Seven Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters will test their mettle against their respective foes in ONE: Global Rivals today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The first offering will be an atomweight match between female fighters April Osenio and Batalie Gonzales Hills.
“I am really excited. I know my opponent is from Baguio and I have a lot of respect for Team Lakay. I am well prepared for this match. I just want to put on a good performance,” said Hills on Thursday at a news conference at the City of Dreams in Parañaque City.
Bantamweight Burn Soriano will take on Sunoto of Indonesia while Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad collides against Muhamad Haidar of Malaysia.
In the lightweight class, former ONE featherweight champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario will pit his skills against Pan Asian Champion Vaughn Donayre.
“He [Donayre] is a complete fighter also. This will be my comeback fight because in the past few years I’ve been losing to the biggest fighters in my division. My conditioning is good,” said Banario.
Featherweight Champion Martin Nguyen of Vietnam, meanwhile, will defend his belt against Li Kai Wen of China.
The strawweight category features an all-Filipino showdown as Joshua Pacio; a Grand Prix champ from Baguio’s Team Lakay faces Robin Catalan, a National Wushu Champion from Mindanao.
Another bantamweight, sanda champ Geje Eustaquio of Team Lakay battles Malaysian Gianni Subba. The match will be followed by the encounter between Hawaiian MMA champion Lowen Tynanes and Japanese Koji Ando, an Asia-Pacific lightweight champ.
Also in the bantamweight category, XFC champion Reece McLaren of Australia will be meeting 19-year old Muin Gafurov of Tajikistan.
The main event is a welterweight bout between ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren and Russian Nikolay Aleksakhin.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID