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ONE Championship: Martin Nguyen reigns supreme at ONE: Dawn of Heroes in Manila

2 August 2019 – Manila, Philippines: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), returned to a packed Mall of Asia Arena in Manila for the biggest martial arts event in Philippine history with ONE: DAWN OF HEROES. Once again, the finest martial arts talent in the world came out to showcase their incredible skills. In the main event, Martin Nguyen retained his ONE Featherweight World Championship with a technical knockout victory over Koyomi Matsushima. In the co-main event, Rodtang Jitmuangnon captured the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Haggerty. In the main event, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Australia and Vietnam continued his reign over the featherweight division with a second-round technical knockout victory over Japanese challenger Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima to retain the ONE Featherweight World Championship. Matsushima put the pressure on Nguyen early in the opening round with his solid ground game. The champion was able to make the necessary adjustments in the second round, however, as he picked apart a tired Matsushima with a barrage of strikes to get the stoppage win and successfully defend his title for a third time.  In the co-main event, Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon of Thailand dethroned English striking sensation Jonathan “The General” Haggerty via unanimous decision to become the new ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion. Haggerty utilized his length in the early going, using front kicks to keep the challenger at bay. Rodtang picked up steam in the succeeding rounds and managed to drop Haggerty twice. After five rounds of explosive action, it was Rodtang who walked away with the victory and the prestigious ONE World Title.  In the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Semi-finals, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez of the United States recorded his first victory under the ONE banner with a rear naked choke of former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines. Folayang attacked Alvarez with a blitz of strikes to open the contest and a low kick brought “The Underground King” to the mat. Alvarez, however, was able to sweep Folayang to wind up in mount. From there, Alvarez took Folayang’s back, fished for the submission, and forced the tap. In the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-finals, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson of the United States outlasted Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada of Japan to take home a three-round unanimous decision. After a brief exchange on the feet in the first round, Wada was able to take Johnson to the mat and secure his back. Johnson however defended very well. Action continued in the second round with Johnson dominating the grappling exchanges. In the third and final round, Johnson appeared to have Wada figured out and took control of the bout to cruise to a unanimous decision victory. Filipino flyweight star Danny “The King” Kingad secured his spot in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Finals with a split decision win over Australian Reece “Lightning” McLaren. Kingad survived a number of precarious situations in the first two rounds to rally back in the final round. In the last two minutes of the bout, Kingad dominated a fading McLaren as he was able to land a couple of takedowns and unload some ground-and-pound to swing the decision in his favor. Kingad is now one win away from becoming the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion. Muay Thai star Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym of Thailand opened the main card in spectacular fashion with a third round knockout victory over Andrew “Maddog Fairtex” Miller of Scotland. Rodlek overcame Miller’s significant height and reach advantage as he outstruck his foe in the first two rounds of action. In the opening minute of the final round, Rodlek dropped Miller with a short right elbow followed by a knee to score the stoppage win. Japanese flyweight Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu captured his first win under the ONE banner in highlight-reel fashion with a first round knockout of former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio of the Philippines. The heavy-handed Wakamatsu timed his shot, found the opening and unloaded a solid straight right hand that had Eustaquio out before hitting the canvas. Wakamatsu followed up with a few more shots before the referee stepped in to stop the bout. In a lightweight contest, South Korea’s “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park overwhelmed former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario of the Philippines over three rounds. Park came out firing powerful combinations and actively pursuing the takedown in the first round. He dropped Banario with a head kick and followed him to the mat for some ground-and-pound nearly finishing the Filipino. Banario survived and came back with a flurry of his own, sending Park reeling towards the ropes. Park rocked Banario again in the third with a high kick, which “The Rock” again recovered well from. In the end, all three ringside judges scored the bout in favor of Park to  win by unanimous decision. Japan’s Daichi Takenaka and Brazil’s Leandro “Brodinho” Issa figured in an epic back-and-forth battle in a bantamweight contest. Takenaka and Issa began the bout testing each other’s grappling skills, with both men taking turns in dominant positions. As the bout wore on however, action shifted to the feet and Takenaka began to pull away with superior striking. After a right hand put Issa down in the third, Takenaka followed up with a plethora of punches on the ground to force the stoppage. American top welterweight contender James “Nako” Nakashima put together a well-rounded performance, defeating Japanese mixed martial arts legend Yushin “Thunder” Okami. Nakashima came out to a fast and aggressive start, taking the action right to Okami in the opening moments of the contest. For three full rounds, Nakashima got the better of Okami in the striking and grappling departments. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Nakashima to win by unanimous decision. In a featherweight contest, China’s “The Stalker” Xie Bin took on the Philippines’ Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly. However, after an unfortunate halt to the bout in round two, Xie was awarded a technical decision victory over the Filipino. China’s Miao Li Tao was impressive in his return to the ring, defeating Thailand’s Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit via unanimous decision. Miao was in control from the get-go as he took Mitsatit down and controlled him on the mat for the majority of the three-round contest. Mitsatit had no answer for Miao’s aggressive and powerful grappling as the Chinese warrior coasted to a convincing decision win. Japanese women’s strawweight contender Ayaka Miura continued to roll in her ONE Championship career, defeating former World Title challenger Samara “Marituba” Santos of Brazil with an Americana submission in the second round. Miura bucked a slow start in the opening round and displayed her superior grappling in the second round by taking Santos down and locking in the Americana in just 39 seconds. Malaysia’s Muhammad “Jungle Cat” Aiman kicked off the action at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES with a unanimous decision victory over Indonesian veteran “The Terminator” Sunoto. Aiman remained a step ahead throughout the three-round bout as he outstruck and outgrappled Sunoto to walk away with the curtain-raising win. Official results for ONE: DAWN OF HEROES ONE Featherweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Koyomi Matsushima by TKO (Strikes) at 4:40 minutes of round 2 ONE Super Series Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship bout: Rodtang Jitmuangnon defeats Jonathan Haggerty by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Eddie Alvarez defeats Eduard Folayang by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:16 minutes of round 1 ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Demetrious Johnson defeats Tatsumitsu Wada by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Danny Kingad defeats Reece McLaren by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds ONE Super Series Muay Thai Bantamweight bout: Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym defeats Andrew Miller by Knockout (KO) at 0:49 minutes of round 3 Mixed Martial Arts Flyweight bout: Yuya Wakamatsu defeats Geje Eustaquio by Knockout (KO) at 1:59 minutes of round 1 Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight bout: Dae Sung Park defeats Honorio Banario by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight bout: Daichi Takenaka defeats Leandro Issa by TKO (Strikes) at 1:39 minutes of round 3 Mixed Martial Arts Welterweight bout: James Nakashima defeats Yushin Okami by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Featherweight bout: Xie Bin defeats Edward Kelly by Technical Decision (TD) Mixed Martial Arts Catchweight bout (57.0kg): Miao Li Tao defeats Pongsiri Mitsatit by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Women’s Strawweight bout: Ayaka Miura defeats Samara Santos by Submission (Americana) at 0:39  minutes of round 2 Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight bout: Muhammad Aiman defeats Sunoto by Unanimous Decision at after 3 rounds.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 3rd, 2019

