at the JW Marriot in Singapore The night's big winners. Congratulations to @efolayang, Coach @MarkSangiao Joshua Pacio and the rest of @TeamLakay. Huge 2018 for these guys, and it could get even bigger by the end of the year. | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/rfP5FsE0Ks — Santino Honasan🎈 (@honasantino) November 8, 2018 Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang was honored as the Martial Arts Hero of the Year at the 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards, Thursday evening in Singapore.  The Team Lakay star beat out fellow world champions and MMA stars such as Angela Lee, Aung La N Sang, Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo, Martin Nguyen, and Tenshin Nasukawa for the most prestigious award of the night.  Martial Arts Hero of the Year @efolayang accepts his award and addresses the audience at the 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards in Singapore | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/mtv6ruNDBR — Santino Honasan🎈 (@honasantino) November 8, 2018 "I believe this award represents the start and beginning of a neverending journey of discipline, hard work, perseverance, and pushing for an even higher standard," said Folayang.  2018 has been a solid year for the Filipino martial arts hero, who has won two straight to earn another shot at the world title that he first captured back in 2016.  Folayang has the massive opportunity to end the year on an even higher note as he meets Singaporean star Amir Khan for the vacant ONE Lightweight World Championship in Manila on November 9th. The Benguet-based gym also took home Gym of the Year honors, beating out other world-class gyms such as AKA, American Top Team, Evolve MMA, Tiger Muay Thai, Tribe Tokyo MMA, and TriStar.  Members of Team Lakay, including Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, and Joshua Pacio present to accept their Gym of the Year Award. | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/URUUvVTKKf — Santino Honasan🎈 (@honasantino) November 8, 2018 Team Lakay has had quite the banner year, producing three world champions in 2018 alone, with Geje Eustquio becoming the ONE Flyweight World Champion, Joshua Pacio capturing the ONE Strawweight World Championship, and Kevin Belingon winning the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship. Much of Team Lakay's success can be credited to head coach Mark Sangiao, who was named Coach of the Year over legendary mentors such as Duane "Bang" Ludwig of Bang Muay Thai, Firas Zahabi of TriStar, George Hickman of Tiger Muay Thai, Javier Mendez of AKA, Mike Brown of American Top Team, and Ryo Chonan of Tribe Tokyo.  Coach Mark Sangiao accepts his Coach of the Year Award | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/xJFCtnfPqV — Santino Honasan🎈 (@honasantino) November 8, 2018 Joshua Pacio nabbed Submission of the Year for his stunning first-round submission victory over Pongsiri Mitsatit in Manila.  Dubbed as the "Passion Lock", the modified  keylock earned Pacio another shot at the ONE Strawweight title which he successfully captured last September in Jakarta. Joshua Pacio of Team Lakay accepts his Submission of the Year award | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/n5zXk8cAvv — Santino Honasan🎈 (@honasantino) November 8, 2018 Other winners include Aung La N Sang for Male Athlete of the Year, Angela Lee for Female Athlete of the Year, Brian Ortega for Knockout of the Year, and Aung La N Sang versus Ken Hasegawa for Bout of the Year.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2018

ONE Championship: Kevin Belingon determined to change World Champion status from ‘interim’ to ‘undisputed’

