4 Filipino MMA fighters in ‘ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness’ fight card

There are four MMA fighters from the Philippines in the “ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness” fight card. Two of them are from the famed Team Lakay of Baguio City.

Rene Catalan

Rene Catalan

  1. Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan, 38

Hailing from Iloilo, Catalan is set to fight Chinese grappler Bu Huo You Ga, 25, in the strawweight division. The Filipino fighter currently has 2 wins and 2 losses while his upcoming opponent has 4 wins and 2 losses.

Robin Catalan

Robin Catalan

  1. Robin Catalan, 27

Robin is Rene’s younger brother. With a record of 6 wins and 2 losses, Robin will fight Thai fighter Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, 38, who has 7 wins and 2 losses, in the strawweight division.

Toni Tauru, Olivier Coste. Kevin Belingon

Toni Tauru, Olivier Coste. Kevin Belingon

  1. Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 29

Months after defeating Toni Tauru at “ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny” on April 21, Belingon is returning to the cage to face his Australian-Filipino opponent Reece McLaren, 25, in the bantamweight division. Belingon holds a record of 15 wins and losses while McLaren’s record is 9 wins and 4 losses.

Belingon is one of the senior fighters of Team Lakay. Both he and McLaren once tried to get the ONE Championship bantamweight world champion title from Bibiano Fernandes but failed.

Edward Kelly

Edward Kelly

  1. Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, 33

Like Belingon, Kelly is also a top Team Lakay fighter. Kelly is set to fight Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia, 30, in the featherweight division.

Both Kelly and Urrutia currently have 9 wins but the former has 3 losses while the latter has 4 losses. Kelly has fought seven ONE Championship bouts while Urrutia is set to make his debut in the promotion.

The only three ONE Championship fighters who defeated Kelly are Herbert Burns, 29, Ev “E.T.” Ting, 28, and Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 28. Both Nguyen and Ting are in the “ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness” fight card, as well.

Nguyen will challenge ONE Championship featherweight world champion Marat Gafurov, 32, while Ting will battle it out with Nobutatsu Suzuki, 39, in the lightweight division. “ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness” will take place on Aug. 18, Friday, at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Belingon and Kelly are accompanied by Team Lakay head coach Mark “The Machine” Sangiao and ONE Championship lightweight world champion Edward “Landslide” Folayang, 32. Here is a clip featuring the Team Lakay fighters:

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Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon, Edward Kelly joined by Mark Sangiao, Edward Folayang at ‘ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao and ONE Championship lightweight world champion Edward Folayang are currently in Malaysia. The two veteran MMA fighters are set to support Team Lakay fighters Kevin Belingon and Edward Kelly at “ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness.”

On Aug. 17, Thursday, Sangiao took to Facebook to share photos taken from Malaysia. He wrote, “Tomorrow, the 18th of August at Stadium Negara KL, roar for our two Lakays, Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon and Ferocious Edward Kelly as they troop to the actual action!!”

Kevin Belingon

Kevin Belingon

Belingon’s opponent is Australian-Filipino fighter Reece McLaren. They will battle it out in the bantamweight division.

McLaren is the second between the only two fighters who defeated Filipino-American MMA star Mark “Mugen” Striegl, who is based in Baguio City. Striegl’s first MMA win in the Philippines was against Team Lakay fighter Crisanto Pitpitunge.

Currently, Belingon has 15 wins and 5 losses while McLaren has 9 wins and losses. Both of them lost once to ONE Championship bantamweight world champion Bibiano Fernandes.

Edward Kelly

Edward Kelly

On the other hand, Kelly currently has 9 wins and 3 losses. His “ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness” opponent is Emilio Urrutia, who has 9 wins and 4 losses.

Kelly and Urrutia will compete in the featherweight division. It will be the first ONE Championship bout of the latter.

As for Kelly, “ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness” will be his eighth ONE Championship bout. Aside from him and Belingon, there are two more fighters from the Philippines in the fight card namely Robin Catalan and Rene Catalan, whose respective opponents are Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke and Buhuoyouga.

“ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness” will take place at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 18, Friday. Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring Sangiao, Folayang, Belingon, Kelly and their fellow Team Lakay fighters during a press conference in Pasay City, Metro Manila, in May:

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Cannes winner Brillante Mendoza holds exclusive Cinemansanas Masterclass

Brillante Mendoza

Brillante Mendoza

Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza began the first round of Masterclass sessions for Pixelworx: Cinemansanas 2017 last August 12 and 13. The 23 selected filmmakers embarked on a journey with the award-winning director who lent his expertise on acting, directing, and cinematography.

