MMA: Team Lakay leader Mark Sangiao sees spectator-less fights part of new normal

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2020 04:08 PM

Mark Sangiao (right) with Team Lakay fighter and former ONE champion Eduard Folayang. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports/file

Without a vaccine to neutralize COVID-19, Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao said he wouldn't be surprised if closed-door events become the future of mixed martial arts.

Sangiao said banning fans in a highly packed arena is hard to imagine for now, as the world continues in its struggle to curb the disease.

"Sa ngayon di natin masabi, kasi kapag pinalabas agad tayo magkakaproblema naman ang lahat. Habang di natutuklasan ang vaccine, mahirap talaga," he said.

Which is why the best option will be holding cards in a closed door setting once the restrictions eases.

"Ginawa ng ONE Championship 'yan dati. May closed door event na lumaban pa si Honorio sa Singapore," Sangiao said.

"Sa tingin ko ganoon muna hanggang mahanapan nila ng lunas." 

But that still depends on certain conditions, said Sangiao.

ONE's closed-door bouts were shelved when air travel was banned.

"Walang flights palabas. Gustuhin man nating makapag-participate sa ganyan hangga't walang order, wala pa," Sangiao said.

The Team Lakay coach added that fighting without a live crowd would be surreal for contestants.

"Sa akin masmaganda sana 'yung may nanonood, may nagchi-cheer lalo na kung nasa bansa natin," he said.

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