Eduard Folayang and Eddie Alvarez face off at ONE: Dawn of Heroes presser

Filipino mixed martial arts icon and two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang went face to face with former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez of the United States at the official pre-fight press conference for ONE: Dawn of Heroes, Tuesday at the City of Dreams Grand Ballroom in Pasay City.  Folayang and Alvarez are set to face off in a must-see ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout, with the winnner advancing into the finals to face Turkish knockout artist Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev at ONE: Century in Tokyo, Japan this coming October.  Folayang is coming off a world title loss to Shina Aoki at ONE: A New Era back in March, while Alvarez came up short in his promotional debut against Timofey Nastyukhin on the same card.  “He’s one of those athletes that I spent a lot of time watching before,” Folayang said of Alvarez. “He says this isn’t the right time, but I believe it’s God’s time. It’s a huge honor for me to be able to test my skills against him.” “My preparations have gone well. I lost my belt last March. That chapter of my career has closed. It’s time to write another chapter of my journey,” he added.  “I respect Eduard. I respect everything he’s done not just as a fighter, but also as a human being for his community. This is what this sport is all about. It’s beyond what goes on in the Circle,” said Alvarez. “In the movies, heroes always prevail. The nemesis loses, he goes home and everybody’s happy. Unfortunately, that’s not the story here. You picked the wrong guy at the wrong time. I love you Manila. I respect you Eduard. Let’s have some fun.” In the main event, reigning and defending ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Australia puts his title on the line against Japan’s Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushida.  In the co-main event, England’s Jonathan “The General” Haggerty puts his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship on the line against Thailand’s Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.  Both ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-finals bouts will also take place, with long-time UFC Flyweight World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson taking on Japan’s Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada and Danny “The King” Kingad of the Philippines facing Fil-Australian Reece “Lightning” McLaren.  Also on the card, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio of the Philippines faces Yuya “The Little Piranha” Wakamatsu in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix alternate bout.  Plus, Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario returns to the ring to face South Korea’s Dae Sung Park, and Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly meets China’s Xie “The Stalker” Bin.    Catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, August 2nd LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23. You can also catch it via LIVE STREAMING on the ABS-CBN S+A Facebook Page and on the iWant app.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2019

Team Lakay stars shine as S+A brings back ONE Championship fights

Filipino warriors from Team Lakay will show us how to fight with all heart and might this April as ABS-CBN S+A gives us world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) action from ONE Championship all month. Witness Team Lakay’s rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang notch another rousing victory as one of the featured fighters in “ONE Warrior Season 4.” The travel series and talent show hosted by MMA legend Rich Franklin will have its Philippine premiere on Sunday (April 5) from 6 pm to 12 mn, followed by 30-minute telecasts every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 9 pm. Adiwang’s first round knockout on Brazilian Alber Correia Da Silva was one of the best moments that season, which aired in February 2019 and was won by Japanese submission specialist Kimihiro Eto.  Thunder Kid’s Team Lakay teammate Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will also take the spotlight as S+A airs “ONE: Roots of Honor” on April 16 at 9 pm.  Pacio redeemed himself in the co-main event, defeating Yosuke Saruta via split decision to take back the ONE Strawweight World Championship. The fight also featured ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen, who knocked out former titleholder Narantungalag Jadambaa to extend his reign. On April 17, it’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio’s turn to show Filipino courage through his domination of Korean Kim Kyu Sung in their Flyweight World Grand Prix bout in e “ONE: Enter the Dragon.” Fighting alongside the former champion from Team Lakay  in this card were superstars Shinya Aoki and Christian Lee, who figured in a Lightweight World title showdown.  On April 23, watch Danny “The King” Kingad make his presence felt in the MMA world with a split decision win over Australian Reece McLaren in “ONE: Dawn of Heroes,” which also featured legends Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez. The next day, April 24, see the gallant stand of Filipino fighters Brandon Vera, and Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon and Kingad in the biggest event in martial arts history, the two-part “ONE: Century” event in Japan. S+A closes the month with “ONE: Masters of Fate” on April 30, which had Filipinos Pacio and Rene Catalan fighting each other in the main event. The Passion won the fight, while other Pinoy fighters like Eduard Folayang, Robin Catalan, and Eustaquio also entering the win column.  Apart from these world-class MMA events, fight fans will also enjoy looking back at other outstanding bouts in “ONE: Championship Classics” every Tuesday at 9:30 pm starting April 14 and never before seen footage and behind-the-scenes moments in “ONE: Official Film” every Saturdays at 9:30 pm beginning April 18.   S+A will also air “ONE: Greatest Rivalries” every Sunday at 9:30 pm starting April 19 and “ONE: Spirit of a Warrior” every Monday at 9 pm beginning April 20. For the latest news in sports, follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

Nguyen defends belt, Rodtang dethrones Haggerty in ONE: Dawn of Heroes

Martin Nguyen was able to defend the ONE Flyweight World Championship title against Japan's Koyomi Matsushima here at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2019

Eduard Folayang, Danny Kingad lead Filipino charge at ONE: Dawn of Heroes

The big stars are out to shine as ONE Championship heads to the Mall of Asia Arena for the third time this year with their biggest offering yet.  ONE: Dawn of Heroes, which takes place on Friday, August 2nd, will feature the biggest and most-stacked martial arts event to ever grace Philippine soil.  Of course, the Philippines will be well-represented on fight night, as five of the country's best mixed martial artists from the famed Team Lakay gym in La Trinidad, Benguet will take center-ring, led by none other than two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang.  The 35-year old Pinoy MMA hero will be stepping up to his biggest challenge yet, as he faces former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez in what is now a semi-final match in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.  The winner of the match will head into the finals to face Turkish knockout artist Saygid "Dagi" Guyseyn Arslanaliev at ONE: Century in Tokyo, Japan this October for the right to be crowned ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Champion and earn a shot at the ONE Lightweight World Championship.  The Folayang-Alvarez matchup is, by all accounts, a dream matchup pitting one of Asia's best against one of North America's best. Both men have a fan-friendly style that will surely result in fireworks inside the ring.  Also competing in an important matchup will be Team Lakay young star Danny "The King" Kingad, who takes on Australia's Reece "Lightning" McLaren in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout.  Kingad is one of the Philippines' most promising young talents and is on track for what could be a second shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship. Standing in his way however, is a dangerous veteran in McLaren, who is also looking to return to the world title picture.  Rounding out the Filipino contingent on this massive ONE: Dawn of Heroes card is former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio who meets Japanese up-and-comer Yuya "The Little Piranha" Wakamatsu, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio "The Rock" Banario who takes on South Korea's Dae Sung Park, and featherweight contender Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly who faces China's "The Stalker" Xie Bin.  Also on the card will be former long-time UFC Flyweight World Champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, who faces Japan's Tatsumitsu "The Sweeper" Wada in the other ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout.  The winners of the Kingad-McLaren and Johnson-Wada bouts will meet in the flyweight tournament finale which is also set to take place at ONE: Century in Tokyo this October.  Headlining the stacked card will be reigning and defending ONE Featherweight World Champions and self-proclaimed 'adopted Filipino' Martin "The Situ-Asian" Nguyen taking on Japanese challenger Koyomi "Moushigo" Matsushima in the main event, and English Muay Thai star Jonathan "The General" Haggerty putting his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship on the line against Thai icon Rodtang "The Ironman" Jitmuangnon.      Don't miss out on the exciting martial arts action! Catch ONE: Dawn of Heroes this Friday, August 2nd LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestreaming will also be available on the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page starting at 5:00 PM as well as on the iWant app! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2019

UAAP 81: When the sleeping giant named UP finally awakened

No cheering - that's the cardinal rule for sportswriters during coverages. In collegiate sports, not even your very own alma mater song is spared. Still, on November 28, 2018, I thought this one time could be an exception to the rule. After all, more than half of the Araneta Coliseum had their hands raised in singing "UP Naming Mahal." Certainly, not one more fist in the air could be considered conspicuous. After all, the University of the Philippines Men's Basketball Team was letting it all out right there on the court. Certainly, not one more show of emotion could be out of place. And after all, the Fighting Maroons had just done it. It, being seeing a new dawn after the so-called dark days. FROM FIGHTING TO WINNING UAAP 81 started very much like how many, many UP seasons did in recent memory. There was a lot of hope, no doubt, what with Paul Desiderio in his last year, Bright Akhuetie in his first year, Gomez de Liano brothers Juan and Javi being back for more, and Bo Perasol still at the helm. Only, being a fan of the Fighting Maroons also meant you know full well all of it couldn't be true. History is a lesson to be learned - and from the promise of Migs De Asis, Mike Gamboa, Martin Reyes, and great Filipino-American hope Mike Silungan and the potential of Mikee Reyes, Woody Co, and Kyles Lao, Diliman has learned many, many lessons, indeed. And then, the season started. A season-opening win became a 1-3 standing. A 3-3 record worsened to 3-5. Standing at an even 5-5 in the stretch run then led to winning three of the last four games in the elimination round. And before you knew it, UP, yes, UP was knocking on the door of the Final Four. Could this be it? Or could this be just the biggest disappointment the Fighting Maroons had ever served? FROM WINNING TO LOSING A winning tradition could be taken for granted. Coming from a school down south that was, is, and forever linked to a particular powerhouse, I, personally, was very much used to winning. Even more, I was right there when Joshua (or Dave, as we called him) Webb, Jeric Fortuna, and Jed Manguera led the team formerly known as the Bengals to a breakthrough championship. So, yeah, personally, my tradition was to root for a winning team - be it in the Jrs. or in the Srs. Come college, though, I traded in the shield of green and white for the luntian at pulang sagisag magpakailanman. And hey, UP Diliman is and always will be the best school in the history of man, in my eyes. In terms of basketball, though, it left much to be desired. As I was about to go to college, the Fighting Maroons went winless in back-to-back years. And then, they had three-win seasons when I was a freshie and a sophomore. In all my four years in college, I only experienced eight wins out of 56. So yeah, in State U, there was the exact opposite of a winning tradition. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't get me wrong here. UP is a power in many, many sports and is a contender for the general championship year in and year out. Back then, though, forgive me if I only had eyes for men's basketball.) FROM JETT TO PAUL And then, a ray of light shone bright, and brighter, and brighter. I have now grown to love Mikee Reyes - he is a great guy and a good analyst. Back then, though, he was a prime proof of what wasn't working in UP. Here was a talent who had a shot at making a name for himself and taking his team along with him for the ride, but unfortunately, just could not put it all together. Reyes was just one of many, many promising players in maroon and green who didn't have the sort of support that a winning tradition entailed. True to their name, though, the Fighting Maroons kept, well, fighting. And in his last year, Jett Manuel proved that the tides could turn in their favor. Manuel would never be the best player on De La Salle University or Ateneo de Manila University or even University of Sto. Tomas and Far Eastern University. Still, he gave his all game in and game out and grew to be a beloved player and leader in Diliman. He set the standard for the kind of fight a Maroon should have and in his last year, steered his squad to a fifth-place finish at 5-9. Not a finish to be proud of by any means, but for the first time in a long time, there were signs of life coming from State U. And that's when I knew Jett Manuel would be my forever King Maroon. However, just two years later, Paul Desiderio made me question that. FROM THEN TO NOW Definitely, Paul Desiderio is not Jett Manuel. Jett is eloquent and looks like he came from an exclusive private school, which he did. Paul speaks in short but sweet terms and is very much proud of his roots in Cebu. What they both have, though, is an undeniable love for UP and an unwavering determination to lead the Fighting Maroons to where they belong. When Manuel left, of course, the reins went to Desiderio and in his very first game as main man, he proved his worth. I know you know what I'm going to talk about - because this was the time he uttered the words that would define State U from that point onto the foreseeable future. "Atin to, papasok to!" -- Paul Desiderio during the timeout. Moments later...#UAAPSeason80 pic.twitter.com/7yafSpldJM — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 10, 2017 The maroon and green yet again fell short of the Final Four that year, but come next season, a playoff berth was, indeed, theirs for the taking. Downing La Salle in the very last game of the elims, they booked a trip to the next round for the first time since 1997. That would have been more than enough for their long-suffering faithful, but they did themselves one better - actually, two better - and upset second-seed and twice-to-beat Adamson University. Just like that, UP would be playing in its first Finals since the days of Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc, Eric Altamirano, and Joe Lipa. That day, November 28, 2018, would always live on with me. FROM ME TO YOU As bad as I wanted to break the cardinal rule for sportswriters, I didn't. As bad as I wanted to stay on the floor to listen and live in the chorus singing in harmony, "Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan," I couldn't. When UP made history, I had to go back to the press room and finish my full take on the game. Just minutes before, I honestly couldn't believe the breaking report I was working on in my phone and uploading in our website. Really? The Fighting Maroons had done it. Even with the final stat sheet in my hands, I still couldn't believe it. Really? The Fighting Maroons had done it. Even through writing "those back-to-back wins have set up for them a date with defending champion Ateneo de Manila University in the best-of-three Finals slated for Saturday at the MOA Arena," I still couldn't believe it. Really? The Fighting Maroons had done it. Of course, in the very end, Ateneo was Ateneo and State U had to settle for second-place. Still, there may not be another silver medal that was worth celebrating more. You have to understand that again, this is a team not that far off from its dark days - so, yeah, this silver season was a special season. And so, at the very end of Season 81, when I saw Paul standing on the game officials' table, basking in the UP community's cries of "De-si-de-rio" and "A-tin-to," another chant was playing in my head - "You deserve it." This image, would always live on with me. At the same time, though, I was a firsthand witness to another image that told me this was just the beginning. First Finals appearance, first Finals loss. Fo sho, GDL brothers @javigdl22 and @juan_swish9 will only be better from this. #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/CMV0JH30rh — No Work Normie Riego (@riegogogo) December 5, 2018 Juan and Javi GDL sat on the makeshift awarding stage while the Blue Eagles were enjoying their back-to-back championships and Desiderio was being serenaded by the Fighting Maroons' faithful. Their eyes were welling up with tears, but deep down there, you could also see their determination to be back, to be better, and to say themselves "Atin 'to" to a championship. FROM HERE ON OUT UAAP 81 was Ateneo's, no doubt about that. UAAP 82, when UP was supposedly stronger, was still Ateneo's, yet again no doubt about that. Actually, the Fighting Maroons were even owned by runner-up UST that year - and those Growling Tigers had a Cinderella tale to tell of their own. And yet, for my money, no team in recent memory has won over everybody quite like Paul Desiderio's UP Fighting Maroons. Maybe, just maybe, that's all because I'm an Isko with student no. 2008-6*1*5. Or maybe, just maybe, it's so good to see a sleeping giant awakened - now knowledgeable of how to build a team and now knowledgeable how to put up support for that team. Or maybe, just maybe, it's so good to see homegrown stars like Diego Dario and the GDLs stay home and play home and to see a foreign student-athlete like Akhuetie shine bright both as a student and as an athlete. Or maybe, just maybe, it's so good to put your full faith in somebody like Desiderio who truly, madly, and deeply believed "Atin 'to" - even though recent history said otherwise. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. Norman Lee Benjamin Riego has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2020

