Eduard Folayang, Team Lakay big winners at 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards
SINGAPORE — The celebration came early for the Philippines’ premier MMA stable Team Lakay after it wound up as the big winners in the inaugural 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards at JW Marriott Hotel here.
Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang, one of the promotion’s top lightweights, shone the brightest after he took home the most prestigious distinction when he was named Martial Arts Hero of the Year for his impact inside and outside of the cage.
Team Lakay also bagged the Gym of the Year award after three of its prized fighters in Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio, whose “Passion Lock” against Pongsiri Mitsatit won Submission of the Year, and Kevin Belingon won titles in their respective divisions.
Eustaquio and Pacio are currently the flyweight and strawweight titleholder, respectively while Belingon is the interim bantamweight champion.
With Team Lakay having three champions in 2018, it was no surprise Mark Sangiao was also named Coach of the Year.
Meanwhile, three Filipino scribes in JM Siasat of GMA, Santino Honasan of ABS-CBN and Mike Murillo of Business World were nominated for the Martial Ars Journalist of the Year that went to Japanese Manabu Takashima of MMA Planet.
The Bout of the Year went to Aung La N Sang and Ken Hasegawa, who went toe-to-toe for five rounds at ONE: Spirit of a Warrior in Myanmar.
Sang was named Male Athlete of the Year after becoming a two-division champion when he beat Alexandre Machado early in the year to win the light heavyweight crown. He also holds the middleweight title. The Female Athlete of the Year went to undefeated champion Angela Lee.
ONE: Kingdom of Heroes, which held the first-ever boxing bout in the history of the promotion that saw Thai superstar Srisaket Sor Rungvisai successfully defend his WBC super flyweight crown against Mexican Iran Diaz was recognized as the Event of the Year.
Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex, the atomweight kickboxing champion, was named Breakout Athlete of the Year.
Brian Ortega won Knockout of the Year for his stunning victory over Frankie Edgar at UFC 222. Walkout of the Year went to Andy Nguyen.
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