Ex-Champions Folayang, Pacio, And More Depart Team Lakay
“For the last 16 years of my professional career as a mixed martial artist, I was in the company of brave and talented individuals in Team Lakay. This stable was a large element in what I have become and the stature I have arrived at in our beloved sport,” Folayang wrote on Facebook.
“Words will not suffice to aptly impart how grateful I am for our camaraderie that has led to our achievements and victories inside the Circle, as well as the heartbreaks that have driven us to keep going in pursuit of our ultimate goal. I will forever cherish every moment like a precious treasure.”
The ONE Championship star wrote that he needed to get out of his comfort zone to evolve in the final years as an active competitor. Folayang thanked Team Lakay and head coach Mark Sangiao and promised it was not a goodbye.
But he was not the only one to take to social media to post a farewell. Former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon also penned his note about leaving the famed camp.
“I would like to make a public statement that I’m no longer with Team Lakay. I had a farewell talk with coach Mark Sangiao and we ended on a good note. Coach, thank you for everything and for understanding my need for growth. With whole sincerity, I wish you all the best in life,” wrote Belingon.
“Leaving the team makes me emotional because it has been my home for the last 16 years. But, at the same time, I look forward for what lies ahead. Fresh start.”
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario was also one of the athletes who left Team Lakay. However, perhaps the most notable star leaving the camp did not write a statement. Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio is also exiting Team Lakay, according to Sangiao.
The head coach of the camp made a note of the departures in response to Belingon’s post and wished all his former pupils well wishes as they continue their careers.
“On behalf of Team Lakay and I, wish you all well in your next step. The decision has been made among us and I’m glad we had that final graceful goodbyes talk. God Bless all of us and all the best. Regards to your Manong Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang, Honorio “The Rock” Banario, and Ading Joshua Felix Pacio,” said Sangiao.
While no statement has been made about where these talents will end up, it is difficult to describe what Team Lakay has meant for martial arts in the Philippines. While the camp will continue, the departing former champions who helped put the gym on the map globally signify an end of an era.
Eduard "The Landslide" Folayang
- Jarred Brooks Says Being In ONE Championship Is 'Way Better' Than The UFC ›
- ONE Championship Adds New $50,000 Bonuses To Every Event ›
- Numbers Don't Lie UFC, ONE Championship Are A Global Martial Arts Duopoly ›