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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Folayang, Belingon, Banario, Pacio part ways with famed Team Lakay

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Benguet, Philippines - Things will be a bit different in the country’s most decorated Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) league, Team Lakay with the exit of four world champions.

The 39-year-old veteran Eduard Folayang was the first to announce his sudden departure on Friday. Nicknamed “The Landslide,” he is a former ONE Lightweight World Title holder and helped the Baguio-based stable be one of the most successful martial arts troupes in the world.

As he parted ways with what he called his home for 16 years, he expressed heartfelt gratitude to the whole team, especially mentioning “the best Coach, Mark Sangiao.”

“Sadly, and with a heavy heart, my journey with Team Lakay has reached its final stretch. I believe there are still a few things I must accomplish in what remains in my active years as an athlete. The profession I have chosen requires me to learn, evolve, and grow. In order for me to achieve this, I must step out of my comfort zone and discover new ways to foster my development as a martial artist,” he wrote on his Facebook post.

Team Lakay and Sangiao wished him the best for his next journey.

“Champ Eduard, you are the epitome of what a GREAT WARRIOR is. You are and forever will be the face of Philippine MMA. You have motivated athletes around you and inspired the younger generation. From Team Lakay Family, we wish you all the best for what's ahead of you,” said Team Lakay.

This Saturday, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon bade farewell through his public statement.

“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 to what lies ahead. Fresh start. My decision to leave the team comes only from my own personal desire to cultivate my skills,” he stated.

Just an hour after Belingon’s announcement, Honorio “The Rock” Banario also went online to update his supporters that he is no longer part of Team Lakay for the remainder of his career.

“The path I am about to take is uncertain. But I know in my heart that it will pay off since I will be bringing the pride, the joy, and the training imbibed in me by Team Lakay wherever I go. I’m excited for the opportunities that have opened up. There’s no time to waste and training starts anew for me! See you guys soon!” Banario posted.

Joshua “The Passion” Pacio appeared to be joining the three on their exit, despite not making an official statement yet. Commenting on Belingon’s statement, Sangiao also tagged the former strawweight king and wished the four of them well.


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