Coach Mark Sangiao on son Jhanlo: He found MMA and it made me more than proud

Published June 11, 2021, 3:22 PM

by Carlo Anolin

The wait is finally over for the Sangiao family as Team Lakay patriarch and head coach Mark welcomed 18-year-old son Jhanlo in his new journey with ONE Championship.

Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao (right) with sons Jhanlo (center) and Marko

From a kid who has been watching his father from the sidelines, Jhanlo himself followed the footsteps of coach Mark after recently signing with the Singapore-based promotion, where Team Lakay had produced several world champions through the years.

And the 42-year-old Sangiao could not help but become one proud father and coach for his eldest son and the youngest member of Team Lakay in ONE.

“I never forced him to do MMA and I never told him not to. I left the decision up to him, to do what he wants and to navigate what he is really passionate about. And he found MMA, which made me more than proud,” said coach Mark.

“I have no worries. I believe we got him armed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for this moment. We did the groundwork and let him not forget to always stay focused and to always carry humility whenever he enters that ONE Circle.”

READ: Jhanlo Sangiao wants to be a future MMA legend

The older Sangiao believes that his son can overcome the pressure surrounding him, especially as both the son and coach of a Philippine mixed martial arts legend.

Jhanlo is the latest member of Team Lakay’s “next generation,” joining the likes of reigning strawweight champion Joshua Pacio, Lito Adiwang, Danny Kingad, Stephen Loman, and Jenelyn Olsim.

Jhanlo, who holds a 3-0 record, is reportedly planning to compete in the bantamweight division, which is currently led by titleholder Bibiano Fernandes of Brazil.

The 18-year-old Sangiao is set to join senior Kevin Belingon (No. 2), John Lineker (No. 1), Yusup Saadulaev (No. 3), Fabricio Andrade (No. 4), and Shoko Sato (No. 5).

Perhaps, it’s perfect timing and just the right present for coach Mark as Father’s Day is just around the corner.

“I’m extremely thrilled and feeling ecstatic. As a father and as a coach, either way, it just feels great. I’m super thankful that ONE opened this opportunity to him and we all in Team Lakay have high hopes for him,” the Team Lakay patriarch added.

READ: Pinoy pride! Young Filipino athletes who bring pride to PH on int’l scene