(Photos by Richard Esguerra/Sports Gateway PH)
Ben Askren made full use of his ground battling advantage to outscore Russian challenger Nikolay Aleksakhin on a 5-round unanimous decision victory to defend his welterweight championship belt at the ONE Championship Global Rivals at Mall of Asia Arena. April 15.
“I can’t say it was the performance I was looking for… I felt like I could have a much better performance.” said the undefeated welterweight champion.
He also stated that he didn’t feel threatened on the Russian fighter’s tenacity who survived the 25-minute long battle. “I didn’t think I was in danger of getting hurt or losing the fight.” he added.
Geje Eustaquio of Team Lakay showcased the Igorot fighting spirit on the co-main event match with a win via unanimous decision against Malaysian Striker Gianni Subba on the bantamweight decision capitalizing on damage and aggression, and eluding two takedowns in the final round despite various injuries weeks before the fight.
Four more members of the famed Team Lakay also grabbed victories on different divisions, including two technical knockout wins via referee stoppage due to strikes.
Danny Kingad crushed Malaysian Muhamad Haidar on the flyweight division with 2:40 remaining in the first round and Joshua Pacio beat National Wushu Champion Rabin Catalan on the strawweight division with 1:41 left on the clock in the second round.
On the women’s atomweight division Natalie Hills submitted to April Osenio with an armbar on the first round while former ONE Featherweight Champion Honorio Banario dominated Vaughn Donayre with a unanimous decision on the lightweight division.