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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Folayang, Pacio begin US training as Belingon gets Brazilian jiu-jitsu promotion


Baguio City, Philippines – A month after making headlines for parting ways with the fabled Team Lakay in Baguio City, the four former world champions are now focused on their desired improvement.


Early in March this year, former two-time ONE Championship World Lightweight Champion Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang; former ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio; former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon; and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario surprised the public when they announced their departure from the stable.


Through their separate statements, the four shared common reason for their amicable exit – to move out from their comfort zone and cultivate their skills for the remainder of their career.


Folayang, 38, and Pacio, 27, headed to the United States and started training at the world-renowned Jackson Wink MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The gym is not new to Folayang. It is where he trained before winning his 2018 fight against Amir Khan.


Jackson Wink is the two fighters’ first stop on their US tour. They are set to train at various gyms in the states, according to reports. The two are said to be visiting Kings MMA in Huntington Beach but since they will be cageside on ONE Fight Night on May 5, they are likely to spend a month in New Mexico.


Meanwhile, their brother Belingon, 35, from Kiangan, Ifugao, was surprised by Baguio City’s lone black belt Gibran Langbayan during their training session at Maharlika Martial Arts Center in the city to promote him to Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt on Monday, April 10.


Before becoming eligible for the blue belt, “The Silencer” has been a white belter for 16 years.


“This is meaningful to me. Hard work. Persistence. Late nights. Sacrifices. Discipline. Still have a long way to go but I'm a patient man and I am willing to put in the work to get there!” Belingon said.


“With Professor Langbayan believing in my capabilities, I must say it's uplifting... It's definitely a step in the right direction. I will just leave it at that,” he added in his interview with International Business Times.


As for the kickboxer Banario, he is in Manila preparing for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games to be held from May 5 to 17 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


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