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Kirstie Gannaway relishing rivalry between Evolve MMA and Team Lakay ahead of ONE FC: ‘Age of Champions’

Evolve MMA is widely regarded as being the top camp in Asia while Team Lakay is head and shoulders above any of the competition in the Philippines, yet clashes between these two Asian MMA powerhouses have been surprisingly few and far between.

Herbert Burns made short work of former ONE FC featherweight champion Honorio Banario, submitting him in the opening round last December while Geje Eustaquio won a hard-fought decision over Alex Silva in only the promotion's second ever show.

A proposed lightweight title bout between Eduard Folayang and Zorobabel Moreira was nixed when URCC pulled the Filipino out, meaning that the atomweight bout between Kirstie Gannaway and April Osenio at ONE FC: "Age of Champions" will be only the third time these two camps have clashed.

The Singaporean was initially scheduled to face Jujeath Nagaowa but she was injured, so compatriot Osenio stepped in to replace her. The former is a boxing veteran while the latter is a Wushu champion but Gannaway remains confident despite the late change of opponent.

"The change in opponent hasn't affected me. I have continued to train hard in every discipline to improve my MMA skill set and am ready to face any situation in the fight."

In some respects, Osenio is an unknown quantity because she has yet to compete in MMA, but the Filipina is a decorated Wushu veteran who has won a handful of grappling tournaments and trained with Team Lakay for several years, which means she should be well prepared for her ONE Championship debut.

Gannaway has seen Team Lakay fighters like Honorio Banario, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio and Eduard Folayang enjoy success with ONE Championship and says she is expecting a tough test from Osenio.

"I know that this will be my opponent’s debut, but I believe it will be an exciting fight and am working hard to put up a great fight. Team Lakay has tough fighters and great athletes, however I believe in my team but I know Evolve has the best instructors and fighters in Asia and I have confidence in everything I have learned with my team."

Last weekend a women’s bout headlined a UFC pay-per-view (PPV) card and ONE Championship first began featuring female fighters three year ago, making it one of the first of the world’s major MMA promotions to do so.

Gannaway’s record currently stands at 1-0 after a successful pro debut last year, but she is at the forefront of the burgeoning WMMMA scene in Asia and says she is excited to see more opportunities arising for female fighters.

"I am still new to the scene, but I plan to be in it long enough to make a great impact on women's MMA in Asia. I think I came off to a good start and am working hard, training as much as I can and learning as much as I can to stay on the path to success. Over all I am very happy with the way things kicked off. It all happened so fast but it has been a great journey."

ONE FC: "Age of Champions" is set for Stadium Putra in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, March 13th. Fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming and the event will be available for purchase at just $9.99 from

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