Sangiao helping son fulfill dream of becoming MMA world champ
MANILA, Philippines — Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao has produced many champions in the mixed martial arts scene.
His son, Jhanlo hopes to join that iist in the future.
But for now, there’s a lot of work yet to be done.
“I am just happy to see that he is enjoying the training. He is progressing, but the road is still far and stretched,” said the elder Sangiao, who was a former MMA fighter before establishing Team Lakay in Baguio.
“It will still be a long journey for him but the thing now is, he loves the learning process. The honing will come as time goes.”
The 17-year-old Jhanlo doesn’t have to look far for guidance with his dad also his mentor, making sure he is on the right track.
“We have been working on conditioning, stairs running, jogging, calisthenic exercises, pad work and more. We both enjoy pad work the most. He is enjoying what he’s doing.”
Jhanlo also finds himself in great company being alongside his fellow Team Lakay fighters like Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon and Joshua Pacio—all champions—to name a few, helping him with his development.
“At 17, I was shy. He (Jhanlo) is more confident and more skilled – the fact is that he is surrounded with high caliber athletes and he has a real coach. For mentality, he still has to test how strong his mental toughness is and I am looking forward to that.”
So far, Jhanlo has shown his versatility in his first three amateur fights with his debut win ending in strikes while his next two bouts were via submission.
Jhanlo’s early success certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed and so is his character outside the cage.
“Based on his previous matches, he’s fierce and resolute to win. As a person, he’s gentle and respectful.”
While there is added pressure for Jhanlo in following the footsteps of his dad, the father-and-son setup also presents challenges for Mark.
“At home, I am his dad. At the gym and during training, I am his coach. That’s how I find the balance, they don’t mix.”
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