Filipino spitfire Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon is due to lock horns with Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes in a highly-anticipated bantamweight title unification bout at ONE: HEART OF THE LION, set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 9 November. Belingon and Fernandes first squared off inside the ONE Championship cage in January of 2016, with the latter pulling off a quick submission victory, but the Team Lakay man now has his long-awaited shot at redemption. “I am super excited. Finally, the long wait is over, and now I’m fighting Bibiano Fernandes for the undisputed bantamweight title. Ever since the night I lost to him the first time in China, this moment has been all that I have looked forward to,” Belingon stated. Since yielding to Fernandes over two years ago, the 31-year-old native of Kiangan, Ifugao steamrolled six top contenders in ONE Championship’s talent-filled 65.8-kilogram weight class. This includes a match that, in theory, he did not have to accept, but one which undoubtedly secured him a date with his Brazilian rival. In front of his home crowd in July, Belingon defeated two-division world champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen via unanimous decision to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title. “Every opponent, every challenge that I have faced since then, has brought me here. This is what I have worked extremely hard for,” Belingon stated.  “This is a career-defining bout for me. I am laser-focused on coming into this fight in the best shape ever, and I am working hard on my preparations.” Belingon feels that his journey to this point has been worthwhile, and now that he has a belt around his waist, he wants to unify the world titles and avenge the defeat. “He has been on my mind for more than two years now,” he explained. “I have upgraded my skills where necessary. This time around, things will be different. I am a completely different fighter. I know the mistakes I made in the first bout. This is my chance to erase that memory.” With another opportunity to showcase his maturity as a competitor, Belingon hopes to join Team Lakay comrade Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio as one of the few athletes under the promotion’s banner to unify two world titles to become an undisputed champion. “I know that nothing will get easier, and I have to work twice as hard to prepare for the biggest bout of my life. I am driven to become the undisputed champion on the 9th of November.  “See you inside the cage, Bibiano,” he ended......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 1st, 2018

Rematch Kings: Team Lakay continues to reign supreme in high-stakes rematch situations

One of the things that the past year has proven is that Team Lakay knows how to make the most of a second opportunity, even more so when the stakes are at their absolute highest.   In 2018, the Benguet-based warriors have found themselves in rematches with championships on the line thrice, and each time, they have come out with gold wrapped around their waists. Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio kicked off the year with a rematch against former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat Akhmetov in January, a do-over of their controversial 2017 meeting that saw Akhmetov win via split decision. With the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship on the line in their second encounter, Eustaquio bested Akhmetov via unanimous decision to avenge his 2017 loss, but more importantly become a world champion for the first time. In June of the same year, Eustaquio found himself in yet another rematch, this time against then-reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes in a title-unification bout. Again, when it mattered most, Eustaquio pulled out all the stops and outworked Moraes en route to a five-round unanimous decision victory to leave Macau, China as the new undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion. “They say victory is sweeter the second time around,” said Eustaquio, who has earned the moniker of “The King of the Rematch”, “In my case, I usually perform better and come out victorious in rematches because I’ve already gotten a feel for my opponent.” “I also believe that my development is faster than that of my opponent, which is why I outperform them when we share the cage again,” he added. The flyweight star has won all three of his career rematches so far, including one non-title rematch against Thailand’s Anatpong “Mak” Bunrad. But it is not just Eustaquio who has found success the second time around. Just last 22 September in Jakarta, Indonesia, strawweight star Joshua “The Passion” Pacio triumphantly avenged the first loss of his career by edging out Japanese grappling sensation Yoshitaka Naito via unanimous decision after five rounds to be crowned the new ONE Strawweight World Champion. It was a rematch of their 2016 encounter for the strawweight title, which resulted in a third-round submission win for Naito. Before the year comes to a close, one more Team Lakay member will figure in his own rematch with a world championship at stake. Hoping to follow in his teammates’ footsteps is reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, who meets reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes in a title-unification bout at ONE: HEART OF THE LION on Friday, 9 November in Singapore. More than finally capturing a world title, Belingon is determined to even the score with Fernandes, who was dominant in their first encounter back in 2016. “I am super excited. Finally the long wait is over, and now I’m fighting Bibiano Fernandes for the undisputed bantamweight title. Ever since the night I lost to him the first time in China, this moment has been all that I have looked forward to,” Belingon expressed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2018

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang gets ONE Lightweight World Championship shot in Manila this November