ONE Championship s G.O.A.Ts: Bibiano Fernandes is Bantamweight Royalty

Nearly nine years since ONE Championship's first-ever event back in September of 2011, the Singapore-based promotion has grown into a powerhouse when it comes to martial arts and mixed martial arts in Asia, and a true force on the global stage.  As the company continues to grow, so do the stars, and so do their legacies.  ONE Championship crowned their first batch of champions in October of 2012, with Kotetsu Boku becoming the inaugural ONE Lightweight World Champion and Soo Chul Kim becoming the inaugural ONE Bantamweight World Champion on the same night.  Since then many champions have come and gone, and some have strengthened their places as the Greatest of All Time in their respective divisions, so far.  Today, we take a look at the bantamweight division's G.O.A.T. so far, Brazilian legend Bibiano "Flash" Fernandes. Name: Bibiano Fernandes Moniker: "Flash" Age: 40 Height: 5'7" Weight: 66-KG Professional Record: 24-4 (2 KO/TKO, 8 SUB)   FLASHback Prior to becoming ONE Championship's longest-tenured champion, Manaus-native Fernandes was already a household name in Japan, competing for the now-defunct DREAM promotion from 2009 to 2011. While it was a relatively short stint, during that short time, Fernandes won featherweight and bantamweight grand prix tournaments, and in the process, became the promotion's bantamweight and featherweight world champions.  In 2012, Fernandes made his ONE Championship debut (in the Philippines, no less), defeating Gustavo Falciroli via unanimous decision. Later that year, Fernandes finished up his stint in DREAM with a submission victory.  In 2013, Fernandes returned to the ONE Circle and defeated Kotetsu Okazaki to become the Interim ONE Bantamweight World Championship. Later that year, he unified the titles by defeating ONE's inaugural bantamweight king, Soo Chul Kim, which would mark the start of the longest championship reign in ONE history.    1848 Days of Dominance In his first reign as ONE's bantamweight champion, Fernandes toppled challenger after challenger, beating the best that the division had to offer.  Fernandes decisioned Masakatsu Ueda before submitting Dae Hwan Kim and Toni Tauru in his first three title defenses.  In his fourth title defense, Fernandes faced a challenger that would become all too familiar in the future: Team Lakay's Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon. Fernandes would handily defeat the Pinoy striker by submission in the first round, but that would not be the last time that the two would cross paths.  After dispatching of Belingon, Fernandes defended his title thrice more, edging out Reece McLaren in a five-round war and submitting Andrew Leone in just under two minutes.  In March of 2018, Fernandes was involved in a superfight between then-ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin Nguyen, who was hunting for an unparalleled third simultaneous world championship in as many weight divisions.  Fernandes and Nguyen battled in an epic five-rounder, but in the end, it was Fernandes who prevailed, denying Ngyuen from making even more history.  As Fernandes continued to dispose of challengers, a former challenger in Belingon worked his way back up to the front of the line and earned another shot at Fernandes and the world championship.   The Rivalry Begins In 2018, two years after their first meeting, Fernandes and Belingon shared the cage once again and this time, the FIlipino star walked away with the victory and in the process ending the Brazilian's 14-fight undefeated streak and five-year reign as ONE Bantamweight World Champion.  With the rematch being close, a third installment of the Fernandes-Belingon rivalry was booked for ONE's historic first-ever show in Japan, and while it was meant to provide answers, it caused even more questions after a controversial ending wherein Belingon was disqualified for unintentional illegal strikes to the back of the head, leading to Fernandes regaining the title.  Due to the questionnable ending to their third encounter, a fourth bout was booked at ONE: CENTURY, and this time around, Fernandes left no doubt as he submitted Belingon in the second round to retain the ONE Bantameight World Championship.  Once again, "the Flash" sits atop the bantamweight kingdom as he looks forward to his next challenger.   WHY HE'S THE G.O.A.T. SO FAR: Fernandes, as mentioned earlier, was - and is - ONE's longest-tenured world champion. In his initial run as the bantamweight titleholder, Fernandes held the title for an unprecedented 1848 days, which included seven world title defenses against a veritable who's-who of challengers. Fernandes' first title reign remains longer than the reigns of heavyweight champion Brandon Vera (1592 days), former welterweight king Ben Askren (1517 days), former two-time lightweight champion Shinya Aoki (1316 + 47 days), three-time and reigning flyweight champion Adriano Moraes (435 + 323 + 451 days), and reigning women's atomweight champion Angela Lee (1445 days).    Considering his number of days as champion, number of title defenses, and the level of talent that he's faced and defeated, Fernandes isn't just the bantamweight division's Greatest of All-Time, but there's a strong arguement for him to be ONE Championship's pound-for-pound best of all time. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2020

UAAP football stars express sadness, disappointment over Season 82 cancellation

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has greatly affected the Philippines, among the rest of the world, many of the country’s sporting leagues have been left with no choice but to postpone or cancel their tournaments. For the University Athletic Association of the Philippines or the UAAP, the decision to cancel their 82nd season completely came after the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon was extended until April 30th. For a lot of the second-semester sport athletes, it meant an abrupt end to a tournament that they’ve been preparing for for months, which is the case for the participants of the UAAP football tournaments. Already delayed two weeks due to an initial COVID-19 scare, the UAAP football tournaments lasted a total of three playdates. (READ ALSO: UAAP volleyball players react to Season 82 cancellation) “As a team we're all devastated of course, that this is how our season had to end. Months of preparation and sacrifice for the UAAP season and we weren't able to play it out,” said AJ Arcilla, goalkeeper for the defending champion Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles. “It's heartbreaking honestly, knowing that we won't be able to play the sport that we all love.” Arcilla added that he was fortunate enough to be able to fly home to his family in California before travel bans and lockdowns were put in motion. With that, he sees a silver lining to the otherwise difficult situation. “Personally, I was able to go home to my family in California and spend time with them, which is something I don’t get to do very often so I’m very grateful for that. I just hope and pray that everyone is able to spend time at home and stay healthy and safe despite the current situation.” For Adamson University sophomore Rey Poncardas, what stings the fact that the months of preparation have been all for naught. “Siyempre nasasayangan ako, kasi almost one year yugn pag-hihirap namin sa training, araw-araw gumigising ng maaga.” Poncardas admits however that he saw the cancellation coming because of the rising number of cases of the COVID-19 virus in the country. “Expect ko din na maca-cancel yung season kasi palala ng palala yung virus eh.” Now, with an extended off season in front of him, the second-year midfielder plans to work on improving himself for the coming season. “Para sa akin, sakripisyo lang sa training and stay focused lang po palagi, disiplina sa sarili.” While Ateneo’s Arcilla and Adamson’s Poncardas still have some playing years left on their UAAP careers, there are others who might be looking at the end of their days as collegiate athletes. “Personally, I was quite disappointed when I heard the season won’t push through because I really wanted to leave the team with good results,” said senior University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons forward JB Borlongan. “But with what is going on right now, our number one priority is the safety of everyone so I just have to accept everything that’s happening.” Borlongan was instrumental in UP’s last two title reigns in UAAP Season 78 and UAAP Season 80. If this is indeed this is the end of the line for Borlongan in his college career, the two-time UAAP champion says he can hold his head high and be proud what he was able to achieve. “Personally, I’m happy with what the team and I achieved during those 5 years. My most memorable moments with the team were Season 78 and 80 because I think those were the seasons were we played really well as a team and every game, we were really hungry to play,” Borlongan concluded. Far Eastern University Tamaraws right back Martin Salilig was expecting for the season to be cancelled, but admits that the news hit him differently once his expectations became reality. “I was in my workout yesterday when I found out about the cancellation of UAAP season 82. I was shocked and disappointed. Disappointed because of the situation and not because of the decision of the board,” Salilig explained. “Actually, I’m expecting that to happen, pero iba pala pag official cancelled na talaga. Sobrang sakit.” It was all the more difficult for Salilig who had hoped his final year could have played out differently. “It’s all about hard work, dedication and sacrifice, me and whole team gave it our all to show our best shot this season. I was not able to continue my workout because of sadness, naupo na lng ako sa sala, reminiscing all the memories I had with UAAP and with FEU.” “Knowing it’s my last playing, it broke my heart so much because I know inside of me, I want to do more, I want to play more. It never came to my mind that I will end my UAAP this way. I don’t know what’s next but still hoping for a positive outcome. We still want to play,” Salilig continued. Like Salilig, De La Salle University Green Archers team captain Jed Diamante was expecting for the worst, but actually hearing it happen was a different story. “From the time the games were postponed due to the pandemic, you can’t avoid thinking about all the possible scenarios the tournament could take, and the cancellation was honestly one of those being considered.” “However, mentally preparing ourselves for the decision of the board may not have been enough to prepare us from hearing the news because honestly it took us, especially the seniors, by surprise,” he continued. “I believe everyone has their own reasons for how they reacted to the news because we are all going through different situations amidst this global crisis.” “Although disheartening as it may seem, the decision of the board may be what is best for everyone at this stage. What we're going through is beyond sports and I sincerely hope that everyone is safe and healthy wherever they may be,” Diamante continued. Diamante hopes that fate would allow him to return to the pitch for one more season. If not, then he’s nothing but grateful for the opportunity and the experience. “Hopefully it's not [my last year yet] but if it were, then what I can say is I enjoyed every second of [my UAAP career]. By being able to wear the Green and White alone opened so many opportunities for me to grow as a student-athlete and as a person.” “I’ll also keep close to my heart the connections that were built throughout the years with my family on the field - my teammates and coaches. I'm profoundly blessed to have experienced all the challenges and victories with this group of respectable and genuine men,” he added. Although disheartening as it may seem, the decision of the board may be what is best for everyone at this stage. What we're going through is beyond sports and I sincerely hope that everyone is safe and healthy wherever they may be,” Diamanted concluded. Because of his transfer to National University, Bulldogs striker Rico Andes had to sit UAAP Season 81 out due to residency. In Season 82, he was supposed to be one of the focal points of a revamped NU side. “Nanghihinayang ako lalo na’t last playing year ko na sa UAAP, at gusto ko rin sanang suklian yung NU sa binigay nila sa akin na opportunity,” Andes said. “Pero wala namang may gustong mangyari ito. Lahat ng teams naman ang nag-handa ng ilang months at may gustong maabot this season, pero ngayon po, ang pinaka-importante ay ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng lahat.” “Nakakapang-hinayang man pero alam kong ito ang ika-bubuti ng lahat,” he added. Because of the year off, Andes says that having the season end this way hurts a little more. “[Sobrang sakit po]. Naghintay ako ng mahigit isang taon para bumawi at makabalik sa UAAP tapos ito pa nangyari,” he stated. Andes may not have been able to taste UAAP glory, but the speedy scorer says he’s grateful for the experiences he was able to go though during his five-year UAAP career, if this is indeed the end. “Hindi man ako nakaranas na maka-kuha ng championship, pero sa limang taon ko sa UAAP, sobrang grateful ko sa tiwalang ipinadama ng mga coaches, teammates, friends, at familiy ko, especially sa nanay ko. Sobrang thankful ako sa FEU na nag-bukas sa akin ng football opportunity at naging tahanan ko ng ilang taon.” “Sobrang pasasalamat ko din sa NU na nag-bigay sa akin ng pangalawang tahanan. Walang kapantay na saya. Napaka-raming maliit at malalaking bagay ang natutunan ko sa UAAP career ko,” Andes concluded.      “Sa totoo lang, talagang nasayangan ako nung nag-cancel na yung UAAP ng mga natitirang games, kasi unang-una, sayang yung one year o higit pa na preparation para lang dun,” shared University of the East goalkeeper Franklin Rieza, who could also be on his way out. “Sakin kasi, parang last ko na din, kaya sayang talaga.” If given the chance to return next year, Rieza added the he wouldn’t hesistate, especially if the team still needs him by then. “Depende na, kasi graduation na lang hinihintay ko for this year eh, pero kung kakailanganin pa ako sa team, bakit hindi?” Following their forgettable UAAP Season 81 campaign, senior University of Santo Tomas striker Conrado Dimacali was hoping that Season 82 would be a bounce-back season for himself and the Growling Tigers. “Siyempre una po nalulungkot ako kasi last year na namin nila [Aljireh] Fuchigami, AJ Pasion, Jayson Rafol, at Ralph Logornio. Kaming mga graduating, gusto namin bumawi dahil nung last year na nangyari sa amin na hindi kami naka-pasok sa top-4, kaso yun lang nga, dahil sa nangyayari ngayon, wala din kami magagawa, pero masakit talaga,” Dimacali expressed. “Sobrang nakakalungko talaga, hindi nami ine-expect na magiging ganito yung last year namin.” While the future remains unclear for seniors like Dimacali, he’s hoping for the best and hoping for another chance to don the blue and gold of Espanya. Whatever happens, it was still quite the memorable collegiate run for the Growling Tigers scorer. “Yung pinaka-memorable sa akin yung Season 80 kasi yun yung nasa Finals kami, kaso hindi lang talaga para sa amin yun. Yung natutunan ko bilang college player ay maging strong sa loob ng football field at i-command yung mga teammates ko ng maayos sa loob at labas ng football field.”  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

