ONE of the new breed of fighters from Team Lakay enters the big stage after 19-year-old Jhanlo Mark Sangiao signs with ONE Championship.
Jhanlo is the son of Team Lakay’s founder and head coach Mark Sangiao, who has developed some of the best MMA fighters to ever come out of the Philippines.
“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,” said Jhanlo. “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 in the gym.”
Jhanlo joins his teammates current ONE strawweight king Joshua Pacio, Eduard Folayang, Danny Kingad, Honorio Banario, Kevin Belingon, Stephen Loman, Geje Eustaquio, Lito Adiwang and Edward Kelly in the ONE Championship roster.
“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 Jhanlo. “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.”
Jhanlo is 3-0 with two of his wins coming from rear-naked choke submission and the other a knockout.
Jhanlo’s father, Mark, had a short but successful MMA career wherein he went 7-2 and fought mostly in the Philippines’ premier MMA organization, URCC.
Team Lakay is well known for their striking, but Jhonel believes that he’s a different type of fighter, a complete one.
“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,” said Jhanlo. “Our team is evolving, and we’re dangerous in all areas.” (EKA)