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Mixed Martial Arts

Lions Nation MMA’s ‘Young Lions’ aim to impress in Zeus


To say that Aaron Posawen, Denver Songaben, and Jahn Serbo have no plans to disappoint when they perform under the bright lights in Zeus Combat League this weekend is an understatement.

The trio – collectively known as Lions Nation MMA’s “Young Lions” unit – will figure in separate bouts in the upstart promotion’s debut offering titled “Ground Zero.” This takes place at the SM North Edsa Sky Dome in Quezon City on Saturday, May 25

Posawen is slated to headline the event, taking on Marwin Quirante in an intriguing flyweight clash between two blue-chip prospects.

Songaben is booked to square off against Jayson Miralpez in another flyweight encounter.

Meanwhile, Serbo battles Arsenio Balisacan in a 120-pound catchweight contest.

Heading into fight week, all three are fully aware that the spotlight is on them since they belong to a respected and decorated team such as Lions Nation MMA.

It’s worth noting that the La Trinidad, Benguet-based stable houses the who’s who of Philippine MMA, including Eduard Folayang, Joshua Pacio, Kevin Belingon, Stephen Loman, and Danny Kingad.

For Songaben, it’s a double-edged sword. While the 30-year-old enjoys the benefits of being associated with a star-studded camp, he also shoulders the burden of high expectations that come with such an affiliation.

“We can’t deny that there’s pressure, especially since our seniors have achieved a lot in MMA. So, this also serves as motivation for us to strive even harder,” Songaben told Tiebreaker Times.

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(c) Lions Nation MMA

Posawen likewise acknowledges the weight they carry, but he prefers to perceive it through a different lens.

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“I believe that to whom much is given, much is required. Not everyone is given this opportunity. We’re fortunate, to be honest. Therefore, we should capitalize on it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Serbo views it as a mark of distinction to train with and gain knowledge from Filipino mixed martial artists who have already left a mark in the sport.

“I relish every moment of it. As they say, we have a cheat code. But at the end of the day, it’s still up to us because it still requires hard work and dedication,” Serbo stated.

The “Young Lions” aim to leverage what their contemporaries see as an “advantage” to great effect at “Ground Zero.”

Songaben is resolute on delivering a solid showing, having awaited this level of exposure for quite some time.

“I’ve waited for so long to fight on a much bigger stage. So I won’t waste this opportunity,” Songaben expressed.

On the other hand, Serbo acknowledges the proactive stance of their group as they gear up for the future.

“Of course, we appreciate all the help that our Kuyas have given us. They know that Aaron, Denver, and I will be the ones to continue what they started. And as much as possible, we want to repay them with a good performance,” Serbo mentioned.

Before they became the “Young Lions,” it’s worth noting that Posawen, Songaben, and Serbo ventured into the unknown when they joined Lions Nation MMA back in 2023. This came on the heels of their senior teammates’ exodus from Team Lakay.

Posawen finds solace in knowing that they made the right decision.

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“We are happy to be part of Lions Nation MMA, and we will do everything to bring honor to our team,” he declared.

Written By

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as Rappler.com, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times, Philboxing.com, MSN.com, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.


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