Team Lakay lightweight star Eduard Folayang will have the opportunity to become a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion when meets Singaporean Amir Khan for the vacant world title on ONE Championship's November card in Manila.  ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong took to Facebook to make the massive announcement regarding lightweight crown.  "I am excited to announce that Eduard Landslide Folayang and Amir Khanwill face each other for the ONE Lightweight World Championship on November 23 in Manila!" Sityodtong's post read. "The stakes could not be any higher for both warriors in what will be the biggest fight of their careers. Eduard wants to reclaim his title and go down as the greatest Filipino martial artist in history. Amir wants to become Singapore's first homegrown World Champion in history, and stamp his legacy as the greatest Singaporean martial artist the world has ever seen." The announcment comes just days after it was revealed that two-division champion Martin Nguyen was forced to relinquish the title after an injury left him unable to defend the title.  (READ: Martin Nguyen relinquishes ONE Lightweight World Championship) The 33-year old Folayang first captured the ONE title back in 2016 with a third-round destruction of long-time champion and Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki in Singapore. Folayang would lose the title to Nguyen a year later.  The Team Lakay star is currently riding a two-fight winning streak with back-to-back unanimous decision wins over a pair of gritty Russian grapplers.  The 23-year old Khan on the other hand, is coming of an impressive first-round submisison win over Folayang's Team Lakay teammate Honorio Banario in Shanghai, China back in early-September. Khan is also currently riding a two-fight winning streak and will be challenging for the world title for the first time in his career.  Sityodtong also clarified the decision to have Folayang and Khan battle for the title instead of putting it up for grabs during the upcoming lightweight title-eliminator bout between former champion Aoki and former world title challenger Ev Ting set for October 6th in Bangkok, Thailand.  "On a related note, we did debate making the October 6 bout between Ev Ting and Shinya Aoki a world title bout, but decided against it. They have both spent months preparing for a 3 round non-title fight, and it would have been unfair to ask them to do a 5 round title fight on such short notice." He would go on to announce that the winner of the Folayang-Khan contest will face the winner of the Aoki-Ting with the world title on the line in Japan in 2019.  "Barring any injuries or unforeseen circumstances, I fully expect the winner between Ev and Shinya to face the winner between Eduard and Amir in Tokyo." A win for Folayang on November could mean Team Lakay's fourth undisputed world championship in 2018. Geje Eustaquio is the current reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion, while Joshua Pacio captured the ONE Strawweight World Championshp just last September in Jakarta.  ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon will have the chance to unify the titles when he takes on Bibiano Fernandes in Singapore on November 9th.  By the end of 2018, Team Lakay's trophy case could very well be laden with ONE world championship gold. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 1st, 2018

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio looks to finally bring home world title

Team Lakay young gun Joshua "The Passion" Pacio will try to bring home a world title for the second time in his young career as he meets Yoshitaka "Nobita" Naito in a highly-anticipated rematch for the ONE Strawweight World Championship at ONE: Conquest of Heroes on Saturday, September 22nd at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia.  The 22-year old Benguet native looks to finally get over the hump as he tries to avenge his loss to the Japanese champion.  In their first meeting in 2016, Pacio showed that he belonged in the cage with the best strawweights that ONE had to offer, pushing Naito to the limit before comitting a costly mistake in the third round that gave the defending champion the opening he needed to secure the submission victory and retain the crown.  Since then, Pacio has won four of his last five bouts, including his current three-fight winning streak and a hard-fought decision win against former titleholder and Muay Thai legend Dejdamrong Sor Amuaysirichoke. Naito on the other hand, lost the title in his second defense against Brazilian Alex Silva, only to win it back just six months later.  A win for Pacio will make him the third current ONE titleholder from Team Lakay, joining reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio.  A win for Naito solidifies his place as the king of ONE Championship's flyweight division.  Also on the card, Pacio's training partner and flyweight contender Danny "The King" Kingad welcomes Japanese newcomer Yuya "Little Piranha" Wakamatsu to the ONE Championship stage.  Another rising star from the famed Team Lakay camp in La Trinidad, Benguet, 22-year old Kingad comes into Jakarta with his sights set on a third consecutive win after dispatching Ma Hao Bin and Sotir Kichukov. He looks to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in the flyweight ranks.  Making his promotional debut, the 23-year old Wakamatsu with a 10-2 professional record and a remarkable nine wins coming via KO. The Pancrase veteran will look to make an immediate impact and add Kingad to that list of knockout victims.  In a must-watch prelminary bout, unbeaten Filipina atomweight star Jomary "The Zamboanganian Fighter" Torres will look to keep her record spotless as she meets hometown bet Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol.  Torres shocked the world in her ONE debut in 2017, blasting Thai star Rika Ishiga en route to a submission victory. Torres hasn't slowed down since, decisioning Nita Dea and then knocking out Team Lakay bet April Osenio in her most recent outing.  Eager to bounce back from her most recent setback, Jakarta's own Gaol will try to derail the Jomary Torres train in front of her home country.    COMPLETE ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES   Main Event ONE Strawweight World Championship Yoshitaka Naito vs Joshua Pacio Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg   Stefer Rahardian vs Peng Xue Wen Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg   Sergio Wielzen vs Rodtang Jitmuangnon ONE Super Series Muay Thai: 61.2kg   Yuya Wakamatsu vs Danny Kingad Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg   Koyomi Matsushima vs Marat Gafurov Mixed Martial Arts: 70.3kg   Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev vs Timofey Nastyukhin Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg   Kairat Akhmetov vs Ma Hao Bin Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg   Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol vs Jomary Torres Mixed Martial Arts: 52.2kg   Fabrice Fairtex Delannon vs Yodpanomrung Jitmuangnon ONE Super Series Muay Thai: 65.8kg   Victorio Senduk vs Sunoto Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg   Adrian Mattheis vs Angelo Bimaodji Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg   Riski Umar vs Egi Rozten Mixed Martial Arts: 59.0kg (Catch Weight)       Catch ONE Championship: Conquest of Heroes on Saturday, September 22nd at 10:30 PM LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2018

