Team Lakay fighters pay tribute to their mothers
MANILA, Philippines—Team Lakay is undoubtedly one of the strongest stables in Asia, having produced eight World champions across different promotions as well as other accolades in other disciplines.
Its patriarch Mark Sangiao is seen as an indomitable father figure in the Asian mixed martial arts scene, but credit still goes to the mothers of the Team Lakay fighters for molding them into who they are today.
Eduard Folayang, a multi-time ONE World lightweight champion, is the stable’s oldest fighter at 35 and is seen as the group’s “manong” and mentor apart from Sangiao.
As the de facto captain, Folayang has a great influence on the team and he credits his mother for his upbringing and his skills as a leader.
“We need to be reminded of the sacrifices and hardships our parents went through to take care of us, especially our mothers,” said Folayang, who is just six years the junior of Sangiao. “My mother is very important because she is the one who molded discipline in me and taught me the principles to live by. She has been my inspiration to keep going, even in my darkest times.”
For Danny Kingad, having his mother by his side growing up made him the strong fighter that he ultimately came to be.
Losing his father at a young age, Kingad had to fight through poverty but he had his mother guiding him every step of the way that’s why every day for him is Mother’s Day.
“For me, it is always Mother’s Day. Nothing can beat a mother’s love. Being a mom is not simple. There’s a lot of hardship and sacrifice. She’s very important to me because she gave me life. She took care of me when I was young, corrected me and taught me a lot of lessons in life,” said Kingad. “I know I would not be where I am now without her. She helps inspire me. She always encourages me to train well, and just having her supporting me is like having thousands of fans around the world.”
Lito Adiwang, though, has a deeper connection to his mother when he began fighting as a career.
The ONE Warrior Series winner said fighting professionally helped him bridge his parents together as his mother and father would only get to see each other during his bouts.
“In the middle of my fighting career, I convinced my mother to come and watch me fight in local events because I’d asked my father to come as well, so at least during my fight, we could be all together again,” said Adiwang. “At that time, they were separated. But after my local fights, she preferred to just watch it on video.”
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