Mark Sangiao (ONE Championship)

This year has showcased Team Lakay’s new generation, and head coach Mark Sangiao believes fans have yet to see everything they have in store.

ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang continued their impressive runs in the division, while this year also saw the respective debuts of Jenelyn Olsim and Jeremy “The Juggernaut” Pacatiw.

What those four fighters have in common is their willingness to take the match to the ground when needed, a notable shift in the squad’s style from a few years back.

That’s why Sangiao can’t wait to see newly signed bantamweights Stephen Loman and Jhanlo Sangiao – his son – make their debuts, knowing how well-rounded these guys are.

“They are much more complete. They’re well rounded in striking, wrestling, and grappling, and I can say they’re a different breed. Hopefully, soon they’ll be performing in the Circle and fans will see why we’re high on them,” Sangiao said.

Loman has made a name for himself in the Middle East, showcasing great skills on the ground in beating ONE mainstays like Gurdashan “Saint Lion” Mangat and Mark “Tyson” Abelardo.

The second-generation Sangiao, on the other hand, will only be making his pro debut following a solid amateur career where he dominated the majority of his fights on the ground with his wrestling and brute strength.

That’s why coach Sangiao is excited for their debuts in ONE.

“They’re the ones who will carry the flag and prove that we are evolving,” he said. “There were times when people only viewed us as world-class strikers, then took advantage of our weaknesses on the ground.”

The mixed martial arts world has always rewarded athletes who can compete out of their comfort zones, and Sangiao wants the world to see what’s in store for Team Lakay.

“Now, our athletes are more balanced, as we’ve put an emphasis on our wrestling and grappling so we can make up for our shortcomings,” he said.

“So, expect our new generation of athletes to show how far we’ve improved on the ground and in wrestling.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (