‘The Apprentice’ participation unexpected for former URCC champion

Published February 20, 2021, 4:30 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from ONE Championship

Former URCC featherweight champion Louie Sangalang wasn’t expecting to make it in the final 16 candidates in ONE Championship’s edition of “The Apprentice.”

Despite his background as an athlete, Sangalang, who now runs his own procurement consulting firm, stressed the importance of not being too confident, especially in front of global television.

These are just a few things he had learned along the way en route to a successful life. And he’s up for more challenges.

“I’m not the type of person who likes to be overconfident or sure of things. Or who overly tries to psyche himself up and tell himself he can do things. I don’t go in there riding high and willing to take on any task,” said Sangalang, who is also an international marathoner and triathlete.

“I like to come in well-prepared instead. It minimizes mistakes, helps me prepare for the unexpected. So I wasn’t really expecting to get in, which is why I was relieved when I received the news from Chatri [Sityodyong] that I was selected. The last step in the process was talking to Chatri, and he basically told me that I got in.”

Sangalang and compatriot Lara Pearl Alvarez, also a former mixed martial artist and now a freelance tax accountant, are among the 16 participants from 11 countries out of the thousands of applicants in “The Apprentice.”

Dubbed as the “toughest version” of the hit reality series, Sangalang’s roots proved to be instrumental since contestants were required to showcase their strengths in business-related challenges but also in physical tasks.

With his goal to take on more challenges, having been tested to his limits in past adversities, Sangalang dared to apply for “The Apprentice” which premieres next month in Asia and globally in June.

“I’ve always wanted to join ‘The Apprentice.’ So when I found out that there was going to be a ONE Championship Edition, I thought to myself, this fits my skills perfectly. I’m a martial artist at heart, and I’m highly interested in sports. So I figured, why not? I just wanted to give it a shot,” said Sangalang, the first Filipino cancer survivor to finish the North Pole Marathon.

“I think anyone who got selected would feel ecstatic, right? First of all, it’s not just any organization. It’s a huge and very young, powerful company. Second, ONE Championship is a big name in the martial arts scene. There’s a duopoly between ONE Championship and the UFC, globally, and ONE occupies a huge space in the market, especially in Asia.

“Another thing that excited me was that it was going to be a tough competition, all driven by challenges. It’s what really motivated me, something that aligned with my willingness to take on challenges in my life,” he added.

Sangalang and Alvarez are vying to compete for the US $250,000 job offer to work under no less than Sityodtong, ONE Championship’s CEO and founder. 

 
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