Team Lakay bounces back with perfect night at ONE: Masters of Fate
MANILA, Philippines—Team Lakay had a fruitful run in ONE: Masters of Fate going 3-0 in the card that saw World strawweight champion Joshua Pacio retain his title against fellow Filipino Rene Catalan in the main event.
The clean sweep was a welcome reprieve for the Baguio-based stable after three of its champions all lost their titles earlier in the year.
Pacio, Eduard Folayang, and Geje Eustaquio were all triumphant against their respective foes Friday at Mall of Asia Arena and Lakay patriarch Mark Sangiao was ecstatic to see his team back on their feet.
“I really can’t explain how I’m feeling right now, but I’m very happy,” said Sangiao. “We aimed to close 2019 and we needed to win those three fights to bounce back.”
Pacio successfully defended his title by submitting his veteran opponent with an arm triangle 2:29 into the second round.
Folayang, a former two-time World lightweight champion, earned a technical decision win over Amarsanaa Tsohookhuu after an accidental headbutt in the second round.
Meanwhile, former flyweight title holder Eustaquio knocked out Toni Tauru with a vicious spinning heel kick 2:11 into the third round.
The 23-year-old Pacio lost the title to Yosuke Saruta in January 2019 via split decision before taking it back three months later in April via fourth round knockout.
“I’m very happy because I’ve said before that you’re not a World champion if you don’t defend the belt and I’m ecstatic that I was able to defend it,” said Pacio after his win over the 40-year-old Catalan.
As for Eustaquio (13-8), knocking out Tauru was the end result of a near endless preparation that saw him master the spinning heel kick with former bantamweight champion Belingon.
“I’m really happy and you know the feeling of seeing the result of the preparation that you’ve done every day,” said Eustaquio in Filipino. “Tonight I saw the results and I did it in front of my countrymen. It’s very satisfying because I applied what I did in training.”
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