THERE’S a feeling of excitement every time One Championship announces its events, especially when it’s held here in the Philippines.
For one, ONE has not held any event in the Philippines since the pandemic hit the globe in March 2020, halting practically everything.
And with Asia’s largest mixed martial arts promotion returning to the Philippines this December, what a way to come back as it recently announced that Joshua Pacio, the reigning strawweight king will defend his title against the trash-talking Jarred Brooks.
The Pacio and Brooks match was earlier scheduled but due to some unknown reasons, the fight was called off and now, ONE is making sure the fight will happen in front of Pacio’s countrymen.
ONE’s return to the Philippines is expected to bring fireworks as four of Pacio’s brothers and sisters in Team Lakay are set to compete in the explosive fight card.
On December 3, former flyweight world champion Geje Eustaquio and current #4-ranked flyweight Danny Kingad are set to shake up the 135-pound division as they face different foes in the long-awaited Manila card.
Eustaquio, after almost two years lay–off, targets his third straight victory as he takes on Hu Yong in a match that could prove that the former world champ is far from done in the division he once ruled.
The 33-year-old Filipino is coming off impressive back-to-back wins, starting with his body kick finish of Toni Tauru before running circles around Min Jong Song to prove that he’s still continuously evolving.
Hu is a successful alumnus of ONE Hero Series and will be looking to bounce back following a decision loss to Eustaquio’s old tormentor Yuya Wakamatsu and prove that new blood is taking over the division.
Kingad, on the other hand, will have his hands full as he takes on the in-form Gurdarshan Mangat in a match where he’ll basically be defending his fourth spot in the rankings.
“The King” suffered a unanimous decision loss to Kairat Akhmetov in his last outing where the Kazakh’s wrestling and control proved to be too much for the 25-year-old.
But Kingad’s return to the circle may have taken a back seat after news reports surfaced that Mangat pulled out after suffering an undisclosed injury.
ONE has yet to issue a statement as of this writing.
Also added to the Manila card are promising atomweight Jenelyn Olsim and bantamweight Jeremy Pacatiw, two young fighters from the Northlands who are out to prove that they also belong among ONE’s long line of contenders.
Olsim takes on the hard-hitting Meng Bo in the atomweight scrap, with both women looking to break into the rankings with an impressive showing in this clash.
Meanwhile, Pacatiw takes on Tial Thang as he looks to rebound after a disappointing finish against Fabricio Andrade where he got folded by the Brazilian’s knee in the first round of their clash.
Big congratulations to the editorial staff of Baguio Chronicle for being the Best Edited Community Newspaper during the 2021 Civic Journalism Community Press Awards of the Philippine Press Institute.
Baguio Chronicle also won the best in reporting on migration issues and the best editorial page. Cheers. ###