MMA – It’s More Fun In The Philippines By Mark Sangiao

Photo Credit: Mr. Raul Landingin

As the event is fast approaching, we become more excited. The ONE Fighting Championship 9: Rise to Power is scheduled tonight, May 31, 2013, 7:00 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. This is going to be historic, since this is the biggest event in Philippine MMA yet.

Five of our Team Lakay Warriors will be proudly representing the Philippines. The ONE FC Featherweight Champion, Honorio “The Rock” Banario will be having his first title defense against Koji Oishi from Japan. Honorio, who is also the current URCC Lightweight Champion, has no plan of giving away his belt. He intends to take a hold of it for a long time.

Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, the undefeated URCC Bantamweight Champion, is fighting another Japan’s pride, Masakatsu Ueda, for the finals of the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix. Belingon has a goal to be the next Filipino to have a World Championship Belt around his waist and a win against Ueda is going to be a great stepping stone for him to reach that goal.

Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang, the reigning URCC Welterweight Champion, is undoubtedly the face of Filipino MMA. He will be battling against Iranian Kamal Shalorus, who also plans to give the Filipino fans a great fight. Eduard promised to bring a different game this time and we will be witnessing that on his fight tonight.

The current URCC Pinweight Champion, Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen, is going to give the never-say-die attitude and wants to redeem himself from his lost to Shinichi Kojima last April of this year in Malaysia by aiming to defeat the second Japanese fighter he has to face, Yasuhiro Urishitani. Both are fighting under the ONE FC Flyweight division, the most fast-paced and fast-moving division in MMA.

Another flyweight bout, Team Lakay’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio will be fighting Andrew Leone, an American who is fighting out of Phuket Top Team, one of the best gyms in Asia. This will be one of the most exciting fights of the night. They both expressed their desire to bring explosive fight, so we’ll see about that come fight night.

So there you go about the ONE FC event. The weigh-in is done. All the Team Lakay fighters made weight. Cutting weight is one of the most significant aspect in preparing for a fight. Besides fighting in the ring/cage, which of course is the most important thing during a fight; not everybody knows the importance of cutting weight. The effort, time, and sacrifices given to cutting weight are very essential factors to be considered. I think for a fighter to be called “professional”, he has to give his everything to make his weight to be fair with his opponent and to follow respectfully the rules of the promotion.

On the other hand, another event going on right now in Manila is the PNG-POC, Wushu National Championships, where most of our Wushu scholars and members from the Cordillera Admininstrative Region are also here for the competition. The event is on-going and ends on June 02, 2013.

Almost all Team Lakay members and supporters are now in Manila for the two events especially for the ONE FC event. Their families, relatives, friends, fans and supporters are here to show their love and support.

Another great thing here is that fans from the northern part of the Philippines, as well as from around the country, are now in Manila for the said event. Likewise, fans from other countries came to visit the Philippines to watch the biggest MMA event the ONE FC has ever had yet. For this reason, therefore, events such as these contribute to the tourism campaign of the country.

After the events local and international tourists can still go on other tourist destinations in the Philippines. While it’s still vacation time particularly in the Philippines, for the students who came to Manila for this event, , they also have the chance to go to some places around Metro Manila and its nearby tourist spots before the start of classes in the coming weeks.

The ONE FC: Rise to Power is going to be fun and exciting! Like that of the first ONE FC event last year in Manila, which was held at the Smart Araneta Colliseum, the deafening cheers from the fans will again fill up the Arena at the SM Mall of Asia. It’s going to be amazing since the fighters promised to give their best and the fight of the night thereby, giving the fans full entertainment and at the end of the night, we hope we all go home with fulfillment, enjoyment, and positive results that we all have been hoping and praying for. GOD Bless Team Lakay Pilipinas on this endeavor!

On behalf of our Team Lakay fighters, Thank you very much for your support and prayers!

Matago-tago tako am-in! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Indeed, when it comes to MMA and other Combative sports, It’s also More Fun in the Philippines!

TOGETHER WE WILL RISE TO POWER By Mark “The Machine” Sangiao

It was a very disappointing night for Team Lakay last Saturday night at the PXC 37 event. It was one of the worst nights for the team. We went home frustrated. Our shoulders were down. There were questions in our minds. We had our hearts broken. We were not victorious.

