Adonis Sevilleno, the newest member of Team Lakay and the winner of ONE Warrior Series: Philippines, takes pride in being surrounded by world champions over in Benguet.
This alone serves as one of his greatest motivations ahead of his ONE Championship debut against compatriot Drex Zamboanga in ONE: 164 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Dec. 3.
"Siguro naman nakikita niyo kung sino 'yong mga nasa paligid ko. 'Yon 'yong dala-dala kong sandata ngayon dahil napapaligiran ako ng mga champions at ginabayan ako ng isang legendary coach sa training na 'to," said Sevilleno, who holds a 2-2 mixed martial arts record.
Aside from his experience in his OWS journey, Sevilleno has since then adjusted to the culture once he joined camp in Team Lakay's central gym in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Once under the tutelage of Geje Eustaquio in OWS, the "Cebuano Lion" is now closer to his dreams of becoming a world champion himself after teaming up with his mentor, not to mention that Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao is also there to guide him.
Team Lakay, for the past decade in ONE Championship, has produced champions in Joshua Pacio, the reigning strawweight titlist, Eustaquio (former flyweight champion), Eduard Folayang (two-time lightweight champion), and Kevin Belingon (former bantamweight), and Honorio Banario (former featherweight).
Stephen Loman, who is now the No. 3 contender in the bantamweight division, also used to reign in BRAVE Combat Federation as its one of the longest titleholders in the promotion.
Zamboanga, for his part, actually knew Sevilleno back from their URCC days and this won't hinder him from giving the Filipino fans a show to remember.
"This fight is very important to me especially in my home country and in Manila. I know that as a martial artist, it is my duty to fight and to show how Filipino warriors should be," said Zamboanga, who will be fighting on the same day as his sister Denice.
The older Zamboanga has an overall record of 13 wins and five losses. He began his ONE Championship career with a bang after submitting Detchadin Sorsirisuphathin last August 2020 and followed it up with a knockout win over Rahul Raju just last February.
While acknowledging Sevilleno's prowess and experience, Zamboanga remains firm with his duty as an MMA athlete to give his best and bring out the best in his opponent -- be it a fellow Filipino or not.
"It is what it is you know. Sometimes you need to fight your friend. As a martial artist, it is my job to fight my co-Filipino . It is my duty."