ONE: No More Detours - Kevin Belingon wants Bibiano Fernandes next

Six years since his ONE Championship debut, Team Lakay’s Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon is finally a World Champion in the martial arts promotion. At ONE: REIGN OF KINGS last 27 July, in front of a partisan pro-Philippines crowd at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Belingon defeated reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin ‘The Situ-Asian’ Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship. For Belingon, it was a childhood dream come true. “I can’t explain this feeling. I’m the happiest athlete tonight,” Belingon said during the post-match interview. “Thank you to all the people who came out to support me, and of course to ONE Championship, my team, my coaches and trainers, and my teammates,” With the win, Belingon becomes the fifth Filipino to capture ONE World Championship gold, as he joins reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon ‘The Truth’ Vera, as well as Team Lakay stablemates in reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard ‘Landslide’ Folayang, and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio ‘The Rock’ Banario. And while making history as a world champion is indeed a prestigious feat, even more important for Belingon is that he’s finally secured his spot as the next person to challenge reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano ‘The Flash’ Fernandes. Fernandes is currently recovering from an injury, and when the most dominant champion in ONE Championship history finally returns, Belingon will be right there, waiting for his rematch. (READ ALSO: No longer just a contender, Kevin Belingon has more surprises in store for Bibiano Fernandes) “I respect [Bibiano] as a champion, but we are in the same weight class, and I am the top contender, so there is no escape in facing me. I hope you recover fast, and that we can make the fight this year.” Belingon said. Belingon and Fernandes first shared the cage back in January of 2016 at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS, in Changsha, China, with Fernandes retaining the title via a first-round submission win. The loss did nothing but fuel Belingon’s world championship dreams even more, and the road back to the championship picture was a long one for the 30-year old, who had to run through a gauntlet of former world title contenders and a two-division champion in a just under two years. Currently riding six straight victories dating back to October of 2016, Belingon has taken out the likes of Toni Tauru, Reece ‘Lightning’ McLaren, Andrew Leone, and Nguyen, pretty much a who’s-who in ONE Championship’s bantamweight division. “I have faced many tough opponents leading up to this interim title, and I believe I have earned my spot to face Bibiano again,” Belingon said in an interview with ONE Championship’s official website. Now, the Baguio City native has his sights firmly set on Fernandes and the ONE Bantamweight World Championship. Nothing else, no one else. “I am looking forward to our rematch. No more detours. Bibiano should be next, and I fully expect to be facing him soon.” Surely, ‘soon’ can’t fast enough for Belingon, but the reality is that he’ll have to wait for Fernandes to be cleared to compete. In the meantime however, the newly-crowned interim champion could use some time off as well, to heal up before getting back to business. He is, after all, coming off a tough five-round main event. “Right now, I am just focused on resting and healing my body. I am pretty banged up. My ankle and shin are bruised, and they need time to recover,” Belingon said. “Once everything is good to go, then I will be back in training. But for now, I am going to enjoy the rest. It still has not sunk in that I am a World Champion.” He continued. While indeed, the record books will show that Belingon has already held world championship gold, the Filipino star knows in himself that there’s still one more bit of work to be done, and that’s to avenge his loss to Fernandes and become the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion. “Until I beat Bibiano, [however], I will always feel like there is unfinished business to take care of.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018

