Team Lakay bets Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon and Joshua Pacio starred in Friday night’s ONE: State of Warriors fight card in Yangon, Myanmar, but only one of the two Filipinos took home a victory. Belingon (14-5) thoroughly outperformed top Tajikistan bantamweight prospect Muin Gafurov (10-2) to win by unanimous decision after three rounds while Pacio (8-1) succumbed to ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito (12-0) by submission in the main event of the evening.
Wushu sanshou expert Belingon of Baguio City engaged combat sambo world champion Gafurov in a high-level striking battle for three grueling rounds.
Leg kicks played a huge factor for Belingon, who landed accurate strikes on the inside and on the outside. Gafurov looked to take Belingon down, but was unable to close the gap on his attempts.
All three judges scored in favor of Belingon for the unanimous decision, effectively ending Belingon’s two-year drought without a victory.
On the other hand, Pacio, who is just 20 years old, dominated reigning champion Naito for nearly three rounds before experiencing fatigue and a brief mental lapse which was all it took for the Japanese stalwart to steal the victory.
Pacio tagged Naito repeatedly with accurate strikes, utilizing his world-class wushu sanshou skills to stifle the champion who tried for repeated takedowns. In the third round however, Naito came out of nowhere and was able to take Pacio down, secure his back and lock in a rear naked choke to force the tap.
“Definitely the happiest and the best fight ever. This is definitely my best fight. I just did what I came to do. I showed Myanmar what I can do, all my skills, and I won,” said Naito.
It was a gutsy performance to say the least from the young Pacio, who will take this loss as a learning experience. With the loss however, Team Lakay’s 16-0 win streak ends. -By Carlos Cinco
Complete results for ONE: STATE OF WARRIORS
ONE Strawweight World Championship bout: Yoshitaka Naito defeats Joshua Pacio by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:33 minutes of round 3
Middleweight bout: Aung La N Sang defeats Michal Pasternak by Unanimous Decision (UD) after three rounds
Featherweight bout: Phoe Thaw defeats Saw Yan Paing by TKO (Strikes) at 3:23 minutes of round 1
Bantamweight bout: Kevin Belingon defeats Muin Gafurov by Unanimous Decision (UD) after three rounds
Bantamweight bout: Yusup Saadulaev defeats Jordan Lucas by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:28 minutes of round 1
Featherweight bout: Bashir Ahmad defeats Mahmoud Mohamed by Submission (Heel Hook) at 1:23 minutes of round 1
Featherweight bout: Saw Ba Oo defeats Kyal Sin Phyo by Unanimous Decision (UD) after two rounds
Featherweight bout: Saw Yan Paing defeats Ye Yint Aung by Unanimous Decision (UD) after two rounds
Featherweight bout: Phoe Thaw defeats Kat Pali by TKO (Strikes) at 0:22 minutes of round 1