China

Team Lakay vs Evolve MMA at ‘ONE: Beyond the Horizon’ in Shanghai, China

Honorio Banario, Xiong Jing Nan, Samara Santos, Amir Khan

On September 8, 2018, two of the leading mixed martial arts teams in Asia will clash at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China. In the co-main event, Filipino MMA star Honorio “The Rock” Banario of Team Lakay will take on Singaporean knockout artist Amir Khan of Evolve MMA.

Banario is a former ONE Featherweight World Champion. He and Khan will battle it out in the lightweight division at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon.”

The Team Lakay fighter is gunning for his sixth-straight win and is in the mix for the ONE Lightweight World Championship. His opponent from Evolve MMA is coming off a knockout win and is looking to get his own winning streak going.

Before that, two top-tier featherweights take center-stage at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon.” Team Lakay’s Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly will face Evolve MMA’s Christian “The Warrior” Lee in the featherweight division.

Under the guidance of head coach Mark Sangiao, Team Lakay has grown into the Philippines’ premier mixed martial arts team. Based in La Trinidad, Benguet, the team has produced four ONE Championship world champions in Banario, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio and recently crowned ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon.

The world title success of the Team Lakay warriors has helped make the Philippines the country with the most world title wins in ONE Championship history. Aside from the world champions, the team is also home to some of the promotion’s top-tier contenders including Kelly, strawweight star Joshua Pacio and flyweight contender Danny Kingad.

With Team Lakay riding high once again coming thanks to their recent string of success, Banario and Kelly are looking to keep the momentum going when they take on two of the best contenders from Evolve MMA, which is based in Singapore.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge.” Banario said. “Evolve MMA has world class fighters and coaches. They have black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, world champions in Muay Thai. They basically have everything in their gym. This will definitely be a good test for us.”

Long before Team Lakay’s rise to prominence, Evolve MMA has been dominating the combat sports scene not just in Asia but in the world. Regarded by many as the number one MMA gym in Asia, it is home to a who’s-who of world champions across various disciplines of martial arts.

In ONE Championship alone, the list of stars that have represented Evolve MMA is already quite impressive. It includes reigning ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela “Unstoppable” Lee, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren, former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong “Kru Rong” Sor Amnuaysirishoke, former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva and former ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion Roger Gracie.

Lee and Khan are determined to prove why Evolve MMA is among the best in the world. They have the chance to do just that when they meet a pair of Team Lakay stars.

“Team Lakay is a great team and I have been friendly with them since the start of my career,” Lee said. “However, my job is to go in there and take out whoever ONE Championship puts in front of me and this fight will be no different.”

Meanwhile, here is a recent interview with the Team Lakay head coach:

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