Based in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines, Team Lakay has three reigning world champions in 2018. Before the year ends, the famed mixed martial arts team may have its fourth one.
Two of the reigning world champions of Team Lakay are signed with Singapore-based martial arts organization ONE Championship. The other one is signed with Bahrain-based MMA promotion Brave Combat Federation.
Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, of Mankayan, Benguet was the first ever MMA world champion not only of Team Lakay but also of the Philippines. He captured the inaugural ONE Featherweight World Championship on February 2, 2013 but lost the title to Koji Oishi, 41, of Tokyo, Japan on May 31, 2013.
On November 11, 2016, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, of Baguio City, Philippines became the new ONE Lightweight World Champion, making him the second Team Lakay fighter to hold a world championship title. However, he lost the title on November 10, 2017 to Martin “The Situ-Asian’ Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam, who has since been reigning simultaneously as ONE Championship’s world champion both in the featherweight and lightweight divisions.
On November 17, 2017, Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, 23, of Baguio City became the inaugural Brave CF Bantamweight Champion. On June 9, 2018, he successfully defended his belt from Frans “The Black Mamba” Mlambo, 27, of Dublin, Ireland in a rematch.
On January 26, 2018, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, of Baguio City was crowned the ONE Interim Flyweight World Champion. On June 23, 2018, he became the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion by dethroning then reigning champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 29, of Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil.
On July 27, 2018, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of Ifugao became the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion by stopping Nguyen’s goal to win a third division title. The former is expected to face reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil in a rematch before 2018 ends.
With Loman, Eustaquio and Belingon reigning as world champions, Team Lakay is set to have its fourth fighter to compete in a title bout in 2018. On September 22, 2018, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 22, of La Trinidad will challenge reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, 34, of Matsudo, Chiba, Japan at “ONE: Conquest of Heroes” at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This will be a rematch between Pacio and Naito. On October 7, 2016, the Team Lakay fighter challenged the reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion but lost via rear-naked choke submission.
Team Lakay was founded by its head coach Mark Sangiao. Aside from Banario, Folayang, Eustaquio, Belingon and Pacio, the other Team Lakay fighters currently signed with ONE Championship are Danny “The King” Kingad, 22, Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, 34, Gina “Conviction” Iniong, 28, and April Osenio, 24.
Pacio holds a professional MMA record of 12 wins and 2 losses while Naito has 13 wins and 1 loss. Meanwhile, here is an interview with the Team Lakay fighter before he won his 12th professional MMA victory: