Five members of the famed Team Lakay are among the top fighters in the first official athlete rankings of ONE Championship, the undisputed leading mixed martial arts promotion in Asia with millions of followers.
ONE Chief Executive Officer and Chair Chatri Sityodtong announced that top fighters in various weight divisions were carefully selected by 18 independent panelists from top sports media and industry experts based on criteria such as wins/losses, most recent performances, and quality of opponents.
As of April 27, ONE strawweight world champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio topped the division with his two straight title defenses.
Teammate Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang ranked fifth following two impressive victories in the ONE main roster.
Fellow Filipino fighter and former ONE strawweight title contender Rene Catalan ranked third in the division.
ONE flyweight Grand Prix finalist Danny “The King” Kingad ranked third in the flyweight division and the only Filipino fighter to ever fight reigning world’s pound-for-pound champion Demetrius Johnson, who ranked second in the division.
Topping the flyweight MMA division is reigning champion Adriano Moraes, who will soon be challenged by Johnson.
Australian-Filipino fighter Reece McLaren ranked fifth in the flyweight division.
Former ONE bantamweight world champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon remains the top contender for the title at number two in the division next to reigning champion Bibiano Fernandes.
Earlier, Sityodtong did not discount the possibility that Belingon will face Fernandes for the fifth time, as millions of fans want the same fight to happen again.
Team Lakay’s lone female active fighter, Gina “Conviction” Iniong, ranked fifth in the women’s atomweight MMA division, which is currently topped by reigning champion Angela Lee.
“It is with great excitement that I announce the inaugural ONE Championship official rankings. The rankings will bring more clarity and transparency for our athletes as they chase their dreams for a world championship title,” Sityodtong said, as he formally announced the official athlete rankings. – Harley F. Palangchao