Lakay Iranian coach upbeat in upcoming One FC

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013


TEAM LAKAY’S new wrestling skills will make the difference come fight night with their Iranian wrestling coach expressing his confidence in the Igorot fighters.

Iranian wrestling coach Ali Heydarabadi said Team Lakay fighters have strong chances of beating their opponents as a result of their intensive wrestling training.

“They have trained for five months on grappling and other wrestling techniques,” Heydarabadi said in an interview during the well-attended open workout.

Ten thrilling matches will be presented during One FC: Moment of Truth at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena on December 6 starting at 7 p.m., with the Filipino MMA strikers figuring in five challenging bouts.

Heydarabadi, who was a European and military wrestling champion, was hired by Team Lakay after the Filipino fighters’ total shutout in May’s One FC event at the MOA Arena, which many blamed for their lack of wrestling skills.

He said the Team Lakay fighters have improved a lot on their wrestling skills which would complement their wushu background.

"Wushu wrestling is different. In our training, I taught them how to take down and defense takedown and other techniques," he added.

Heydarabadi said it was a short training period but the fighters have developed a lot. "I believe they are better than the last time."

Headlining the One FC event, which visits Manila for the third time, is former One FC inaugural world featherweight champion Honorio Banario, as he tries to regain the title from tormentor Japanese Koji Oishi; Kevin Belingon, who will face undefeated Spaniard David Aranda Santacana; and Eduard Folayang, who will battle seasoned Dutch-Indonesian striker Vincent Latoel.

“I will get back my belt. I have trained double time. I have been waiting for this opportunity. Our wrestling coach has taught us new techniques,” Banario said.

He also stressed Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s victory last Sunday against Mexican-American Brandon Rios has inspired him and the other Team Lakay fighters.

“We are motivated by Pacquiao’s victory. I know his triumph will pull us up and enable us to score wins against our opponents,” Banario added.

Belingon added, “Our training and conditioning is good this time. We learned many wrestling techniques.”

He said he is not in any way intimidated by the perfect record of his opponent. “I don’t care about his record. I will just focus on my game plan.”

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 04, 2013.

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