ONE chief defends Team Lakay after Tokyo showing
Honorio Banario reacts after losing to Shinya Aoki via TKO in Part II of ONE: Century held in Tokyo on October 13, 2019.
ONE Championship
ONE chief defends Team Lakay after Tokyo showing
( - October 18, 2019 - 9:44am

MANILA, Philippines — ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong came to the defense of Filipino MMA stable Team Lakay after a dismal 1-3 showing in ONE: Century last weekend in Tokyo.

In a fight fest that saw three of their four fighters fall to their opponents, a number of Filipino fans were not happy.

But Sityodtong was quick to show his support for the embattled Filipino athletes.

Posting on his official Facebook account, Sityodtong had a message to those criticizing the Baguio-based fighters.

"First, let me begin by saying that Team Lakay is one of the best fight teams in the world," Sityodtong said.

"On any given day, Team Lakay can crush any team in the world," he added.

In ONE Championship's 100th show in Tokyo, former world champions Kevin Belingon and Honorio Banario suffered submission losses to Bibiano Fernandes and Shinya Aoki, respectively in two quick fights.

While rising star Danny Kingad fell to Flyweight King Demetrious Johnson in three rounds in the Flyweight World Grand Prix Final.

The result in Tokyo was similar to other recent Lakay showings, where the four championship belts they held by the end of 2018 have dwindled down to one.

But the ONE head honcho reminded the MMA community of Team Lakay's prowess, especially in the Philippines.

"ONE Championship represents the highest levels in the world. It is the biggest global stage for martial arts. And Team Lakay has put Philippines on the world map many times," he said.

"Let us stand up and applaud Team Lakay and [coach] Mark Sangiao for chasing their dreams fearlessly in their quest to make history with another world title," he added.

Team Lakay will once again be put to the test on November 8, this time on home soil, where Eduard Folayang and Geje Esutaquio hope to make a triumphant comeback.

Meanwhile, Joshua Pacio will attempt to defend his ONE strawweight title against Rene Catalan — Team Lakay's sole championship belt.

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