It could have been a night of the opposite feelings. For most of our fights in the past, we usually go home successful, that even if we have not won all our fights, we have won at least one of the fights and it was a bitter-sweet feeling.

But that night was different. It was difficult. We felt that everything was fallen into pieces. It felt like we let a lot of people down. These were the feelings which we are not used to. Feelings we don’t like to feel.

But as we reach home in Baguio City, the coolness of the breeze seems like eased everything, at least the heat of our head and the pain in our hearts. After a while, we tend to accept everything.

Now, I can talk, I can share; now I can say that’s just part of the game. It was what it was. What has done has been done. We have to move on. We sat down, talked together after the fights and evaluate what had happened. It was different when all has been reviewed and assessed. When everyone has given their words of encouragement, we start to move on again.

Indeed, it was all part of the game. In a competition, especially in sports, it’s either we win or lose. If we win, it’s better, if we lose, we learn. As real and professional fighters, we have to get back on our feet and move on. Fighting is also a learning experience. It happens to every fighter.

As I have said to someone who questioned our performances before, I gave him this answer: “NO great Champion has a perfect or zero-loss record”. They all, at some point in their life, had lost their battles, learned, moved on and became one of the greatest of all time. The important thing is that, we fought, we did our best, we stood up and we move forward, applying what we have learned and become the best with all these lessons.

One thing which is great here is that, it was not just the one who fought who learned, it was the whole team. What one has experienced inside the cage, everybody in the team experienced it with him. The feelings that the fighter felt, the team feels with him (victorious or defeated). Then we all get up together for our future fights.

Now, after all that has happened, with the lessons and challenges we have with us, we have to focus on our upcoming fights in the coming week. First, we have the Philippine National Games, Wushu National Championships on May 27 to June 02, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. Thirteen (13) from Baguio Wushu Sanshou Team and 11 from Benguet Wushu Sanshou Team will be participating in the said event. We all train and prepare them further for the said event, together with their brothers at Team Lakay (mostly also a member of the team), they train with the Champions. This is the development of the grassroots level of the team. The experiences and trainings hone them to be future Wushu and MMA Champions. It is one of the visions of Team Lakay to develop a pool of talented athletes from the Cordillera Administrative Region and the Philippines. This event is also in preparation for the Asian Junior Wushu Championship sometime in August wherein the Philippines is going to be the host country.

Second, on May 31st, Team Lakay will be invading Manila for the biggest MMA event in the Philippines yet, the ONE Fighting Championship: Rise to Power. Five Team Lakay warriors are going to be having their toughest fights of their careers. Honorio “The Rock” Banario will be defending his ONE FC Featherweight title for the first time against Japan’s veteran fighter, Koji Oishi for the main event of the night.

Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon will be facing Masakatsu Ueda for the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix finals wherein the winner will have the chance to fight for the title later on this year.

Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will be fighting against Iranian Kamal Shalorus who is a high-level wrestler who also had fought in the WEC and UFC.

Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen will be going against Japanese Shooto Champion, Yasuhiro Urishitani.

The fifth Team Lakay fighter on this card is Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio. He will be facing off with the american and fighting from Phuket Top Team, Andrew Leone. It’s definitely a big load for them fighting in front of their fellow Filipino fans in their homeland. But it’s not going to be exhausting since they enjoy what they do; it’s their passion fighting either in or outside the country. Instead, it gives them pride and honor to represent the country. Many say the pressure is on them, since hopes and expectations are on their shoulders. But for as long as they’ll do their best, with the aim to be victorious, they know their countrymen will be proud of them. Team Lakay fighters don’t like to let their supporters down. Whenever our fans are watching us fighting, it adds fuel to our fighters to perform at their best and energizes them to showcase their full potential.

The prayers and faith of our fighters, together with that of our countrymen (being a prayerful country) will knock on God’s door and answer them.

With these, we don’t claim that this is our fight alone; this is the fight of the whole nation. So, together with our Team Lakay fighters, we dedicate all these fights to all of our supporters. As early as now, we would like to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts. We hope and pray that we will all succeed come May 31st at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Philippines. Please be there with us and together we will rise to power!