Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao earned his moniker “The Machine” back from his heydays as one of the most renowned mixed martial artists in the Philippines.
As a professional MMA fighter, Sangiao, now 42, had seven wins and two losses and once dominated the URCC as its welterweight champion.
Today, another Sangiao in Mark’s son Jhanlo will inherit the mighty nickname in one of the biggest mixed martial arts promotions that is ONE Championship.
“Binigay kasi ‘yong pangalan sakin na ‘yan kasi ako yung athlete na work to finish (I earned that nickname because I was known as an athlete who works to finish),” recalled Sangiao, founder and head coach of the famed Benguet stable Team Lakay.
“‘Pag sinimulan, ‘di mo titigilan ‘yong kalaro mo hanggang may manalo. So expect nila, siempre sana mas maganda ‘yong bunga (I won’t stop until I get the win. So expect, hopefully, for a better outcome in Jhanlo),” he added, referring to no less than his 19-year-old son.
With all the hype, pressure, and everything in between, the older Sangiao is confident that Jhanlo is more than ready not only for his promotional debut but also his inaugural match as a professional fighter.
In fact, the Team Lakay patriarch believes that Jhanlo will unleash the better and stronger “Machine” compared to his own time.
“Mas magaling, so tingin ko maganda ‘yong papakita ni Jhanlo (He’s better so I think Jhanlo will create a show),” the proud father added.
Jhanlo, who holds a 3-0 amateur record, for his part, takes after his father’s fighting spirit as an Igorot warrior.
It won’t be an easy road ahead as pressure continues to unfold in front of the 19-year-old Sangiao.
But Jhanlo already witnessed his father’s dedication and fighting prowess inside the cage and that is all the more reason for him to make his own name in ONE Championship.
“One think na I think na kay papa noon which is nakuha ko ay ‘yong mental spirit, parang ‘yong warrior spirit as an Igorot (One think I inteherited was my father’s mental spirit — his warrior spirit as an Igorot),” said Jhanlo. “Gagawin namin lahat upang makuha ‘yong gusto namin which is ‘yong ginagawa niya noon (We’ll do our best for us to get what we want).
“Kung gusto niya ng takedown, dadalhin niya sa baba. Kung gusto niya striking, gagawin niya rin lahat [on feet] (And that’s what my father did in his time. When he wants to take the match to the ground, he will take it to the ground. The same goes in striking),” he added.
Jhanlo is set to clash with Indonesian foe Paul Lumihi, who is on a four-match skid with a 7-5 record, in ONE: Winter Warriors II on Dec. 17 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.