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Seven Filipino martial artists in first-ever ONE rankings

/ 04:02 AM April 28, 2020
Joshua Pacio ONE Championship

Joshua Pacio celebrates after successfully defending his ONE strawweight world title against Alex Silva in the main event of ONE: Fire & Fury on Friday, January 31, 2020, at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Seven Filipinos made it to ONE Championship’s first-ever athlete rankings, the Asian promotion announced on Monday, with reigning strawweight champion Joshua Pacio bannering the list of mixed martial artists topping their respective weight classes across three disciplines.

Rene Catalan of Iloilo, and Lito Adiwang, an up-and-coming striker also from Benguet, joined Pacio as No. 3 and No. 5 contenders of the division.

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Kevin Belingon, the former king of the bantamweight division, is ranked second just after archrival Bibiano Fernandes.Danny Kingad, meanwhile, is the closest pursuer to champion Adriano Moraes, and the renowned Demetrious Johnson in the flyweight class.

“The rankings will bring more clarity and transparency for our athletes as they chase their dreams for a world championship title,” head honcho Chatri Sityodtong said in a statement.

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“Fans can also follow their favorite athletes and their journeys more closely as they climb or fall in the rankings,” he added.

Also making the inaugural rankings are Denice Zamboanga and national athlete Gina Iniong. They have been listed as the No. 1 and No. 5 contenders, respectively, to Angela Lee, Singapore’s atomweight queen.

ONE, however, has yet to release its rankings for the other divisions in the mixed martial arts event, among them the heavyweight class where Filipino-American Brandon Vera is the defending champion.

Also announced was the postponement of ONE’s events for the month of May.

In a Facebook post later in the day, Sityodtong wrote that the promotion is shelving the events to a later date “due to recent COVID-19 development across most countries in Asia.”

“Our highest priority remains the safety and health of our athletes, officials, staff, fans and the public during these challenging times.” INQ

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TAGS: One Championship, Strawweight Joshua Pacio
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