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5 Filipino MMA fighters leading the charge for Team Lakay in ONE Championship

Reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua 'The Passion' Pacio [Photo courtesy of ONE Championship]
Reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua 'The Passion' Pacio [Photo courtesy of ONE Championship]
Atilano Diaz
ANALYST

When people talk about Filipino MMA, especially in ONE Championship, the name Team Lakay always enters the conversation. Team Lakay is hands down the most recognizable martial arts team in the Philippines. They’ve led an Asian MMA uprising for the greater part of the last decade.

The Baguio City-based faction consists of a bevy of talented fighters with a healthy mix of rising stars, experienced veterans, and established world champions. Conceptualized and founded by Filipino MMA pioneer Mark ‘The Machine’ Sangiao more than 10 years ago, the team forged a unique bond between martial artists. The fighters consider themselves closer than brothers.

Throughout the years, the group has produced some incredible martial arts athletes. The most prolific names include multi-time former ONE lightweight world champion Eduard ‘Landslide’ Folayang, former ONE bantamweight world champion Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon, and former ONE flyweight world champion Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio, among others.

However, a new wave of Team Lakay fighters is on the rise. The next generation of Team Lakay MMA stars are blazing a trail through ONE Championship with epic performances in the Circle. These men and women are poised to become superstars in the very near future.

Here are five Filipino MMA fighters leading the charge for Team Lakay in ONE Championship.


#5. Jenelyn Olsim (MMA: 5-3)

Getting her start on Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series in 2018, female Team Lakay warrior Jenelyn Olsim is one of the most promising atomweight talents in ONE Championship.

Olsim made her debut at ONE Warrior Series 3 against Claudia Diaz, beating the Spanish fighter by decision after three rounds to announce her arrival on the big stage. She would later earn a contract with ONE to fight on the main roster and, from there, Olsim truly began to shine.

Olsim shocked Evolve MMA star Maira Mazar at ONE: Fists of Fury III in March of this year, dominating her strawweight opponent across three rounds and winning via power guillotine.

After that performance, Olsim dropped down to atomweight to take on the highly regarded Bi ‘Killer Bee’ Nguyen. The Team Lakay prospect overcame a spirited effort from Nguyen to defeat the Vietnamese-American via unanimous decision.

The two victories earned Olsim an alternate spot in the prestigious ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix. Unfortunately, she lost to Indian wrestling champion Ritu Phogat in the semifinal round of the tournament.

However, the loss hasn’t diminished Olsim’s potential, and she remains one of the most promising young stars in Asian MMA today.

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Edited by Jack Cunningham

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