Issue of December 2, 2018
     
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2018
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Baguio honors world top MMA team with a parade
by Harley F. Palangchao

WORLD CHAMPIONS -- Team Lakay under the watch of chairman Mark Sangiao is now considered as the world’s best mixed martial arts team with five champions in its roster. The champions are Joshua Pacio, Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, all under ONE Championship and Stephen Loman for Brave Combat Federation. -- ONE photo

The city government of Baguio and its people will honor five mixed martial arts world champions who brought pride and glory not just to the region but to the country for almost a  decade now.

Today, Dec. 2, MMA world champions Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio and Joshua Pacio, who are with ONE Championship and Stephen Loman of Brave Combat Federation along with coach Mark Sangiao of Team Lakay and other MMA fighters will be honored in a motorcade.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the city and its residents along with millions of MMA fans around the world are grateful to Team Lakay for producing world champions, who are serving as role models to the youth.

Domogan met with Sangiao and four world champions during the weekend to discuss the flow of the parade.

The parade will start at SM City Baguio grounds at 2 p.m. and will proceed towards Session Road then to Bonifacio Street turn to Magsaysay Ave. before proceeding to Malcolm Square for the program proper.

Team Lakay will end 2018 with memorable victories in ONE Championship and Brave CF MMA promotions.

Loman, the reigning Brave CF bantamweight world champion, had two successful title defenses this year by routing Frans Mlambo on June 9 then Felipe Efrain on Nov. 16.

Eustaquio, the reigning ONE flyweight world champion, captured the interim belt with a unanimous decision win against Kairat Akhmetov then unified the belt against Adriano Moraes via split decision on June 23.

Pacio clinched the ONE straw weight world belt with a unanimous decision against Yoshitaka Naito in their rematch on Sept. 22.

Reigning ONE bantamweight world champion Kevin Belingon first clinched the interim world belt with a unanimous decision against former two-division world champion Martin Nguyen on July 27 before unifying the belt with a split win over the most dominant champion Bibiano Fernandes on Nov. 9.

Folayang, meanwhile, capped a historic win with a unanimous decision against Amir Khan last Nov. 24 to reclaim the ONE lightweight world belt.

ONE Chief Executive Officer Chatri Sityodtong has acknowledged that with five champions in its roster, Team Lakay is arguably the number one MMA team in the world.

“I would like to congratulate my good friend, Mark Sangiao, for building the greatest team in martial arts in the world! There is no question that Team Lakay is the number one team in the world. They have achieved so much on the world stage with so little,” Sityodtong said after Folayang reclaimed the belt.

“With a humble gym in Baguio, Team Lakay has toppled some of the greatest teams and athletes in the world through passion, tenacity, excellence, and humility. Thank you for showing the world that nothing is impossible and for exemplifying the true meaning of martial arts,” Sityodtong added.

HONORING WORLD CHAMPIONS -- Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan and his private assistant Ryan Dale Mangusan honored mixed martial arts world champions Joshua Pacio, Geje Eustaquio, Eduard Folayang, Team Lakay chairman Mark Sangiao, and Stephen Loman during their arrival in the city on weekend. -- Harley Palangchao

 
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