Lakay losses pile up as Belingon, Folayang drop world titles
MANILA, Philippines – In exactly 3 months into 2019, Team Lakay is now left without a world championship.
Shinya Aoki (43-8) reclaimed the ONE lightweight world championship after a quick first-round stoppage against Eduard Folayang (21-7) at ONE: A New Era at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Japan on Sunday, March 31.
The mega-fight two years in the making was over in two minutes after hometown hero Aoki established dominance on Folayang from the get-go.
After pinning the Filipino fighter to the ground, Aoki applied a tight arm triangle choke that forced the referee to call the fight with 2:26 left in the opening round.
WHAT. A. FINALE! Japanese legend Shinya Aoki submits Eduard Folayang with a slick arm-triangle choke at 2:34 of Round 1 to reclaim the ONE Lightweight World Title! @a_ok_i #WeAreONE #ANewEra #Tokyo #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/TnF59STQUH— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) March 31, 2019
But that shock loss was just one part of Team Lakay’s worries as Kevin Belingon (20-7) also dropped the ONE bantamweight world championship to Bibiano Fernandes (24-4) after a third-round disqualification loss.
It was an anticlimactic finish to the hyped trilogy of the two champion fighters after Belingon got the red card for repeated elbows to the back of Fernandes’ head midway through the 3rd.
The Brazilian brawler already got the upper hand late in the 1st round after staggering Belingon with a swinging right hook. Fernandes then took the fight to the mat but Belingon got saved by the bell.
Belingon managed to get even with a right hook of his own midway through the 2nd round, but Fernandes quickly shook it off and re-established dominance on the mat.
Just as it looked like Belingon was about to turn the bout around in the 3rd, however, he inexplicably hammered a pair of elbows to Fernandes, causing the DQ stoppage.
But not all was lost for the night for Lakay as Danny Kingad (13-1) earned a unanimous decision victory against Senzo Ikeda (12-8-1) to advance to the ONE flyweight Grand Prix semifinals.
After Joshua Pacio and Geje Eustaquio dropped Team Lakay's first two world championships just 6 days apart, the Baguio-based stable leaned on Folayang and Belingon to salvage the historic tear they had to end 2018.
However, they now head back home without a single title in their ranks. – Rappler.com
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