ONE: Kevin Belingon s world title win is the product of team effort from Team Lakay

Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena, Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon became the latest member of Team Lakay to capture a world championship by defeating two-division titleholder Martin Nguyen in the main event of ONE: Reign of Kings to win the ONE Championship Interim Bantamweight World Champion. And while it was Belingon who did the work inside the cage, the win wasn’t just his, rather it was all of the Philippines’ and of course, Team Lakay's. As former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang explained, Belingon’s win was the result of team effort. “Masayang-masaya ako kasi na-predict ko na yan noon pa eh, talagang mananalo si Kevin,” Folayang said during the post-fight press conference. “Of course, because you can see that we worked very hard and of course, smart on our preparation, talagang we helped each other.” Nguyen is, of course, a familiar opponent for Team Lakay, with Folayang having faced the Viet-Aussie star back in 2017. “Kung ano yung pwede naming ibigay na advice or time na maibibigay sa kasama namin, preparing for a fight, we give it.” Folayang continued. With Belingon’s interim title win, he becomes the fourth member of Team Lakay to hold ONE World Championship gold, joining Folayang, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario, and reigning ONE Championship Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio. Add reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera to that list, and you have all five world champions representing the Philippines, making it the country with the most world title wins in ONE Championship's seven-year history.  The way Folayang sees it, there’s more on the way. “I think this is one of the memorable moments of our team, because, hindi ko alam, malapit na yata namin kunin lahat [ng championships].” the former lightweight king said playfully. And while what Folayang said was in jest, it isn’t wrong by any means. Friday night’s ONE card had two other winnner from the famed Benguet-based MMA stable, as Folayang decisioned Russian newcomer Aziz Pahrudinov, while former strawweight title contender Joshua Pacio steamrolled through Thailand’s Pongsiri Mitsatit in just one round. Both Folayang and Pacio are riding winning streaks, and both are inching their way closer to title contention. “If ONE Championship or sir Chatri [Sityodtong] will give me the opportunity to face Yoshitaka Naito, why not.” Pacio said at the presser. Should it push through, it would be Pacio’s second go-around with Naito after losing to the reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion back in 2016. If everything goes according to plan for Team Lakay, they could have two, even three more world championships coming back home to La Trinidad pretty soon......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2018

