Believe it or not, Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao is just one of the many mixed martial arts personalities who was shocked after witnessing the defeat of MMA legend Demetrious Johnson in ONE on TNT I.
ONE Championship world flyweight titleholder Adriano Moraes made history in the Circle for chalking up Johnson’s first knockout loss since 2007.
Moraes stunned Johnson with a solid uppercut which sent the former UFC icon down the canvas, and followed it up with a knee strike to the jaw before the ground and pound punishment for the win.
Sangiao lauded Moraes’ strategy for letting Johnson taste his own medicine.
“Ako nga mismo akala ko mananalo si Johnson pero ‘di natin pala alam ‘yung preparation na ginawa nila Moraes (Even I thought Johnson would win in that fight but we never saw the preparation done by Moraes),” said Sangiao in English in a video posted by Team Lakay on Youtube.
“Ginawa niya, nilaro niya ‘yung laro ni Johnson which is footwork, distance hanggang umabot ‘yung uppercut niya, pagkababa na-follow up pa ng knee. So ‘yun ang cause ng KO kay Johnson. (What he did was he played along the rules of play Johnson was good into which is to stay on his footwork, the distance until his uppercut landed and when he was taken down, a knee follow up hit him. That’s how Johnson got knocked out.”
A knee, while an opponent is grounded, is legal in ONE Championship.
Sangiao is excited for the future of the flyweight division, especially that Danny Kingad and Geje Eustaquio are also raring to compete in the Circle.
Between Eddie Alvarez and Iuri Lapicus, the Team Lakay mentor cannot help but recall the moment when Kevin Belingon was also deemed disqualified for accidentally hitting Bibiano Fernandes’ back of the head with vicious elbows.
For Sangiao, Alvarez is technically wrong given the rules of ONE Championship.
“Kung una, kung sakali susuntukin ako at tumalikod ako at nasuntok ito (back of the head), hindi mo kasalanan. Kasalanan ko ‘yun. Pero ang problema pag inulit-ulit mo (Theoretically, if I were to be hit and I turned back and I was punched at the back of the head, it’s not your fault. It would be my fault. The problem is if you continuously hit it).”
The soft-spoken coach analyzed that Lapicus was quick on his wits to block his ears, which closed the doors for Alvarez to hit him beyond, otherwise he will be disqualified.
And that is what exactly happened.
Still, Sangiao commended Alvarez, who was emotional post-match, for a great showing.
“We cannot question that because we know na professional ‘yung mga ‘yon unless makita natin na ‘di nasunod [‘yung rules] (We cannot question that because we know that they are professionals unless we really saw that the rules were not observed).”