Jhanlo Sangiao brushes off tag as 'new face' of Team Lakay

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Jhanlo Sangiao brushes off tag as 'new face' of Team Lakay
Jhanlo Sangiao
ONE Championship

MANILA, Philippines — Second-generation mixed martial star Jhanlo Sangiao is keeping himself grounded and focused on improvement amid talks about the being the next big thing out of the famed Baguio-based Team Lakay stable.

Sangiao made the statement as he works his way up the ONE Championship strawweight division.

One of the more promising athletes left in Team Lakay after a massive exodus led by the likes of former champions Eduard Folayang, Joshua Pacio, Kevin Belingon, and Honorio Banario, Sangiao is being tipped as the new torch bearer for the once decorated gym.

But the 21-year-old is keen to keep his head down and continue to focus on what he can control. 

“Nagte-training lang ako at ine-enjoy ko lang ito. Ipapakita ko kung ano yung kaya ko sa loob ng Circle. Yun lang naman yung goal ko eh,” he said.

“Kung sabihin nila na ako yung bagong face ng Team Lakay, pasalamat lang ako pero pinagtatrabahuan ko naman lahat ng ito.”

He faces what may be his biggest test to date as he currently touts an immaculate 3-0 slate in ONE Championship. He will collide with Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu (9-2) in ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs Grigorian at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand on August 5.

In all of his three fights, Sangiao had not gone past the opening round, finishing his opponents via submission.

His most recent victory came last April at the expense of Matias Farinelli, whom he submitted via kneebar.

This time around, the younger Sangiao is also feeling extra motivation after seeing one of his teammates — Carlos Alvarez — take a convincing second-round round victory over Sadegh Ghasemi in ONE Friday Fights 25.

Even as the exodus leaves them wanting, Sangiao has found faith in his teammates.

“Medyo nae-excite ako kasi nanalo yung isang teammate namin, si Carlos. Naha-hype na rin ako na lumaban ulit,” he said. “Nakakatulong din na puro bago ang sparring partners ko kaya energized lahat. Mas focused kami ngayon sa game plan.”

Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao, who is also Jhanlo’s father, mirrored the sentiment and said that they are on the right track.

“Our next generation of Team Lakay fighters are doing okay for the most part. I can see them working hard and they’re doing their training every day. That’s just how I see it. They train hard and the attendance has been solid,” he said.

His son, meanwhile, didn’t hold back in making a prediction for his fight against 

“Panalo ito,” he said.

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