Riding high again, Team Lakay lauded by ONE chairman as best team in Asia

At the end of 2017, Benguet-based MMA stable Team Lakay found themselves on a bit of a downslide. After riding high for the latter part of 2016 and most of 2017, the team absorbed a number of bitter losses, including the KO loss that cost Eduard Folayang his ONE Championship Lightweight world title. Now, a little over seven months into 2018, Team Lakay is once again reaching new heights. 2018 saw flyweight star Geje Eustaquio become the interim flyweight world champion in January, and then unify the titles against Adriano Moraes in June. Friday at ONE: Reign of Kings in Manila, Team Lakay gained another world champion in bantamweight knockout artist Kevin Belingon, who defeated two-division world champion Martin Nguyen to become the interim ONE Championship Bantamweight World Champion. Team Lakay is also home to reigning BRAVE FC Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman. Already with three current world champions in their stable, it’s highly likely that there’s more to come. Former champions Folayang and Honorio Banario are currently tearing it up in the lightweight division, and both of them are very much in the title picture. Strawweight standout and former title contender Joshua Pacio is on a solid streak of his own, with three straight wins via stoppage. The 22-year old could be getting another crack at the championship again soon. While names like Edward Kelly, Danny Kingad, Gina Iniong, and April Osenio are also all part of the top-tier of their respective divisions. It’s shaping up to be yet another banner year for Team Lakay, and head coach Mark Sangiao saw it coming. After all, bouncing back isn’t anything new for the Philippines’ most prestigious MMA team. “Mayroon yung mga time, nasabi ko nung huli, nung unang mga ONE, matatalo kami ng 0-5, pero pinilit namin.” Coach Mark said during the post-fight press conference, Friday evening. “Tinignan namin talaga yung mga kulang, yung mga weak side nila, tapos na-improve hanggang sa bumawi kami, same with sa 2016.” 2016 saw Team Lakay go on a 16-fight winning streak, and then in November of that year, Folayang captured the ONE lightweight crown after dethroning long-time champion Shinya Aoki. “Tapos pumunta sa 2017, medyo may mga nag-pabaya.” Sangiao bared. “Nasabi ko nung huli na babalik yung team na mas-malakas pa.” True enough, Team Lakay has managed to bounce back and has gained even more prestige in the last couple of months. In fact, ONE Championship founder and chairman Chatri Sityodtong has even gone so far as to say that he believes Team Lakay is the best team there is in Asia. “ I have massive respect for all fight teams, but I believe there is no question that Team Lakay is now the #1 fight team in Asia today.” Sityodtong said in a Facebook post. “Despite a very modest budget and limited resources, Mark Sangiao has produced one of the best fight teams in the world. Every fighter on Team Lakay is a genuine monster with outstanding skills, unlimited cardio, and extraordinary gameness.” High praise from the head honcho himself, and the owner of Evolve MMA in Singapore, another one of Asia's most talent-laden MMA stables. With all the success that the team is enjoying now, it’s up to them to keep the momentum going. They've been low, and now they're on a high. There's no doubt that they possess the talent, the skills, and the heart to go even higher......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2018

Belingon dominates Nguyen for ONE interim bantamweight belt

Kevin Belingon added another golden strap to the mythos of Team Lakay after dominating Martin Nguyen for five rounds to earn the ONE interim bantamweight title Friday at Mall of Asia Arena. The 30-year-old Belingon joined ONE flyweight champion Geje Eustaquio as current titlists under Team Lakay, which had Honorio Banario and Eduard Folayang as former holders of ONE Championship gold. "To my team this is an honor and this is a great feeling," said Belingon. "And I'm a champion." "I trained hard for this fight to get this belt and I'm proud to say I'm one of the champions in the Philippines with Geje and [heavyweight champion] Brandon [Vera]." Belingon continued to stuff N...Keep on reading: Belingon dominates Nguyen for ONE interim bantamweight belt.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 27th, 2018

ONE: Kevin Belingon targeting history against Martin Nguyen as well

If making history as the first three-division world champion in mixed martial arts is what Martin Nguyen is after in his highly-anticipated encounter against Kevin Belingon, the Filipino spitfire could likewise establish a new record for the Philippines in ONE Championship should he win over his Vietnamese-Australian foe. Both men are slated to face each other in the main event of ONE: REIGN OF KINGS, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on July 27. ONE Championship has raised the stakes of the scheduled five-round clash between Belingon and Nguyen as the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship will be up for grabs. If Belingon succeeds in securing the gold-plated strap at the expense of Nguyen, the Philippines will set a record of most championship wins in the seven-year history of the promotion. “The main goal for Filipino martial arts athletes like me is to bring pride, honor and glory to our country. This match against Marin Nguyen on July 27 is another opportunity to hoist the Philippine flag aloft on the world stage of this beautiful sport,” he said. To date, there have been four Filipino world champions under the ONE Championship banner since 2013. Honorio Banario became the first Philippine-rooted competitor to notch a huge prize in ONE Championship when he defeated compatriot Eric Kelly by fourth-round stoppage for the inaugural ONE Featherweight World Championship in February 2013. It was followed by Brandon Vera, who crowned himself as the first ONE Heavyweight World Champion by knocking out Paul Cheng in 26 seconds with a high kick in December 2015. Meanwhile, Eduard Folayang pulled off a major upset victory over Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in November 2016 to capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship. Geje Eustaquio joined the list of Filipino world titleholders this past January, claiming the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship with a split decision win over Kairat Akhmetov in a rematch before becoming the undisputed division kingpin in his second meeting with Adriano Moraes last June. With the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title on the line, having his hand raised would symbolize so much to Belingon. Ever since losing to Bibiano Fernandes for the bantamweight crown in January 2016, Belingon has won five consecutive matches, routing the best contenders that the division has to offer. For Belingon, he could finally become a mixed martial arts world champion on July 27, which is the goal that he has been chasing ever since he launched his career in June 2007. “Becoming the champion has been my goal since my career started. It is a lifelong dream for me. I need to win my next bout to turn my dream into a reality,” he stated. “This is going to be a very exciting match. To take on an elite athlete like Martin, it will only be good for my experience. I look forward to testing my skills against him,” Belingon added. Sharing the cage with a dynamic knockout artist like Nguyen, Belingon asserted that he likes his chances versus the two-division world champion and shared his thoughts as to how things would play out at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS. “Martin has very good, high-level skills. His wrestling is very strong, and so is his boxing. He is aggressive, and he punches with power. There is no underestimating this guy,” he explained. “But I think his biggest weakness is his speed, especially in this fight. He is not faster than me. I think this will come down to who gets there first.” Although he is known for his explosive striking, massive knockout power, and fearlessness to engage, Belingon assured that he is prepared to go the distance with Nguyen. “I am training very hard to make sure I am well-equipped with everything I need to face any situation. If I have the opportunity to finish him, I will not hesitate to grab that chance. But I am prepared for this fight to go full five rounds as well,” he concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2018

