By CARLO ANOLIN
One of Team Lakay’s new breeds has joined ONE Championship.
Jhanlo Sangiao, the son of Team Lakay patriarch and head coach Mark, has inked a fresh contract with the Singapore-based promotion.
ONE Championship also announced the development on its social media channels Wednesday, June 1.
“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 the 18-year-old Sangiao.
“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.”
It was a dream come true for the father-and-son tandem as coach Mark earlier hinted at the possibility of Jhanlo joining the prestigious promotion.
Jhanlo is now the youngest talent from Team Lakay, next to No. 5 women’s strawweight Jenelyn Olsim, 24, and reigning strawweight champion Joshua Pacio, 25.
ONE Championship reported that Jhanlo is planning to compete in the bantamweight division, which is currently led by Brazilian champion Bibiano Fernandes.
Completing the bantamweight rank are John Lineker (No. 1), Team Lakay veteran Kevin Belingon (No. 2), Yusup Saadulaev (No. 3), Fabricio Andrade (No. 4), and Shoko Sato (No. 5).
Aside from a rich experience in the amateur scene, Jhanlo now holds a clean 3-0 professional record with a rear-naked choke against Cris John Delica in Team Lakay Championship last December 2019.
Coach Mark, for his part, vowed to gives his all-out support to his son.
“Personally, I am just so proud. I’m just delighted that someone will continue my passion and my dream in the world of martial arts. He just needs to keep getting better and better just so he won’t waste his time with what he’s doing,” said the Team Lakay coach.
“When I gave him the contract, I asked him one last time if he’s serious about this path. He said yes, so here we are. This is what he always wanted so now he just has to work hard on making sure he succeeds.”