Team Lakay has built a reputation as the premier martial arts collective in Asia by producing world-class competitors who almost always deliver amazing bouts.
The athletes from the mountains of the northern Philippines always turn up in incredible shape and with the elite wushu skills to put on a show and win in the most exciting way possible.
Each of the Baguio City gym’s athletes has enjoyed some highlight-reel moments on the global stage for martial arts, but these are the pick of their bouts in ONE Championship.
#10 Edward Kelly Vs. Sunoto
For two and a half rounds, the Indonesian grabbed the upper hand on the ground between toe-to-toe striking exchanges, which meant Kelly went into round three needing a stoppage to be sure of victory.
He delivered with a huge knee that dropped his opponent, and then finished the job with ground and pound before he helped his rival to his feet in a show of sportsmanship.
#9 Honorio Banario Vs. Rahul Raju
No matter what the former ONE Featherweight World Champion threw at the Singaporean, he kept coming forward, and almost pulled off a shock with a second-round kimura. However, Banario escaped and continued to attack with everything in his locker to earn the decision.
#8 Gina Iniong Vs. Jihin Radzuan
Gina “Conviction” Iniong is the Philippines’ foremost female mixed martial artist, and her finest hour so far came earlier this year when she shut down Jihin “Shadowcat” Radzuan with a combination of sharp striking and wrestling.
She also displayed her tenacity and heart to survive a late comeback from the Malaysian to take a decision and move closer toward an elusive ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title shot.
#7 Geje Eustaquio Vs. Kairat Akhmetov II
Team Lakay’s warriors are known as rematch specialists – none more so than Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, who has learned from defeats and adapted his approach to defeat three rivals when he has faced them for a second time.
His most impressive performance came when he defeated Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov via unanimous decision in January 2018 with the ONE Interim Flyweight World Title on the line. Over five rounds, “Gravity” defended almost every takedown and struck with striking flurries to taste gold for the first time.
#6 Joshua Pacio Vs. Yoshitaka Naito II
Another, rematch, another triumph for the Baguio City collective, as Joshua “The Passion” Pacio became their youngest titleholder with his capture of the ONE Strawweight World Championship from Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES.
“The Passion” erased all memory of his submission defeat to the Japanese grappler as he unleashed the power of his kicking arsenal. When he was taken down, he never stopped attacking, and even took control of Naito’s back.
The defending World Champion’s offense was light years behind his challenger’s, and a new superstar got his hands on a belt for the first time.
#5 Eduard Folayang Vs. Amir Khan
A year of soul searching and rebuilding took Eduard “Landslide” Folayang to a chance to reclaim the ONE Lightweight World Title, and he struck gold again with the most complete performance of his career.
The dangerous Amir Khan stood in his path, but the Filipino neutralized the Singaporean’s knockout threat with spectacular striking and high-amplitude slams to get his hand raised by unanimous decision in front of his adoring fans in the Mall Of Asia Arena.
#4 Kevin Belingon Vs. Martin Nguyen
Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon is perhaps the most gifted of all of his stable’s wushu striking experts, and he showed why when he unleashed his speed and power on Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.
The Igorot warrior barely took a backward step for 25 minutes as he charged and flurried with lighting-fast boxing combinations and spectacular spinning kicks. The then-two-division World Champion was overwhelmed, and Belingon seized the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title.
#3 Danny Kingad Vs. Senzo Ikeda
If you had to select one Team Lakay member who is guaranteed to bring unmissable action to the Circle, it is Danny “The King” Kingad. The 23-year-old has not had a dull moment under the lights in any of his last four matches, and his defeat of Senzo Ikeda at ONE: A NEW ERA might have been his most exciting.
Overhand punches, roundhouse kicks, and takedowns – all delivered with full power – came from the Filipino star as he came out of his corner at 100 miles per hour and never came close to stepping on the brakes. Ikeda brought a ton of pressure, but he just could not match his opponent for output.
#2 Eduard Folayang Vs. Shinya Aoki
Perhaps the most iconic result in the history of mixed martial arts in the Philippines came when Folayang shocked the world to win the ONE Lightweight World Title from Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in November 2016.
“Landslide” was ready for the Japanese legend’s submission attack, and after two rounds of defensive grappling, he scored with a flying knee to turn the match in his favor. Follow-up punches sealed the deal, and an icon was made.
#1 Joshua Pacio Vs. Yosuke Saruta II
Once again, “The Passion” rose to the occasion to earn rematch redemption and collect a World Title. This time, he punctuated a brilliant performance with an incredible knockout.
Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta had stifled the Filipino’s stand-up in their first match, but he could not repeat the feat at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR – though he did score some takedowns and a knockdown early in this contest.
However, Pacio stayed on his toes, and midway through the fourth round, his knee caught his adversary on the temple to send Manila into meltdown, and bring strawweight gold back to Baguio.