Because of the partnership between ONE Championship and Japanese promotion Shooto, three Team Lakay warriors were able to compete in Tokyo, Japan.
However, it did not go as expected.
In a series dubbed as Team Lakay vs. Shooto, Filipinos Jared Almazan, Jerome Wanawan, and Jean Claude Saclag fell to their respective opponents, Monday during Shooto 30th Anniversary Tour at Korakuen Hall.
All three wushu artists were making their international debut.
Bantamweight Saclag, who was making his professional debut, put up a valiant stand but could not overcome veteran Ryo Okada (15-4-2), losing via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 29-28).
After a five-year hiatus, Wanawan could not produce a triumphant return to the cage, as he was knocked out by Ryohei Kurosawa (12-1) in just the first round.
The 29-year-old strawweight fell to an even 4-4 record.
To close out their campaign, three-fight Team Lakay Championship promotion veteran Almazan was dealt a third-round submission loss via rear naked choke by Koha Minowa (10-2).
The 22-year-old, Baguio-native suffered his third straight loss to fall to 1-3.
But for head coach Mark Sangiao, having these three young bucks make their international debut is already a victory in itself.
“To have three athletes invited to Shooto is already a major milestone for us,” he told Tempo Online.
“As a coach, I hope to produce more champions in the international mixed martial arts arena,” he added.