ONE Championship kicks off 2020 with ONE: A NEW TOMORROW

ONE Championship will start the year with a bang when ONE: A NEW TOMORROW unfolds this Friday, 10 January, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.  Bannering the show is the rematch between reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon  and Jonathan “The General” Haggerty, the sequel to their clash at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES last August where the Thai won the belt.  Joining Rodtang and Haggerty on the main card is ONE Atomweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion Stamp Fairtex, who battles Puja “The Cyclone” Tomar in a mixed martial arts strawweight contest.  As for local heroes, Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro is the lone Filipino in the event. He competes in the lead card against Yohan “The Ice Man” Mulia Legowo.   The rematch between Rodtang and Haggerty was supposed to happen earlier, but “The General” had to turn it down. He was still recovering from the decision loss, and he felt like mentally he was far from ready.  Now fully recovered, Haggerty plans to spoil Rodtang’s homecoming in Thailand.  “They gave me the immediate rematch [months ago], which I’m very thankful for, but I had to turn it down. In my head, I wasn’t ready. I was still recovering from the loss. I could have jumped straight back in, but then you’re not 100 percent. I’ve done that before and did not get the result I wanted,” Haggerty said.   “It was very hard for me to turn down a rematch, but now is the right time. I know it’s right, and come 10 January, it will [show that I’ve made] the right decision.” After getting frustrated by Rodtang the last time out, the Englishman promises things to do things differently this time.   “I will come less emotional because, in the fight with Rodtang, he wants you to get emotional. He wants you to fight him. He wants you to bring out your war instincts where you’re not comfortable,” Haggerty said.  “I’m going to stick off my jab and stick off my teep. I’m going to frustrate him. Let him come to fight — which he normally does — and hope we catch him with what we’ve been working on.” ONE: A NEW TOMORROW is just a precursor for things to come as The Home Of Martial Arts opens the first two months of the year with four events.  Before January ends, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio defends his ONE Strawweight World Title against former titlist Alex “Little Rock” Silva at ONE: FIRE & FURY on 31 January at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.  February is just as busy for the largest martial arts organization in the world. They will host ONE: WARRIOR’S CODE in Jakarta, Indonesia on 7 February before returning to the Lion City with ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE on 28 February.  These are just some of the 50 events ONE and ONE Esports have planned for another milestone year. Catch Rodtang and Haggerty battle it out at The Home Of Martial Arts’ first event of 2020 – ONE: A NEW TOMORROW – this Friday, 10 January at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.    Catch ONE: A NEW TOMORROW LIVE at 9:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020

ONE: Ramon Gonzales gets quick turnaround, returns at ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS

Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales asked for a quick return to the ONE Championship stage following his last setback at ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS last month in Beijing, China – and it looks like the matchmakers at ONE heard his request.  The Filipino karateka gets the ball rolling for the Philippines next year as he takes on Elipitua “The Magician” Siregar of Indonesia at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW on 10 January at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.  “I really want to bounce back quickly for all my supporters and everyone who never stopped believing in me,” Gonzales said.  In his clash with “Wolf Of The Grasslands” Hexigetu, Gonzales was clearly outmatched in all areas of the match, resulting in a shutout unanimous decision loss.  For the 32-year-old who won his last three matches before that loss, there is nowhere to go but up. The key now is to show that the loss does not define him, and that his best has yet to come. “I promise to always be at my best moving forward, to show that I am always improving in all facets of the game.”  But it is not only Gonzales that Filipinos should be excited for. An explosive main event opens the year for ONE Championship as ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon defends his strap against former champ Jonathan “The General” Haggerty in a rematch.  They first clashed in the co-main event of ONE: DAWN OF HEROES last August in Manila, where Rodtang came away with a convincing unanimous decision win in front of a very receptive Mall Of Asia Arena crowd.  The Home Of Martial Arts returns to action on 10 January for ONE: A NEW TOMORROW at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio confident heading into rematch with Toni Tauru in Manila

Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio has zero qualms about taking on decorated grappler Toni "Dynamite" Tauru one more time. The rematch between the two takes place at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE on 8 November when ONE Championship returns to the Philippines at the Mall Of Asia Arena. Tauru submitted Eustaquio in their initial meeting with a rear-naked choke in the first round at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION in December 2016. This time, Eustaquio believes he has the upper hand, especially since he is eager to bounce back from a first-round knockout loss to  Yuya "Little Piranha" Wakamatsu at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES in August.  “I think the competition favors me more because back in 2016, we competed in the bantamweight division, this time we’re in the flyweight division,” Eustaquio said.  “Based on what I’ve been seeing, he has struggled in this division. He might be too big that’s why his strength suffers.”  Since his loss to Taura, the Team Lakay representative worked on his ground game religiously, which paid dividends against Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov and Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes and helped him claim the ONE Flyweight World Title.  Granted he has rolled with the best and conquered them, he thinks nothing will surprise him anymore against Tauru.  “Most of my competitions in ONE are grapplers. For example, I’ve faced Adriano Moraes three times and he’s a well known grappler,” Eustaquio said.  “Kairat Akhmetov is a wrestler as well. That is why I’m used to this type of competition where I expect them to take me down and try to impose their jiu-jitsu skills.” Though he is itching to regain the belt he lost to Moraes early this year, Eustaquio is not putting a lot of pressure on himself to get there.  For now, “Gravity” is focused on getting back to winning ways and letting the rest follow.  “I look at the flyweight division positively. The nice thing about our division is that we all have skills, and that is why moving up in the rankings is faster,” Eustaquio said.  “Let’s say I win against a top caliber fighter, there will always be an opportunity to get that title back. If I prove to ONE that I deserve it, I know they’ll give it to me.     Catch ONE: MASTERS OF FATE live on Friday, November 8th LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 on LIVESTREAM via the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page and on iWant starting at 8:30 PM. ONE: MASTERS OF FATE will also air on Sunday's Best on November 17th, Sunday, at 11:30 PM with local commentatry from Anton Roxas and Theo Castillo.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 29th, 2019

