Team Lakay opens 2019 with 2 straight losses at ONE Eternal Glory
MANILA, Philippines – The new year is definitely not off to a good start for the legendary MMA stable Team Lakay.
After a climactic finish to 2018, the Baguio-based brawlers are now down to 3 world champions after Joshua Pacio (16-3) lost the ONE strawweight world championship to Japanese underdog Yosuka Saruta (19-8-3) in a stunning split-decision loss at ONE Eternal Glory in Jakarta.
Saruta was relentless with his chain wrestling, taking “The Passion” down on numerous occasions while trading powerful combinations on the feet.
Throughout 5 rounds, both Saruta and Pacio put forth their best effort but it was “Tobizaru” who gained two of the 3 judges’ nods in the main event of the evening.
Earlier down the card, Christian “The Warrior” Lee (11-3) dominated Lakay’s Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly (11-6) in a first-round TKO, a bad sign of things to come for the stable.
It was all over by at the 2:07 mark of the bout, as Singapore's Lee finished off Kelly with a ferocious array of ground-and-pound punches off a full mount, forcing the referee to wave off the fight.
However, not all was lost for the Filipino side as a whole after Robin “D’ Ilonggo” Catalan” (8-5) got a hard-earned unanimous decision victory over Indonesia’s own Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian (8-3).
Catalan was a step ahead on all fronts, as he easily prevented Rahardian’s takedowns, while also picking the hometown favorite apart in the striking department and landing some takedowns of his own. After 3 rounds of action, it was Catalan who walked away with the win on all 3 of the judges’ scorecards.
Team Lakay will look to regroup hard on their home turf as Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio (11-6) looks to once again get the better of Brazilian rival Adriano Moraes (17-3) in ONE Hero’s Ascent at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, January 25.
Sharing the main event the card is Honorio “The Rock” Banario (14-7) aiming to give USA’s Lowen Tynanes (9-0) his first pro MMA loss.
Danny Kingad (10-1) is also gunning to join his compatriots in the win column by taking down Japanese veteran Tatsumitsu Wada (20-9-2). – Rappler.com