Sangiao believes PH fighters will rise again after 1-4 result in ONE: Century
MANILA, Philippines—ONE Championship’s historic night in Tokyo, Japan did not pan out the way Filipino fighters would’ve wanted to.
ONE: Century, the organization’s biggest show yet, saw Filipinos go 1-4 with only the debuting Lito Adiwang serving as Philippine mixed martial arts’ saving grace.
Adiwang, the rising Team Lakay fighter, made quite a splash in his first fight as part of ONE’s main roster after stopping Japanese champion Senzo Ikeda in the first round of their flyweight bout on Sunday.
After Adiwang’s victory, however, there was nothing left to celebrate for Filipinos after Danny Kingad, Honorio Banario, Kevin Belingon and Fil-American star Brandon Vera all fell short in their respective bouts.
Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, though, remained in high spirits despite the result.
“This is not an unexplored path,” Sangiao said.
“We’ve strode on this road before, this time it’s another rise, another story, and we’re making the end.”
The losses may have piled up for the Philippines but there were moral victories in between.
Despite falling to MMA legend Demetrious Johnson, regarded as one of the best fighters ever, Kingad had his moments and was able to drag the American to the distance.
“I didn’t expect what happened. I didn’t expect that I could showcase those grappling skills and I can take down DJ and somehow corner DJ,” said Kingad, who lost to Johnson by unanimous decision in their Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Final.
“I still need to review and watch the fight so I could learn what are the things I could have done better.”
The unfavorable outcome also didn’t change the fact that Filipino fighters remain a force in the ONE circuit with a couple of champions in Vera, who, despite bowing to two-division champion Aung La N Sang is still the reigning heavyweight king, and strawweight titleholder Joshua Pacio.
Pacio is scheduled to defend his strap against compatriot Rene Catalan in ONE: Masters of Fate on November 8 at Mall of Asia Arena.
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