Monday, July 31, 2017

4 Cordilleran MMA Fighters Set To Compete In One Championship This August

Four mixed martial artists from the Cordillera region are set to enter the One Championship cage this August in two separate events. Joshua Pacio and Eric Kelly will be part of the One Championship: Kings and Conquerors card on August 5 at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China. On the other hand, Kevin Belingon and Edward Kelly will be part of the undercard of One Championship: Quest for Greatness on August 18 at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Joshua Pacio, Edward Kelly, and Kevin Belingon all fight under the Team Lakay banner. Eric Kelly (the older brother of Edward Kelly) prefers to train and fight as an independent MMA artist so he isn't associated with a stable gym. Kelly divides his time training in various gyms located in Baguio City and Manila.

At only 21 years old, Joshua Pacio holds an enviable position as one of the contenders in One Championship's straw-weight division. With a record of nine wins and only one loss, he will always be in consideration for a shot at the title. Interestingly enough, his only loss came in the hands of Yoshitaka Naito, the current champion. For Pacio to get another go at him, he needs to first dispose of Hayato Suzuki on August 5. Suzuki is going to be a tough test for the young Pacio. Not only is Suzuki the more experienced fighter, he's also undefeated in 16 professional fights. Five of his victories were via knockouts and six were via submissions. So he's dangerous both on the ground and standing up.

After a disastrous 2016, Eric Kelly returns to the One Championship cage hoping for a win against Kotetsu Boku. Kelly had back-to-back losses to Ev Ting and Jadamba Narantungalag last year. A win over Boku would propel him back to the featherweight division's top contenders. Boku will be a difficult hurdle though given the fact that he's a scary knockout artist. Of his 25 wins, 12 came via knockouts. But he's also susceptible to submissions which is Kelly's bread and butter.

Edward Kelly had a rough start when he signed up with One Championship back in 2013. From 2013 to 2015, he lost three of his four fights under the organization. But when 2016 rolled in, he came back with a vengeance, winning all of his three fights in dominant fashion. He looks to extend this winning streak when he faces Emilio Urrutia on August 18 at Kuala Lumpur. The younger Urrutia will be making his debut in the One Championship.

And last but not the least, Kevin Belingon is set to lock horns with Reece Mclaren. Belingon and Mclaren share one thing in common and that is they both challenged the current bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes for the title. They both failed. Whoever wins in August 18 sets himself up for another possible shot at the Brazilian specialist. That is of course if Fernandez manages to retain his belt against Andrew Leone in August 5.

See the full card listing for Kings and Conquerors here and the full card listing for Quest for Greatness here.

Kevin Belingon. Image by One Championship.