ONE Fighting Championship will be returning to Manila this May, and the country's most decorated fight team will be well represented come fight night.
Team Lakay has dominated the region's MMA scene for the past few years, and has produced several stars and champs from different organizations such as URCC, PXC and ONE FC. Five of their fighters will be on the ONE FC 9 card, but they won't be in "showcase" match ups for the hometown crowd. Most of them would even be considered as the underdogs as they'll be getting the toughest tests of their careers so far.
As reported earlier, their most popular fighter in , while will be facing off against UFC and WEC standout, Kevin Belingon will meet Shooto star Masakatsu Ueda at the BWGP Final. ONE FC champ Honorio Banario on the other hand, will have a stiff test when he tries to defend his title against UFC vet and former lightweight King of Pancrase, Koji Oishi.
Those are all challenging bouts for these talented Filipinos, but it doesn't end there as BloodyElbow.com has confirmed two additional flyweight bouts that have been rumored earlier.
URCC Pinweight Champion, Rey Docyogen moved up to 125 lbs and made his debut against Shinichi Kojima last February, and on this card, he will take on yet another Shooto legend. Widely regarded as one of the best flyweights in Asia, Yasuhiro Urushitani has signed with ONE FC and will be looking to make an immediate statement after a brief stint with the UFC.
Another flyweight bout has also been penned for the card as young prospect Geje Eustaquio will be taking on the highly regarded Phuket Top Team product in Andrew Leone.
Leone is a talented grappler and will be bringing some hype with him as this Thailand-based American already has wins over ONE FC champ Soo Chul Kim and UFC star Kyung Ho Kang on his resume. The Team Lakay product in Eustaquio on the other hand, is mostly known for handing Evolve MMA's Alex Silva his first professional loss at ONE FC 2.
Filipino prospects against guys who are mostly UFC or Bellator vets, can they go 5-0? It will be a tough task, but it will surely be interesting to see.
Check out how the ONE FC 9 card is shaping up:
ONE FC 9: Rise to Power
May 31, 2013 -- SM MOA Arena, Philippines
- Honorio BanarioKoji Oishi [ONE FC Featherweight Championship]
- Bibiano Fernandes vs. Koetsu Okazaki
- Masakatsu Ueda vs. Kevin Belingon [Bantamweight GP Finals]
- Eduard Folayang vs. Kamal Shalorus
- Nobutatsu Suzuki vs. Phil Baroni
- Andrew Leone vs. Geje Eustaquio
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