Issue of January 10, 2021
     
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Pinoy MMA stars share New Year’s resolutions
by ONE release

MORE WINS -- Going back to title contention is the common New Year’s resolution among former mixed martial arts champions from Team Lakay while top contenders such as Danny Kingad and Lito Adiwang vowed to do their best to fight for world titles in the nearest future. -- ONE photo

The next 12 months should be interesting for the Filipino fighting contingent, with a handful of potentially massive bouts on offer.

From the resurgence of Team Lakay and Catalan Fighting System, the Zamboanga siblings Denice and Drex, to the impending challenges for Filipino-American fighter Brandon Vera, Filipino mixed martial arts fans have enough to get excited about.

ONE Championship stars Geje Eustaquio, Lito Adiwang, and Rene Catalan took time out to share their visions for 2021 on the official ONE website.

“My New Year’s resolution is to be more positive, to always look at the beauty of everything whether in good times or bad. As an athlete, it’s the same – just to keep on working to be a better athlete. I look forward to competing more and, of course, to stretch my winning run further,” said Eustaquio, the former ONE flyweight world champion, who ended the past year with his one and only appearance ending in victory, but it was a very important one for Team Lakay, which suffered a string of painful setbacks recently. 

Eustaquio’s November win over South Korea’s Song Min Jong could set him up for some very important bouts down the road, including a showdown with top flyweight Reece McLaren, a rematch with Yuya Wakamatsu, and a super-fight against former UFC flyweight world champion Demetrious  Johnson.

Adiwang is also coming for that gold belt.

“It’s all simply about being a better person and, of course, I want to explore more things in life. Also, I look forward to achieving both my goals in my life and in my career. Such goals are winning and being at my best in my future fights so I can get closer to the strap. If I can challenge for it next year, then that’s the ultimate goal,” said Adiwang.

“On the other hand, my goal for my family is that I get to finish the house that I’m building for them. I hope to finish it this year,” he added.

Adiwang’s meteoric rise through the ranks and seven-bout win streak were snapped in November in a close split decision loss to Japan’s Hiroba Minowa. The Team Lakay stalwart is hopeful he can start another epic run.

However, Adiwang may have to refocus his efforts into a move to flyweight, as Team Lakay teammate Joshua Pacio has a firm hold on the strawweight world title in his current weight class. Regardless, expect Adiwang to make a furious 2021 debut when he makes his first appearance this year.

Another veteran, former ONE World Title challenger Catalan, wants more than just to further his fighting career.

Like he has been doing for so long, Catalan wants to continue helping the next generation of Filipino MMA stars improve their careers in the coming year.

Catalan suffered a quick first-round knockout loss to Bokang Masunyane in early December, 2020.

He leads his Catalan Fighting System troupe, which includes his brother, Robin, and highly-regarded women’s atomweight Jomary Torres.

 
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Banario wants another world title run in 2021

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