After losing two world titles, Lakay ringmaster wants wards to go for swift, decisive wins
Mark Sangiao has two remaining champions in his stable. And he wants both of them to grab victories by the throat.
The Team Lakay ringmaster said recently that he hopes his wards no longer leave the outcome to the judges, following the two losses that cost the famed stable two world crowns.
“Pretty sure we’ve all moved on from it,” Sangiao told the Inquirer when asked about the setbacks absorbed by strawweight Joshua Pacio and flyweight Geje Eustaquio.
“We’ve had a talk with the athletes,” he added. “I told them to turn those experiences into lessons: to never leave it to the judges.”
Pacio was dethroned by Yosuke Saruta via split decision in Jakarta in January while Eustaquio fell unanimously to Adriano Moraes a week later.
The young Pacio’s loss sent ripples across the mixed martial arts community that even had ONE top honcho Chatri Sityodtong saying that the Filipino should’ve won the fight.
ONE matches are scored in its entirety.
ONE earlier revealed that a rematch will be held in Manila on April 12 at MOA Arena.
“It’s a tall order to finish matches swiftly. But as much as possible, we should show—very clearly—that we won the game,” he added.
Sangiao’s hope resonated with his senior fighters lightweight champion Eduard Folayang and bantamweight kingpin Kevin Belingon, who are both fighting in ONE’s inaugural card in Tokyo late March.
“We really need to knock our opponents out. And that’s what I’m striving for. To quash all the doubts coming from the judges and my opponent,” said Belingon, who is set to figure in a trilogy with Bibiano Fernandes.
“It’s make it or break it for the both of us,” Folayang said.
Also seeing action in Tokyo for Team Lakay is Danny Kingad, who will battle Andrew Leone in ONE’s lightweight Grand Prix quarterfinals.