The exclusive sessions were held at the Power Mac Center Apple Authorized Training Provider in Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. Participants underwent extensive training and experienced hands-on activities during the sessions, which aim to help them bring film ideas to life.

“We selected a wonderful mix of 23 idealistic students, professionals, and enthusiasts representing the 23 amazing years of Power Mac Center. We are grateful to Direk Dante Mendoza for sharing his time and knowledge and helping us nurture the next generation of Filipino filmmakers,” said Power Mac Center Marketing Director Joey Alvarez.

The last Masterclass session will be held on August 26. After which, participants are required to submit their short films for a chance to win a MacBook Pro Retina or up to P40,000 worth of Power Mac Center gift cards.

‘Do you have a minute?’ film competition, still open

Filmmakers and enthusiasts who missed the Masterclass sessions can still participate in Cinemansanas by sending their 1-minute film entries to the short film competition. Entry is free and open to all residents of the Philippines, provided they are 18 years old and above.

“‘Do you have a minute?’ aims to provide a perspective on how people can share compelling stories through social media, where everything has a shelf life of just 60 seconds. We want to challenge everyone, can you tell an amazing story in one minute?” Alvarez said.

Film entries must be shot using an iPhone and made specifically for this competition. Films may be in any language or have no dialogue at all, whereas foreign language audio or important on-screen text must have English subtitles.

Up to P30,000 worth of Power Mac Center gift cards, full training on Final Cut Pro or Logic Pro X, and an iPad Pro are up for grabs.

The deadline of submission of entries is on August 25, 2017. To join the competition, visit https://goo.gl/9SC9ai. For complete mechanics, visit any Power Mac Center branch nationwide, or log on to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube (@powermaccenter).

All Pixelworx: Cinemansanas activities will culminate in a Grand Movie Premiere at the SM Mall of Asia Cinema on September 21, 2017, with Director Brillante Mendoza as guest-of-honor.

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Robin Catalan unfazed of Thai opponent’s caliber, vows to pick up second-straight win

Robin Catalan

Robin Catalan

Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan may not have gotten the best start under the ONE Championship banner, but after snagging his first promotional win last April, he is hungry for more.

However, a tough test awaits Catalan as he is slated to lock horns with former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke on the undercard of ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, 18 August.

Catalan is expected to have his hands full as he shares the ONE Championship cage with Dejdamrong, who is a three-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai world champion with over 25 years of competitive experience.

Having a professional record of 7-2, Dejdamrong is known as a technical striker with quick hands and lightning feet, employing some of the most unique and creative combinations.

Even though Catalan is a striker by nature with his Wushu-Sanda pedigree, his opponent is a living legend in the discipline known as “The art of eight limbs.”

“I know he is much more experienced than me, and I look up to that. I also admire his striking skills. It is one of the things we are cautious about,” he said.

The 27-year-old Iloilo City native might have a tall order in front of him in Dejdamrong, but he remains unperturbed with the fact that the most challenging bout in his young career is ahead of him.

“I don’t see it as a problem. To me, this is a challenge that can bring out the best in me. The core of martial arts is to unleash a human’s true potential. I want to know my potential in this sport. That’s why I am happy to be in this bout against a talented competitor and a former champion like him,” Catalan stated.

Adding fuel to Catalan’s hunger for a win is the fact that Dejdamrong knocked out his older brother, Rene, back in December 2014.

“It is one of my goals, to get back a win for him. I will play to my strengths, and I will even go head-to-head with his strengths. If I can submit him, it will be a satisfying win for me, for sure,” he claimed.

Although a victory over Dejdamrong would undoubtedly be a marquee moment in Catalan’s career, the night of 18 August holds even greater significance as Rene is competing as well and will open ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS against Chinese grappling prodigy Bu Huo You Ga.

This is the first time the siblings will be featured at a ONE Championship event together, and they plan to make it a night they will never forget.

“We have the same aim of winning. So making it two for two on this card will make this extra special,” he ended.


​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.
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ONE Championship announces full bout card for inaugural event in Shanghai; ONE welterweight world champion Ben Askren to defend title against Zebaztian Kadestam in main event

Ben Askren, Zebaztian Kadestam

Ben Askren, Zebaztian Kadestam

17 August 2017 – Shanghai, China: The largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced its inaugural event in Shanghai, China, which is set to take place on 2 September, at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. The bustling metropolis will play host to ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI, featuring the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent. In the main event, ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren of the United States returns to the ONE Championship cage to defend his title against challenger Zebaztian Kadestam of Sweden.

Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: “China is one of our biggest markets, and the focus has been to really bring the rich cultural history of martial arts in China to the forefront. It is a delight to finally announce our inaugural event in the beautiful city of Shanghai. We are coming at you live and ready to showcase the world’s most authentic display of martial arts. With an exhilarating main event prepared for our fans in Shanghai, Ben Askren is ready to defend his ONE Welterweight World Championship against Swedish challenger Zebaztian Kadestam. The interesting clash of styles should provide fans a solid matchup. Moreover, we have an amazing card planned for fans all across the world. This is a live event you would not want to miss!”

Apart from the announcement of ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI and its highly-anticipated headlining bout, ONE Championship has also ventured into partnerships with Didi Chuxing, I-Fitness, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Didi Chuxing is the world’s largest comprehensive one-stop mobile transportation platform which offers a full range of mobile tech-based mobility options for over 300 million users across 400 Chinese cities. Meanwhile, I-Fitness leads in fitness curriculum operations research and development in China, which is devoted to building the best fitness market operation upgrade platform in the country with more than ten independent research and development courses.

Furthermore, TAT is the first organization in Thailand to be specifically responsible for the promotion of tourism. TAT supplies information and data on tourist areas to the public, publicizes Thailand with the intention of encouraging both Thai and international tourists to travel in and around Thailand, conducts studies to set development plans for tourist destinations, and cooperates with and supports the production and development of personnel in the field of tourism.

Sityodtong added: “I am thrilled to announce this partnership with Didi Chuxing, I-Fitness, and TAT as our partnership signifies another incredible moment for martial arts in Asia and ONE Championship. As a lead up to the biggest martial arts event in Shanghai, China on 2 September, ONE Championship will roll out a massive campaign across all media platforms throughout the country.”

A former NCAA Division I All-American, Ben “Funky” Askren of the United States is a collegiate wrestling legend and a US Olympian who represented the nation at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He is universally recognized as one of the finest martial artists in the world today. Askren joined ONE Championship in 2014, winning the ONE Welterweight World Championship in just his second bout. Askren has since successfully defended the title twice, including his most recent victory, a first-round submission of young Malaysian star Agilan Thani in May. Sporting an unblemished 16-0 professional record, Askren seeks to continue his reign as champion, this time against Zebaztian Kadestam.

Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam of Sweden holds an outstanding professional record of 9-3, and is a tremendous competitor with a wide array of striking and grappling techniques. Seven of his nine career victories have come by way of knockout. Kadestam made a successful ONE Championship debut last May when he defeated Luis Santos, upsetting the top welterweight contender via a come-from-behind third-round knockout. Kadestam’s resounding victory quickly earned him a title opportunity, as he is now booked to face the toughest opponent of his career in Ben Askren.

41-year-old Narantungalag Jadambaa of Ulaangom, Mongolia, is one of the top talents in ONE Championship’s deep featherweight division. At 12 wins and five losses, Jadambaa has faced the biggest names in Asian martial arts and has posted wins over notable ONE Championship stars Kotetsu Boku and Eric Kelly. Featuring incredible strength, durability and skill, Jadambaa is recognized among the very best in the world, having been the former ONE Featherweight World Champion. In his most recent bout, Jadambaa fell just short of victory in an epic rematch with reigning champion Marat Gafurov. Next, he faces Japanese grappler Tetsuya Yamada.

27-year-old Tetsuya Yamada of Kanigawa, Japan, is a promising young martial artist with a distinct ability to seek out highlight-reel stoppages. He made his ONE Championship debut in January of 2016 in an extremely high-level wrestling showdown against Eduard Folayang of the Philippines. A seasoned grappler, 14 of Yamada’s 18 career victories have come by spectacular finish, including six submissions. After a brief stint in other promotions, Yamada returns to the ONE Championship cage to take on former ONE Featherweight World Champion Narantungalag Jadambaa.

Chinese bantamweight contender Miao Li Tao is set to make his ONE Championship promotional debut against 23-year-old Liu De Li Ri Ge Hu. The two competitors are set to do battle at ONE CHAMPIONSHIP SHANGHAI in front of a packed stadium filled to the rafters with their hometown fans. Miao, who represents the Fighting Brothers Gym in Beijing, is a Sanda and boxing practitioner while Liu De Li, who represents Long Yun MMA in Harbin, specializes in Mongolian wrestling.

Beijing-based former professional boxer Xu Chun Yan is set to make her ONE Championship debut, and will take on 19-year-old Cambodian Eh Ya Nut in a showdown of talented young strikers. Eh Ya Nut possesses valuable experience inside the ONE Championship cage, having competed in the promotion in December of 2015. Xu, a former WBC Intercontinental champion, will test her skills against the Khun Khmer specialist in an exciting striking battle.