ONE Championship: Engaged Gina Iniong eyes November return amid wedding preps

  Gina "Conviction" Iniong yearns to get back to competition when ONE Championship returns to Manila for ONE: MASTERS OF FATE on 8 November at the Mall Of Asia Arena.   “Conviction” took a split decision victory in her last bout against Malaysian star Jihin "Shadow Cat" Radzuan in February on the undercard of ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS in the latter’s home country.    It has been more than a year since Iniong last saw action inside the Circle on her home soil.  Eager to get at least one more bout before the year ends, the 29-year-old is sitting beside the phone waiting to get a call from the big bosses of The Home Of Martial Arts for her next conquest.  “I really hope to compete in November here in Manila. It’s been awhile since I last fought here,” Iniong said.    “I’m just waiting for it, it’s going to be easier since I’ll have more than two months to prepare.”    Iniong took a well-deserved vacation, then immediately went back to the gym after her most recent bout. But what keeps her occupied nowadays is the fact the she is about to marry her longtime partner Richard Araos in a couple of months.   “I had a short vacation, but I still train. Right now, I’m preparing for our wedding, but nonetheless I’m still waiting for my next bout,” Iniong shared.    “I’ve been engaged for a long time. We’re just fixing the papers and then we’ll determine a date. Maybe this month or the next. Depends on the schedule.”   Iniong vowed that her wedding preparations would not get in the way of her training as she continues to hope for a November match-up.    She wishes to be more active moving forward and stated that she is willing to face any names thrown at her.   “I’ll face whoever they put in front of me,” Iniong said.    “What’s important is I get back to active competition. If I had it my way, I’d like to compete three or four times a year.”     Watch the world’s best strikers at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH on ABS-CBN S+A at 9:30pm PHT.   To catch the prelims, go to ONE’s Facebook and Twitter pages at 6:30pm PHT.   Read More From ONE Championship: Gina Iniong Survives Late Scare To Defeat Jihin Radzuan By Decision Gina Iniong Eyes Trilogy Bout With A Former ONE World Title Challenger The Best Pictures From ONE: DAWN OF HEROES  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2019

ONE Championship: Coach Mark Sangiao Wary Of Burnout as Danny Kingad Starts Preparing For ‘DJ’

  Danny "The King" Kingad will employ a precautious yet stringent approach as he prepares for Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Final.   The top flyweights in the world are set to collide in ONE Championship’s historic 100th event at ONE: CENTURY on 13 October at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.   Both athletes overcame stiff challenges in the semifinals at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES this past 2 August at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.   Kingad upended Reece “Lightning” McLaren and Johnson defeated Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada.   With just roughly two months to spare until the final match, that gives little time for both athletes to rest.   For Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, it is all about balancing rest and preparation.   “We’ll be giving a week of light training before we go back to the rigid training sessions,” Sangiao shared.   “We haven’t really finished sitting down intently and discussing our lapses in the previous match.”   One factor that Sangiao is looking at is the possibility of Kingad burning out from going hard each and every training session.   Sangiao says he has everything covered if he sees signs that “The King” is burnout during training.   “You’ll see that during training sessions, that sometimes he’ll get burnt out, we have adjustments for that,” Sangiao shared.   “We have a lot of adjustments for everything. We have to have everything covered because we know that Johnson is a very difficult opponent. He has proven it worldwide.”   Fans and experts alike point out that Kingad is in a win-win situation in his bout against an athlete touted by many as the pound-for-pound greatest mixed martial artist in history.   After all, at 23 years old, Kingad will be getting something out of it - regardless of the result.   Sangiao agrees with that notion, but do not expect them to be happy just to be there.   “It’s a win-win situation for us, even more so if we win,” Sangiao said with a laugh.   “We cannot be content with where we are right now. We have to win. If Danny wins here, it will not only be for him but for the Philippines as well, knowing Demetrious and the legacy that he has worldwide.”   Whatever happens, Sangiao knows that Kingad would not be backing down from the 12-time flyweight World Champion.   “He’s up for a grind. He’s the pound-for-pound king worldwide, but let’s look at Danny - maybe he’s really ‘The King.’”   Catch ONE Championship’s event, ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH, on 6 September in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It will be the organization’s first ever all-Super Series event.    Watch the action live on the ONE Super App.   More From ONE Championship   Danny Kingad Admits ‘Bittersweet’ Feeling But Ready For Demetrious Johnson Danny Kingad Defeats Reece McLaren To Reach ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Final Demetrious Johnson Ready For the King After Wada Win  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2019

ONE Championship: Despite his risk backfiring, Geje Eustaquio says he would do it all over again

  Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio entered the ring willing to risk it all against Japanese knockout artist Yuya "Little Piranha" Wakamatsu at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES.   The former ONE Flyweight World Champion from Baguio City quickly learned the dangers in taking on Wakamatsu, as he suffered the first KO loss of his career at the 1:59 mark of round one last Friday, August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.    “I took the chance to go for the knockout but it wasn’t meant to be, he beat me to the punch,” Eustaquio said.    “I lost my position, I wasn’t expecting him to throw a straight right. In my registry, I was expecting him to throw either a hook or a cross, but he followed it up with a straight.”   After feeling each other out in the opening stanza, “Little Piranha” defied "Gravity" with a hard right hand that dropped the latter hard.    The visiting foe swarmed with a couple of more punches which prompted the referee to halt the contest in front of Eustaquio's hometown crowd.   Despite the loss, Eustaquio remains upbeat - knowing that it’s part of the game.    “That’s our gameplan, to gamble,” Eustaquio revealed.    “I’ve been facing wrestlers and grapplers for most of my career, and now it’s a blessing in disguise that I faced a dangerous striker in Wakamatsu”    If there’s one thing the 30-year old learned against Wakamatsu, it’s that one small mistake could be costly - especially against high-level opponents.   “I was really looking to add up to my knockout record or maybe finish him via submission but it is what it is,” Eustaquio said.    “In this level of competition, if you want results, you’re risking yourself of getting finished as well.”    At the end of the day, Eustaquio charged the knockout defeat to experience as he’ll use the heartbreak to become a better martial artist moving forward.   He knows that his dream of a fourth encounter with ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes is unlikely now, so the plan at the moment is to simply get back to the gym and work on his weaknesses.   “I just have to work harder in the gym, maybe plant some more kamotes, so we’ll have better harvest,” Eustaquio said while laughing.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2019

ONE Championship: Honorio Banario already a winner even before ONE: DAWN OF HEROES

Honorio “The Rock” Banario dropped a decision loss to “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES last Friday at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.  But little does the audience know that the former ONE Featherweight World Champion from Team Lakay was already a big winner even before he climbed into the ring. Moments before Banario marked his return to the ring, his wife Jessica gave birth to their first-born son, Zeus Thorinstone. “I couldn’t sleep at night, I was worried of course,” Banario said. “We were thinking of different things. It’s my first baby. I wasn’t even thinking of my match anymore, maybe it’s because it’s my first time and things are really overwhelming.” Banario barely slept after he learned that his wife went to labor the night before the big event. He did all he could while Jessica was in the hospital, closely monitoring the developments of his wife’s delivery. “The Rock” finally had a sigh of relief when he received word that his partner successfully delivered a healthy baby boy at lunch time. He admitted that his big day as a father took his eye off the ball as he momentarily forgot that he had a match in the evening. “My focus shifted on them. But I mean, it’s no excuse. I should be a professional, it’s part of the challenges,” Banario said. “Of course I’m still [disappointed] with the outcome, but I survived and now we’re moving forward.” “The Rock” took another loss and his dream of becoming a World Champion again moves further away thanks to his latest defeat. Despite all of it, Banario remained in good spirits as he felt like more than a champion for becoming a dad. “I have the best trophy, as they say. I am not thinking about the results,” Banario said. “I gave my best. I entertained the people. It’s just that we fell short. We’ll go back to the gym, work on my game, and bounce back next time. But for now, I can’t wait to return to Baguio cause they’re waiting for me.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2019