‘No loser’ in Eustaquio-Morales ONE rematch

MACAU---It's safe to say that the fighting careers of Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes will forever be intertwined. The two were the first fighters to duke it out for the inaugural ONE Championship World flyweight title wherein Moraes took the belt in 2014. And after four years, the two will face each other once more in a rematch for the undisputed belt. Eustaquio, who became the interim champion after defeating Kairat Akhmetov for the strap in January of 2018, said the rematch would be the culmination of four years of progress between him and Moraes. "Adriano, it's been four years since the last time we fought and this will show the development of how we grew up," said ...Keep on reading: ‘No loser’ in Eustaquio-Morales ONE rematch.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

Learning doesn’t stop for Geje Eustaquio—inside and outside ONE cage

MACAU---There are two goals that Geje Eustaquio wants to achieve in the foreseeable future, one of which involves attaining a feat outside of the ONE Championship cage. Eustaquio, the ONE interim flyweight champion, holds a Master's diploma in Physical Education from University of the Cordilleras and he doesn't just want to become the full title holder but he also wants to pursue a higher degree of learning. The 29-year-old Team Lakay member said he wants to either get a Doctorate or take up Law. READ:ONE: Eustaquio puts Moraes on crosshairs "It's going to be between a Doctor's degree or a Law degree, we will see but I cannot say for now," said Eustaquio Thursday after ON...Keep on reading: Learning doesn’t stop for Geje Eustaquio—inside and outside ONE cage.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

ONE: Interim champ Geje Eustaquio hopes son follows in his footsteps

While becoming a world champion is indeed motivation for Team Lakay flyweight star and reigning ONE Championship Interim Flyweight Champion Geje Eustaquio, the Baguio City native is being fueled by something...or someone else.  Meet Castiel Achilles Gerard Eustaquio, or Cage for short, Geje's four year old son.  "He’s my fuel, as I said, he’s my drive, motivation, and I’m happy and proud that he’s my son." said Eustaquio during a press conference in Macau, two days before his scheduled title unification bout against reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes at ONE: Pinnacle of Power on Satuday, July 23rd.  And while most other fighters would wish that their kids rather not follow in their footsteps, Geje believes otherwise.  It would give the 29-year old nothing but joy to see his little boy one day become a martial artist as well.  "Yeah, if he loves martial arts, I will be the happiest father in the world," "Because as I said, martial arts is not about fighting, it’s not about kicking, it’s a way of life." If Cage decided to take a different path however, daddy assures that his support will still be there, 100%  "Kung ibang sports, it depends on the sport. If he chooses basketball, if he chooses soccer, well my  support is a hundred percent."   Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes battle of the undisputed ONE Championship Flyweight World Title at ONE: Pinnacle of Power, Saturday, June 23rd at the Studio City Events Center in Macau, China.  Catch it LIVE starting at 11:00 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018