Making their highly-anticipated ONE Championship debut, “The Sweeping Monk” Chen Geng Min will take on opponent Peng Xue Wen of Guangdong in a three-round strawweight contest. Chen, a multiple time Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion, is 3-0 in professional martial arts competition, and is a mainstay of AMA Gym in Shanghai. Peng, on the other hand, sports a 2-1 professional martial arts record and is the former 2014 National Youth Greco Roman Wrestling Champion. The two warriors are set for what is expected to be a high-level grappling affair.

30-year-old Sagetdao Petpayathai is a Muay Thai specialist and a four-time Lumpinee Stadium champion who has won every major title in Muay Thai. He made his professional cage debut last March at home in Bangkok, defeating Malaysia’s Kelvin Ong via first-round technical knockout. Voted by Thai media as one of the greatest Muay Thai practitioners in history, Petpayathai is known for his highly technical knowledge in all of Muay Thai’s varied techniques. Petpayathai will be taking on Mahmoud Mohamed in his second bout inside the ONE Championship cage.

Mahmoud Mohamed of Cairo, Egypt, is a ONE Championship lightweight competitor with a 4-4-1 professional martial arts record. He made his promotional debut in January of 2016, showcasing well-rounded striking and grappling skills against talented young opponent Christian Lee. In his most recent bout, Mohamed took on former lightweight contender Bashir Ahmad. He now returns to action seeking victory, but will have to go through Sagetdao Petpayathai to claim success.

30-year-old “Supermom” Miao Jie of Shanghai, China is a professional martial artist with a 2-1 record. A talented grappler, Miao recently placed third overall as a purple belt at the 2017 IBJJF World Championships in Long Beach, California, USA. Looking to make a name for herself in Asia’s premier martial arts organization, Miao seeks to showcase her complete skills as she makes her ONE Championship debut against Mona Samir.

Female flyweight competitor Mona Samir of Cairo, Egypt, is a professional martial artist with a 1-3 record. Samir made her ONE Championship debut in September of 2015 against Singapore’s Angela Lee, and returned to the promotion a year later to face Michelle Nicolini. Featuring a well-rounded set of skills, Samir is determined to claim victory inside the ONE Championship cage. Having faced the biggest names in women’s martial arts in Asia, Samir is ready to utilize her experience as an advantage against opponent Miao Jie.

22-year-old Singaporean lightweight prospect Amir Khan is a professional martial artist with a stellar 7-2 record. He is considered one of the most promising young talents to represent Singapore on the international stage of martial arts. Khan is currently riding a four-bout win streak, which includes one win by submission and three by devastating knockout. In his most recent outing, Khan needed just a little over a minute to finish Rajinder Singh Meena with punches. Next in line for Khan is the dangerous Jaroslav Jartim.

Prague-based martial arts star Jaroslav Jartim of Czech Republic will return to the ONE Championship cage following an unsuccessful debut last April at the hands of Honorio Banario. With a professional record of eight wins, six losses and one draw, Jartim remains a highly-capable competitor with tremendous finishing ability. Of his eight victories, three have come by submission and three by knockout. The Penta Gym Prague representative is set to face top Singaporean lightweight prospect Amir Khan.

Shanghai-based competitors “The Ghost” Zhang Ze Hao and former boxer Li Cheng Chao are set for their first appearance inside the ONE Championship cage. Zhang, a proponent at the AMA Shanghai Gym, is 2-2 as a professional and sanda and Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. Li, representing the Dragon Warrior Gym, is also 2-2 as a professional, and comes from a boxing background. The two are set for a three-round battle on the preliminary card of ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI.

Kicking off the action at ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI are two promising young bantamweight prospects. Malaysian warrior Marc Marcellinus is set to return to the ONE Championship cage opposite Vietnam’s Tran Quang Loc. Marcellinus has already competed twice for the promotion, taking on Singapore’s Stephen Langdown in 2013 and Thailand’s Anatpong Bunrad in 2014. After a long break from professional competition, Marcellinus returns to face Tran, an exciting prospect from Ho Chi Minh City who is making his professional martial arts debut.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

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Why Drew Arellano, Iya Villania can’t forget Baguio City’s Café by the Ruins

Drew Arellano, Conan Altatis

Drew Arellano, Conan Altatis

As a mixed martial arts fan, I was happy to learn that TV host Drew Arellano was into sports. He is a triathlete who owns an online store called Vamos, which sells sports attire and paraphernalia.

