Team Lakay vows to go all out in ‘Masters of Fate’

Sun.Star Baguio - - Front Page - Rod­er­ick Osis

HIGH­LAND war­riors seeks a much needed vic­tory Fri­day evening at the Mall of Asia Arena as One Cham­pi­onship brings an­other jam packed mixed mar­tial arts ac­tion dubbed Masters of Fate.

Joshua Pa­cio, ONE strawweigh­t world cham­pion will de­fend his ti­tle in the main event against top con­tender and fel­low Filipino Rene Cata­lan.

“Once again, it is an honor to per­form in front of my home­town fans in Manila. Putting on a show for all the Filipino peo­ple, it’s al­ways some­thing I am ex­cited for. Rene Cata­lan is a wor­thy chal­lenger. He’s rid­ing a sixbout win­ning streak and is full of con­fi­dence,” said Pa­cio.

Pa­cio said he ex­pects a tough con­test against one of the best striker in the divi­sion who has fin­ished his last six bouts in­clud­ing an im­pres­sive vic­tory against for­mer world cham­pion Yoshi­taka Naito.

“I am ex­pect­ing only the best from him. As al­ways, I take this as an op­por­tu­nity to test my skills. He’s a vet­eran who has been fight­ing his whole life. I have also been im­pressed by his re­cent per­for­mances, es­pe­cially against Yoshi­taka Naito. It’s rare that a Filipino will fight an­other Filipino for a World Ti­tle. But I’m glad to be part of his­tory,” he added.

Com­ing in as chal­lenger, Cata­lan said he

will not waste an op­por­tu­nity which only comes one in a life time.

“I am su­per con­fi­dent head­ing into this matchup. Be­com­ing a mixed mar­tial arts world cham­pion has been a goal of mine for a long time. Now, I have the op­por­tu­nity to ful­fill my dream. I know chances like this don’t come of­ten, so I’m giv­ing this ev­ery­thing I have,” Cata­lan added.

Cata­lan said de­spite the age gap, the wushu world cham­pion be­lieves he has ev­ery­thing to gain in their bout and vows to steal the world ti­tle from the Team Lakay star.

“I don’t plan on leavwas ing the cir­cle with­out that belt. Joshua Pa­cio is a young cham­pion, he still has his en­tire ca­reer ahead of him. I re­spect his skills and his jour­ney up to this point. But once that cage door shuts, it’s go time. No mat­ter who wins, the honor and glory go to the Philip­pines,” quipped Cata­lan.

Also in the un­der­card are for­mer ONE light­weight world cham­pion Ed­uard Fo­layang tak­ing on Mon­go­lia’s Amarsanaa Tso­gookhuu and for­mer ONE fly­weight world cham­pion Geje Eus­taquio squar­ing off against Toni Tauro in a re­match.

“I am glad to be back com­pet­ing again.

I know my back is against the wall right now. This year hasn’t ex­actly gone to plan. But I’ve been work­ing hard. I know vic­tory is im­por­tant this time. I’m fac­ing a hun­gry op­po­nent from Mon­go­lia who will be look­ing to beat a big name,” Fo­layang said.

Fo­layang added he is con­fi­dent in mak­ing an­other run at the ONE light­weight world ti­tle if he makes it against a highly com­pet­i­tive Mon­go­lian.

“I’ve been in this sit­u­a­tion be­fore and I know what I need to do. I’m a vet­eran of this sport, and I’ve been do­ing this for a long time. Still, I feel con­fi­dent in mak­ing an­other run at the ONE Light­weight World Ti­tle. My jour­ney starts anew at home in Manila,” he added.

Eus­taquio mean­while said he has a lot to prove against Tauro af­ter strings of loses this year.

“Things haven’t gone my way this year, and I’ve had a lot of learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. I can hon­estly say that I am a bet­ter mar­tial artist now than ever be­fore. This re­match with Toni Tauru is very im­por­tant for me, be­cause it’s a win I would like to get back. I want to be known as ‘The King of Re­match’ and beat­ing Tauru will prove that,” Eus­taquio said.

ONE photo

PRO­TAG­O­NISTS. One Cham­pi­onship fight­ers top­billed by strawweigh­t world cham­pion Joshua Pa­cio and chal­lenger Rene Cata­lan are all set for an­other jam packed mixed mar­tial arts ac­tion dubbed Masters of Fate on Fri­day evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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