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang breaks down loss to Eddie Alvarez

Eduard "Landslide" Folayang looked moments away from conquering his most decorated opponent so far in Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez, but it only took one mistake for it to slip away.   The Team Lakay superstar dropped the former Lightweight World Champion early in round one, only to get swept and choked in the opening round at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on 2 August at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.   “I think I overdid it. When I saw him go down, I felt like I really wanted to finish him,” Folayang shared.   “I don’t usually give up my back but I lost my cool. I really wanted to finish him in the first round. However, because I wanted to get back up, I lost my position.”   Folayang usually knows what to do when caught in a rear naked choke, but when he stood up he let Alvarez tighten the choke further.   “I had an idea how to defend the choke, but at that time I felt like my mindset changed.”   Folayang admitted that the error did not hit him until the bout was officially over. He knows that his overeagerness to finish got him into trouble and he paid the ultimate price.   “When I saw his face, I know that he was close to being finished,” Folayang said.   “But when the match ended, I was in shock. I really lost focus on the match and singled out the stand-up game,” the Filipino added. “It hurts but we learn from it.”   While many people feel like Folayang’s experience, or lack of it, when it comes to the ground cost him the match, the 35-year-old Filipino hero said that was not the case.   “I don’t think I can be easily submitted when I roll in the ground for jiu jitsu but, things happen in an MMA bout. We’re not really top-notch jiu jitsu practitioners, and we’re not that experienced, but there are things that happen in the match which are beyond your control,” Folayang shared.   “We’re always working on our ground game, but it’s not why we lost today. My mistake was moving in with the wrong mindset. Letting the emotions get the better of me.”   Despite letting a huge opportunity slip, Folayang is quick to move forward from it.    “The results don’t matter anymore. What’s important is that we learned. We’ll be back. We’ll try to fix it. Then we’ll rise again.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

ONE Championship: After disappointing night in Manila, it’s back to the drawing board again for Team Lakay

ONE Championship’s third trip to Manila for 2019, ONE: Dawn of Heroes which was held last August 2nd at the Mall of Asia Arena, was tagged as the biggest martial arts event in Philippine history.    With fans packing the stadium, it was the perfect platform for La Trinidad-based mixed martial arts stable Team Lakay to showcase their talents in front of what could possibly be the biggest ONE crowd in Manila.    Unfortunately for Team Lakay, ONE: Dawn of Heroes would prove to be an unfavorable night for the most part.    “1 and 4,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao during the post-event press conference. “One win and four losses, but again, it’s not the first time that we’ve experienced a case like this. We’ve gone 0-5, and again, we learned a lot of lessons from tonight, and we’ll be back to the drawing board. We’ll go back to the hotel and discuss what happened.”   The preliminary card was nothing short of a disaster for Team Lakay, as former champions Geje Eustaquio and Honorio Banario, and featherweight contender Edward Kelly all absorbed painful losses.    Kelly, who was the first on deck, fell victim to unintentional illegal blows to the back of the head at the hands of Chinese contender Xie Bin, rendering him unable to continue. With the bout already past the halfway point when the infraction occurred, a technical decision needed to be made, and it went in favor of Xie, who had been dominating Kelly all throughout the first one-and-a-half rounds.    Hoping to right the ship and get himself back on track as well was former ONE Featherweight World Champion Banario, who took on a short-notice replacement in South Korean Dae Sung Park. Banario was originally slated to face Russian Timofey Nastyukhin, but instead went to the prelims after Nastyukhin needed to pull out due to an injury.    Banario found himself in trouble early on after getting rocked with a left high kick and an elbow, but was able to survive and make things competitive for the rest of the bout. Banario had his moments, but it was Park who was in control for the better part of the three-round bout, leading to a unanimous decision win.    “Siguro the lesson I learned in this fight is I need to train more,” a dejected Banario said during the post-fight presser. “I gave everything in the fight, but it wasn’t my night, so I think the next time, I need to train more and improve my game.”    With the loss, Banario is now riding a two-fight losing streak, and while he admitted that the short-notice opponent change may have thrown him off his game for a bit, “The Rock” offered up no excuses for the defeat.    “Just a little bit, because my opponent changed to a southpaw, I tried to adapt for three weeks, but there’s no excuses. I lost the fight and [I need] to go back to the drawing board,” he said.    Hoping to be able to end the slump was former ONE Flyweight World Champion Eustaquio, who was coming off a bounce-back win back in Singapore. Against a heavy-handed Japanese striker in Yuya Wakamatsu, Eustaquio was hoping to get a win and throw himself back into title contention. Instead, Wakamatsu had other plans, as he landed a stiff right straight that knocked Eustaquio out in the first round.   It was Eustaquio’s first loss via knockout.    “Things happen, you know? In this level of competition, it’s either you get knocked out or you will knock him out. It’s just that tonight was not my night. I hope, and I believe that this is going to be a big stepping stone for me to become a better athlete,” he said.    In what was Team Lakay’s main event for the night, former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang faced arguably his toughest challenge yet in former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie Alvarez in a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semifinal bout.    Folayang appeared to be within moments of victory after chopping Alvarez down with a vicious leg kick and pouncing on the grounded American.    Over-aggression led to a bit of carelessness for Folayang as he found himself getting reversed as he was looking to finish Alvarez off.    With the American star now in dominant position, it was only a matter of moments before he managed to impose his superior grappling and submitted the Filipino hero with a Rear Naked Choke just a little over two minutes into the opening round.   “I think, for Eduard in this fight, the major lesson that we learned is that ‘Don’t rush. We’re winning.’ I thought we won already, but because of small details, we’re in the [world-class] calibre, so small details will finish everything and lose the fight, so next time, we’ll be cautious,” Sangiao said of Folayang’s loss.    The lone bright spot for the team was their youngest Lakay in Danny Kingad, who rallied back to defeat Reece McLaren in their ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinal bout. With the win, Kingad advances to the Finals to face American MMA icon and former long-time UFC Flyweight king Demetrious Johnson, who was also victorious that night against Japanese contender Tatsumitsu Wada.    Kingad and Johnson are set to square off at ONE: Century in Tokyo, Japan this October.    As Coach Mark said, this isn’t the first time that Team Lakay has felt disappointment in Manila. In fact, they have gone worse.    Back in 2013, Team Lakay went 0-5, with Folayang, Eustaquio, and Banario and Kevin Belingon all suffering losses that night in Manila.    But following the downs are usually ups, and Team Lakay has had their share of ups as well since then. They have gotten quite a few clean sweeps and even ended 2018 with four world championships, which means that all is not lost for the Igorot warriors, and Sangiao is confident that his team will regain their glory in the future.    “As I’ve said, this isn’t the first time that we’ve experienced cases like this. Before, we experienced going 0-5, and now we will be back again, and I know that they will be back stronger and better.”   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2019

