Son of Team Lakay founder Jhanlo Sangiao joins ONE Championship
MANILA, Philippines — Another Team Lakay prospect in Jhanlo Sangiao, son of the famed stable’s headmaster Mark, is ready to make a name in ONE Championship.
Stepping out of his dad’s shadow, Sangiao fulfilled one of his goals after officially signing with the promotion.
“I wasn’t expecting it. I was shocked when my father gave me the contract. But when I saw the ONE Championship logo on the piece of paper, I read it and I was in disbelief,” Sangiao said.
“I can’t really explain what I was feeling. I was definitely excited. Since I was a kid, I had wanted to be here for so long. It has been my dream. I wanted to compete like all my kuyas (brothers) in the gym.”
The 18-year-old Sangiao joined a long list of current and former world champions coming out of the Baguio-based Team Lakay.
Sangiao has also embraced the pressure that comes with representing the most successful mixed martial outfit in the Philippines.
Give a warm welcome to Jhanlo Mark Sangiao, son of Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, as he officially joins ONE Championship 🙌🎉🇵🇭
“I’m just grinding right now, training each day, and just getting myself ready both physically and mentally. My father always tells me to just be ready because my time will come, and here we are,” he said.
“There’s definitely pressure on me to do well, no escaping that. People will come up to me, asking me when I’m making my debut, so in my mind, that’s pressure in itself. People expect a lot, and I have to be at my best. But that kind of pressure makes me happy.”
Under the tutelage of the elder Sangiao, Team Lakay has produced a slew of ONE world champions led by former two-time lightweight king Eduard Folayang and other ex-champions in bantamweight Kevin Belingon, flyweight Geje Eustaquio, featherweight Honorio Banario and current strawweight titleholder Joshua Pacio.
“The moment I signed that contract, my father told me, ‘This is it. This isn’t the amateurs anymore. You have to be ready. You have to be better. You’re on the big stage so don’t act like an amateur anymore,’” said the younger Sangiao, who started training in the gym at six years old en route to having an impressive amateur career.
“There are a lot of expectations on my end, given that it’s the big stage. There’s a lot of pressure, but I’m willing to put in the hard work to grab every opportunity.”
Ahead of his impending debut, Sangiao also vowed to offer a new dimension to Team Lakay.
“When they say Team Lakay, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is ‘these guys are deadly strikers.’ But for me, I believe I’m part of a new breed. I’m part of a new generation of Team Lakay fighters who have built new weapons,” Sangiao said.
“Our team is evolving, and we’re dangerous in all areas.”