Team Lakay ends with 1-4 win-loss record in ONE: Dawn of Heroes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 3) — The hometown advantage didn’t seem to work in favor of Filipino mixed martial artists as only one of the five Pinoy athletes with matches won Friday night in ONE: Dawn of Heroes at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Baguio-based Team Lakay suffered major setbacks early in the preliminary round.

Due to an unintentional illegal hit to the back of the head midway through the second round, Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly couldn’t continue to fight even after a five-minute stoppage. China’s Xie “The Stalker” Bin was declared the winner via technical decision.

This seemed to have taken a domino effect when former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio "The Rock" Banario was also defeated by South Korea’s “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park via unanimous decision.

While Banario had his moments by sending Park reeling toward the ring ropes, the Korean was mostly in control. Park took down the Filipino fighter with a high kick in the last few moments of the third round, eventually winning the contest.

But what surprised many the most was Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio’s debacle. At the 1:59 mark of the first round, Japanese knockout artists Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu floored the former ONE Flyweight World Champion with a solid straight right hand, followed by a couple of punches and strikes to the head before the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

Wakamatsu added another KO victory in his win column, and gave Eustaquio the first knockout loss of his career.

“In this level of competition, it’s either you get knocked out or you knock them out. Tonight is not my night,” Eustaquio said in the post-fight conference.

It was Danny “The King” Kingad who boosted the Pinoy pride amid his teammates’ losses. Team Lakay clinched its first win when the 23-year-old power striker prevailed over Australian Reece “Lightning” McLaren via split decision.

Jiu-jitsu blackbelt McLaren grappled Kingad several times, but the latter managed to escape the former’s multiple submission attempts. Kingad took control of the third round and landed a couple of takedowns to secure the triumph.

Kingad is now on a five-bout winning streak as he advances to the grand finals of ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. He is set to go up against American pound-for-pound MMA icon Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson—who also secured his finals berth in the same night with a unanimous win over Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada of Japan.

Following Kingad’s victory, however, was another defeat of a Filipino wushu expert Eduard “Landslide” Folayang. The former ONE Lightweight World Champion appeared to dominate early in what he considers a dream match, grounding and pounding erstwhile UFC champ Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez. A low kick in the first round even brought his American adversary to the mat.

But in a quick turn of events, Alvarez took Folayang down, got hold of his neck, and got him to tap with a rear naked choke at the 2:16 mark in the same round.

This was Alvarez’s first victory under the ONE banner.

“This is not the first time that we’ve experienced cases like this. We will be back again…stronger and better,” Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao said in the post-fight conference.

See full and complete result of ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes below.

Main Card:

Martin Nguyen def. Koyomi Matsushima via TKO (R2, 4:40)

Eddie Alvarez def. Eduard Folayang via submission (rear-naked choke) (R1, 2:16)

Demetrious Johnson def. Tatsumitsu Wada via unanimous decision

Danny Kingad def. Reece McLaren via split decision

Preliminaries:

Yuya Wakamatsu def. Geje Eustaquio via knockout (R1, 1:59)

Dae Sung Park def. Honorio Banario via unanimous decision

Daichi Takenaka def. Leandro Issa via TKO (R3, 1:40)

James Nakashima def. Yushin Okami via unanimous decision

Xie Bin def. Edward Kelly via technical decision

Miao Li Tao def. Pongsiri Mitsatit via unanimous decision

Ayaka Miura def. Samara Santos via submission (americana) (R2, 0:39)

Muhammad Aiman def. Sunoto Peringkat via unanimous decision

Muay Thai bouts:

Rodtang Jitmuangnon def. Jonathan Haggerty via unanimous decision

Rodlek Jaotalaytong def. Andrew Miller via knockout (R3, 0:49)