Danny Kingad beat Reece McLaren, the lone victory by a Filipino fighter in ONE: Dawn of Heroes at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Eduard Folayang lost to Eddie Alvarez in Round 1 at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
(UPDATE2) Danny Kingad beat Reece McLaren in ONE: Dawn of Heroes on Friday, a much-needed victory for Filipino fighters who churned out disappointing results.
With the split-decision win over Australian fighter McLaren, Kingad set himself for a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix title clash with MMA superstar Demetrious Johnson.
In the process, Kingad helped Team Lakay avoid a shutout at Mall of Asia Arena, as Eduard Folayang and other hometown fighters fell by the wayside.
Folayang lost to American opponent Eddie Alvarez by rear naked choke 2 minutes and 16 seconds into Rund 1 in their Grand Prix lightweight semifinal.
In the preliminaries, Edward Kelly bowed to Xie Bin of Chinaby technical decision in their featherweight tussle, Honorio Banario lost by unanimous decision to Dae Sung Park of South Korea in their lightweight fight, and Geje Eustaquio fell via knockout to Yuya Wakamatsu of Japan in their flyweight bout.
"It's not the first time we've experienced something like this," said Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao. "We've had 0-5. We'll come back strong."
Kingad fought fire with fire against former world title challenger McLaren to eke out a narrow decision.
The start to the night didn't go well for Team Lakay when Edward Kelly was dominated by Xie on the ground.
The fight ended abruptly when Kelly got hit in the nape and was unable to continue, awarding Xie with the win.
This was followed by Banario’s loss to Dae in the other semifinal bout of the lightweight Grand Prix.
Although Banario scored some shots, he was out-grappled by Dae, who piled most of his points while on the ground.
Meanwhile, Eustaquio was coasting against Wakamatsu when he was tagged with a stunning right cross in the first round, which sent Eustaquio crashing to the mat unable to recover.
Later, Folayang appeared headed for a stoppage win against Alvarez when he dropped the former UFC lightweight champion with a hard kick to the calf.
But Alvarez was quick to turn things around and caught Folayang in a rear naked choke, forcing Folayang to tap.
Kingad was having difficulties against the lighting-quick McLaren in the early going, but he found his footing, especially in the final round where he took advantage of the tiring Aussie.
He scored points with successive takedowns and pounded McLaren while on the ground.
"Galit na siya (Kingad) sa second round, bakit daw nakukuha ang takedown," Sangiao said.
"So nakuha niya ang confidence niya sa third round, hindi nakapalag si Reece kahit gusto niyang umalis. Third round nakuha na niya."
It would have been a repeat of Team Lakay’s shutout loss in ONE: Rise to Power in 2013 if were not for Kingad’s victory.
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