July 23, 2024

Bemedalled Igorot Muay Thai champion Ariel Lee Lampacan remains in contention for the ONE Warrior Series Philippines, as two more fighters were eliminated from the real-life mixed martial arts competition.

The 30-year-old Lampacan of Itogon, Benguet, together with seven fighters, is under Team Passion of reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio.

IN CONTENTION — Muay Thai national athlete Ariel Lee Lampacan, the only Igorot fighter in the ONE Warrior Series Philippines, remains in contention for the coveted $100,000 contract for whoever among the remaining 13 will emerge as champion at the end of the tournament. — ONE graphic

Eight more fighters are under the watch of former ONE flyweight world champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio.

Last week, there were tons of drama and action in the third episode of OWS Philippines, as the show saw three action-packed sparring showdowns coupled with a shocking two-man elimination in the end. 

In the end, Team Gravity lost another man in Ely Fernandez while Team Passion dropped its first warrior in Joker Oliveros three weeks into the competition. 

Of the three episodes, this one is certainly the most action-packed as it saw Team Gravity’s Joevincent So and Team Passion’s Joker Oliveros square off  – two men who rubbed each other the wrong way throughout the show. 

The match totally lived up to its hype as So and Oliveros both had their moments, but as the fight went on, it was So’s composure and Oliveros’ emotions which really stood out.

There was a moment where Oliveros was heard saying some unpleasant things to So, which didn’t really sit well with the Team Lakay coaches. Before the sparring ended, So tagged Oliveros with a well-timed right hook which sent the Team Passion warrior down, albeit he was saved by the bell. 

That late surge from So, coupled with Oliveros’ attitude, was enough for the Team Lakay coaches to make the decision in sending him home. 

The next bout saw a finish from Team Passion’s JM Guntayon, as he reversed an earlier takedown from Fernandez before working on a rear naked choke which led to the Team Gravity warrior’s elimination.

The last bout was probably the most entertaining as Team Gravity’s Sheraz Qureshi battled through a knee injury to face the fiery Marvin Malunes of Team Passion in an awesome back and forth battle. 

With both fighters displaying heart, they were easily ruled out in the elimination process and stayed alive for the competition. 

Though they lost another man, Eustaquio believes they’re finally turning the tide. – Harley F. Palangchao