Team Lakay Exodus
From L-R: Kevin Belingon, Joshua Pacio, Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario. Multiple Sources


  • Eduard Folayang has collaborated with other ex-Team Lakay members to form Lions Nation MMA
  • Joining the team are Joshua Pacio, Honorio Banario and Kevin Belingon
  • Also confirmed to be part of the new group are Jeremy Pacatiw and Edward Kelly

Coinciding with the inauguration of the Landslide Martial Arts Training Center held in the Philippine municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet on Saturday, June 24, Eduard Folayang has formally introduced Lions Nation MMA—a new group that he has established in collaboration with former Team Lakay members Joshua Pacio, Kevin Belingon and Honorio Banario.

The quartet shocked fans worldwide in March when they openly announced their departures from Team Lakay, the legendary stable that they helped build from the ground up with head coach Mark Sangiao in 2006.

They cited personal growth and career development as the official reason for their exit. But instead of pursuing separate paths, all four continued to train together, fueling speculations about the formation of a brand-new camp.

At the aforementioned event, Folayang, Pacio, Belingon, and Banario—all former ONE world champions—faced the public for the first time under the Lions Nation MMA banner.

"Our vision here at Lions Nation MMA is to transform martial artists into leaders and be the agent of change," Folayang told the International Business Times.

Joining them in this venture are Team Lakay veterans Edward Kelly and Jeremy Pacatiw, as well as a pool of blue-chip prospects comprised of Estrada Donga-as, Denver Songaben, Aaron Posawen, and Jahn Serbo.

Meanwhile, Lions Nation MMA will have Gibran Langbayan and Don-Don Colas as its grappling and striking coaches respectively.

Langbayan holds the distinction of being the first native of Benguet province to attain the rank of black belt and is an active competitor who has a collection of six gold medals to go along with four silvers and two bronzes across multiple international tourneys.

On the other hand, Colas is a retired pugilist who has become a seasoned striking coach for both MMA and boxing.

Folayang disclosed that they have plans of expanding their coaching staff to adapt to the growing demands of the all-encompassing sport.

"So far, they're the ones we've tapped to be our coaches on this journey, and we're looking forward to improving our roster of coaches to help us out in making our vision for the group a reality," he shared.

For Pacio, there is an added sense of excitement as he awaits the call to return to action in ONE Championship—donning the gold-and-black colorway of Lions Nations MMA inside the Circle.

"This is a new era for all of us. It's exciting. I hope to be back in the Circle soon, so I can show off the colors of our new team," Pacio said.

Joshua Pacio
Filipino MMA fighters Joshua Pacio and Eduard Folayang celebrate inside the ONE Championship cage. ONE Championship