ONE Championship VP Rich Franklin believes Team Lakay can be appealing to US audience
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 27, 2019 02:07 PM
ONE Championship Vice President Rich Franklin believes Team Lakay fighters can be appealing to US audiences
Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship continues to grow, and part of their latest step foward was securing a television broadcast deal in the United States of America.
ONE has primarily held their shows in Asian countries, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, but their reach has definitely gone beyond, and in 2019, ONE took a giant leap by securing a TV deal in the US with Turner Sports.
Since ONE's first event for 2019 back in January, the Asian MMA giant has been accessible in North America through the B/R Live App, and recently made its way to TNT.
While the UFC remains a bigger brand in North America, ONE is quickly making their presence felt, and with the addition of American stars such as former UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson, former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez, and former UFC standout Sage Northcutt, expect even more fans in the US to tune in to ONE.
Johnson, Alvarez, and Northcutt are only three of a massive roster of elite athletes however, and while they will definitely help draw viewers in, the rest of the responsibility of keeping the fans hooked falls on everyone, including ONE's other stars.
Speaking at ONE's Open Workout in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday, ONE Vice President and former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin mentioned a few guys who he feels can be appealing to the North American audiences.
The [Team] Lakay guys have very unorthodox styles and stuff like that, and I think a style like that can be very appealing to a US audience," explained Franklin.
"Consistently seeing these guys land spinning back kicks in the ring and stuff, when the fans are exposed to these kinds of styles it’s gonna grab attention for sure," he added.
Team Lakay is the premier mixed martial arts gym and stable in the Philippines.
Located in La Trinidad, Benguet, Team Lakay has produced a number of world champions, including current reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang and ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon.
With the striking-based martial art Wushu as their primarily discipline, Team Lakay has made a name for themselves thanks to their flashy striking and exciting fighting style, making them fan favorites in Asia.
The famed MMA stable ended 2018 with four world champions in ONE, as well as one other from a different promotion, capping off arguably their most dominant year yet.
In the first month of 2019 however, both Joshua Pacio and Geje Eustaquio, both lost their titles via close deicsion losses. Folayang and Belingon are both set to defend their titles against a pair of globally popular legends in Shinya Aoki and Bibiano Fernandes respectively at ONE's first event in Tokyo, Japan on March 31st.
H/T: Steve Angeles