Along with his friends, Arellano opened Tri Temple, a gym and sports store in Makati City that caters to triathlete needs. Since he is a sporty person, I assumed that he was also interested in MMA.

On Aug. 1, I had a sit-down interview with Arellano at the Limbaga 77 Cafe Restaurant in Quezon City, Metro Manila. My plan was just to have a spontaneous chat with him about MMA, but he revealed that he was not really into the combative sport or any type of martial arts.

Nevertheless, I went ahead and asked Arellano about his thoughts on the controversial MMA bout between actors Baron Geisler and Kiko Matos under the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) in 2016. He was not familiar with it but there was one thing we agreed on, that sports is entertainment.

Since we cannot chat about MMA, I had to change the topic impromptu. The first thing that came to my mind was my home city, Baguio, which was one of the cities featured in his travel show called “Biyahe Ni Drew.”

I simply asked Arellano about his favorite memory in Baguio City. He said he has many great memories there and jokingly said he remembered the days when Iya Villania was still courting him.

Arellano and Villania co-starred in the GMA series “Click” from 2002 to 2004, which was more than a decade before they got married. There was one time when they were in Baguio City to tape the show, particularly in Café by the Ruins, which closed on July 20.

There was a specific denim-like jacket Arellano gave to Villania during that day in that place that they could not forget for some reason. He also specifically remembered the sweet potato bread that he ate there.

Aside from being a sports buff, Arellano is also a foodie. He and his wife have been co-hosting the GMA cooking show “Home Foodie” since 2016.

Villania gave birth to their first and only son named Antonio Primo Arellano on Aug. 30, 2016. Watch my short interview with Arellano here:

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Despite shouldering double duty, Rene Catalan keeps himself laser-focused for upcoming bout

Rene Catalan

Rene Catalan

Filipino martial artist Rene “The Challenger” Catalan has a unique predicament on Friday, 18 August as he will be dividing his time between being a cage competitor and acting as a chief cornerman.

Catalan will be sharing the ONE Championship cage with grappling prodigy Bu Huo You Ga of China on the undercard of ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS, which takes place at the iconic Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Meanwhile, one of Catalan’s younger brothers, Robin, will also be competing on the stacked card as he squares off with multiple-time Lumpinee World Champion and former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke later in the evening.

It will be the first time both family members are competing at the same ONE Championship event. Not only does he have to focus on his own match, but Catalan also has to deal with the stress of coaching his younger sibling to victory.

“There is pressure, definitely, both as a coach and as a competitor, As a coach, I am thinking about my athlete’s performances. And as a competitor, there is the pressure to win, and carrying Filipino pride on my shoulders,” he admitted.

Although ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS will surely be a busy night for Catalan, it also presents an opportunity to make some incredible memories as Catalan envisions a scenario where both he and his brother advance their professional careers by becoming victorious on the card.

“It marks the first time that I will compete alongside my brother. It’s exciting. I hope that we will walk away as winners of our respective bouts. It will cause a big family celebration,” he said.

Riding high on a two-bout winning streak, the 38-year-old Iloilo native will have the chance to extend his victory parade as he takes on Bu, who has won his last three outings.

A proud native of a hill tribe in West China, Bu has a formidable base as a national Greco-Roman wrestling champion and has built upon that by adding elements of Wushu-Sanda, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and traditional Chinese Kung Fu to his arsenal.

Most notably, Bu’s biggest achievement under the ONE Championship banner was when he was crowned as the ONE Hefei Flyweight Tournament Champion in July 2016.

With the aim to be a more versatile combatant than his Chinese counterpart, Catalan revealed that he worked extensively on his ground game in training camp.

“For this fight, I added more emphasis to my ground game. Even though I am coming off a win, I shouldn’t be complacent. I trained with the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the country to hone my grappling skills,” he bared.

While Catalan recognizes Bu’s potential, he believes that his seasoned background in combat sports will play a pivotal role in their three-round strawweight encounter.

“I may not have much experience in the cage, but I do have a rich background in Wushu-Sanda and boxing,” he explained.

“I still believe that my striking is better than his stand-up game. I am very comfortable in that aspect. If he wants to strike with me, it will be my pleasure,” Catalan added.

Catalan hopes that if he secures a decisive win over Bu, it will put him an inch closer to a date with Yoshitaka Naito for the ONE Strawweight World Championship belt.

“I really hope that ONE Championship will give me an opportunity to vie for the title in the future. This bout might be the door to a world title contest. I am coming in with a game plan, much like my opponent. If I cannot take it one way, I am going to take it in another. My goal is to win. I carry with me the pride of the Filipino people. I will do whatever it takes to win,” he stated.


​​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.
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