ONE Championship: I rushed - Eduard Folayang on loss to Eddie Alvarez

Eduard "Landslide" Folayang was seemingly within moments of picking up what could have been one of the biggest wins of his career, Friday night at ONE: Dawn of Heroes in Manila.  The Filipino mixed martial arts hero and two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion was taking on former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez in a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semifinal bout and one of the night's most highly-anticipated bouts.  Early in the round opening round, Folayang landed a vicious right low kick that landed flush on Alvarez's ankle, sending the American to the mat.  As the crowed at the Mall of Asia Arena roared, Folayang pounced on the fallen Alvarez with every intention of ending the bout early.  Folayang landed punch after punch as Alvarez fought to survive and repositioned himself as often as he could to avoid taking damage.  Almost as suddenly as Folayang put Alvarez on his seat, the American was able to grab a hold of the Filipino star's leg and reverse positions, landing inside guard.  Folayang, presumably a bit spent from all the ground and pound, was now the one in survival mode and looked to escape the guard but insted ended up giving his back up.  Now, Alvarez is known for his come-forward brawling style, but "The Underground King" is also a gifted grappler, and he showed that by almost immediately locking in a Rear Naked Choke and forcing Folayang to tap out. All in just two minutes and 16 seconds.  Obviously, it was a bitter pill to swallow for Folayang, who was once again on track for a third world title run, had he emerged victorious.  The 35-year old Baguio City-native admits that he rushed himself to get the stoppage win.  "Yeah, I rushed. I think that’s one of the mistakes I made," Folayang said during the post-fight press conference. "I was not cautious, and I wanted to get up as soon as possible, and I forgot that I’m very vulnerable in that position." Folayang was the last member of Team Lakay to see action that night, and with his loss, the La Trinidad-based stable went 1-4. "I was too so eager to get the finish, and I think that’s the mistake, I became impatient, and I wanted to finish him as soon as possible but it didn’t go that way, so, that happened." Now coming off back-to-back losses, Folayang, as well as the rest of Team Lakay, will need to go back to the drawing board and make the necessary adjustments before their respective returns to action.   Coming off a loss is no longer a foreign feeling for Folayang, who has seen his highest moments come after the lowest of lows.  Before ending the post-fight presser, Folayang grabbed the mic one last time with a parting message for the media in attendance. "I just want to quote what Douglas McArthur said: 'We shall return.'"   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2019

ONE Championship: Danny Kingad has the chance to take down someone he looks up to in Reece McLaren

Danny “The King” Kingad has always considered himself a fan of Reece “Lightning” McLaren. Now the 23-year old will get a crack at his longtime idol in the semi-finals of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix nonetheless. The dynamic pair of flyweights is set to collide on the undercard of ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, 2 August, which is set to take place at the 20,000-seat Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. “Of course I am excited cause it’s one of my goals to face someone I look up to on 2 August,” Kingad said. “The King” started to hold McLaren in such high regard when the Filipino-Australian pulled a shocker in defeating Mark “Mugen” Striegl by third-round submission in his debut in The Home of Martial Arts at ONE: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS in December 2015. He knew right there that “Lightning” is a rare talent - so he never missed watching his every bout. “When I first watched him, he was really explosive. He had wrestling and he had striking. That was when he faced Mark Striegl,” Kingad shared. “I thought to myself I had to watch all of his fights because I considered him my idol.” But the young phenom from Baguio City vows that his admiration for McLaren will not stand in the way of his goals. “I want to show what I am made of, and of course, I also want to see the things that I saw from him before,” Kingad said. “For me, the more that I idolize you, the more that I want to beat you. I am excited. I am motivated to train everyday.” Kingad believes that he has seen just about everything that McLaren is capable of doing inside the ring. He sees that as an advantage, and promises to showcase a side of his game the world is yet to witness. “Truth be told, I have some things in my arsenal that people are yet to see,” Kingad playfully teased. “It’s hard to predict, but I don’t want to disappoint people, I really want to win this for the people, and for me to be able to show my idol what I am capable of.” ONE: DAWN OF HEROES will air on ABS-CBN S+A at 8:30pm Philippine Standard Time (PHT). For the prelims, watch on ONE’s Facebook and Twitter pages at 5:00pm PHT. Also, you can get a ticket to see the show live in the Mall Of Asia Arena. Click here to get your ticket before they are all sold out.   Catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, August 2 LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestream will be available on the ABS-CBN Facebook Page starting at 5:00 PM and on iWant.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2019

ONE Championship: Eddie Alvarez believes he has Eduard Folayang figured out

Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez says he has Eduard “Landslide” Folayang figured out ahead of their highly-anticipated showdown at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES. The pair of explosive strikers is scheduled to lock horns on Friday, 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines in a battle between two of the best strikers from both ends of the world. Easily the most decorated opponent that Folayang has to face, “The Underground King” sees the flaws in Folayang’s game, which he hopes to expose on Friday. “Eduard is very strong, very tricky, and explodes into his combinations. I am not a wushu fighter, if we made this a wushu fight, Eduard will probably win - but this is not a wushu fight. This is MMA,” Alvarez said. “We can go to the ground, we can go stand up, wrestle, box, this is everything. And I have been doing MMA longer than anybody on this whole card. I am the better fighter by far. I can go more places for a longer period of time.” The former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion believes that Folayang is a fish out of water whenever a match goes to the ground. Folayang is coming off a first-round submission loss to Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in the main event of ONE: A NEW ERAlast March where he dropped his ONE Lightweight World Title to the Japanese submission wizard. Notorious for his striking power in both hands, Alvarez says that he is willing to mix it up if that is what it will take to get the victory. “Eduard throws a lot of surprise attacks. Ideally you take him down, and none of that works, right? Take him to the ground and nothing he’s done for his whole life works,” the 35-year-old from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said. “We’ve seen what happened with Aoki, he was lost on the ground. That’s an option. Also an option is to use my boxing, I feel like I have better boxing.” While he is thinking of ways to beat Folayang, Alvarez still has nothing but praise and respect for the man touted as the face of Philippine mixed martial arts. Pleasantries aside, Alvarez made it clear that he flew all the way to Manila to break the hearts of Filipino fans. “I’m a championship killer, man. Look at my resume. I can rattle off name upon name of champions that I’ve demolished,” Alvarez said. “This is another champion. Eduard doesn’t have the belt, but he’s a champion. Once a champion, always a champion. So to me this is another champion that I can put around my necklace. Knockout or submission, the fight will be finished.”   Want to catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES? Get your tickets here and use the codeword ONEHERO for a 25 percent discount. A special limited-edition Eduard Folayang - Eddie Alvarez shirt will be sold on event night. Catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES live on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestream will be available on the ABS-CBN Facebook Page and on iWant  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2019

ONE Championship: Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao believes Danny Kingad has made all the right adjustments

ONE flyweight talent Danny "The King" Kingad was originally scheduled to face former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov in the semi-finals of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.   But in an unexpected turn of events, Akhmetov had to withdraw from the bout after he suffered an injury in training. It left the young phenom from Team Lakay to get a new foe in former World Title challenger Reece "Lightning" McLaren.   The pair of top-tier flyweights are set to collide on the undercard of ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, and Kingad’s camp is confident that they have made the necessary adjustments heading to this match.    “We know McLaren’s strengths are in the ground. Danny has to avoid McLaren’s submission attempts,” Team Lakay’s Mark Sangiao said.    “Aside from that, I am not worried. When it comes to power, when it comes to striking, I think Danny has the advantage. We just have to avoid McLaren’s ground game.”    A change of opponent meant that Kingad had to tweak his game plain heading into the bout. While such development could rattle some, if not most, martial artists, Sangiao is confident that his ward was quick to adapt.    “I don’t think Danny struggled in changing his game plan because he’s well rounded. He transitioned well,” Sangiao said.    “Danny is one of the most improved fighters on the team. With what he’s showing, he can definitely put those skills to good use. If he wants to wrestle, or wants to go for the submission, he’ll do it,” he added. “He doesn’t just rely on size and skill.”   What concerns Sangiao however is the fact that McLaren happened to be one of Kingad's idols early in his professional mixed martial arts career. Furthermore, he also believes that McLaren was not at his best when he lost his last outing.   “For me, I just hope that Danny doesn’t get affected because he really looks up to McLaren,” Sangiao revealed.   “I told him that if he wants to be a champion, he has to go through them. He has to beat whoever is in front of him. I thought McLaren’s previous performance didn’t really show who he is against Akhmetov.”    Never the type to predict an outcome, Sangiao gave himself a pass this time. He’s confident, and he knows that Kingad will end up on top against McLaren.   “This will end either in a knockout or a decision, but it will be a great fight,” he said.    “Danny will go all out. He’s given everything in training, and like what he’s been doing in the past, he’ll give everything in this match.”     Want to catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES? Get your tickets here and use the codeword ONEHERO for a 25 percent discount. A special limited-edition Eduard Folayang - Eddie Alvarez shirt will be sold on event night. Catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, August 2 LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestream will be available on the ABS-CBN Facebook Page and on iWant  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2019