Carrying the proud tradition of Team Lakay isn't the only thing Jhanlo Mark Sangiao will have to think of when he makes his debut in ONE Championship.
He also has to handle the excitement of his seniors who are just raring to see their "bunso" inside the ONE Circle.
"I'm super excited for Jhanlo in his debut in ONE Championship," former ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang said.
Former ONE featherweight king Honorio Banario agreed, noting: "It seems like yesterday when he was just a kid, running around the gym playing, grabbing our neck and trying to submit you. It's amazing how far that kid grew into a fine young man."
Truly, the Team Lakay manongs have seen Jhanlo grow up, with coach Mark raising his son with an up-close view to the world of mixed martial arts.
And it's really no surprise that the 18-year-old picked up the sport and aspired to become a champion like his father. Being with Team Lakay, he's already seen the sacrifices that his teammates had to make in order to succeed in the global stage.
"I know he has been waiting for this moment for quite some time now," former ONE bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon said. "It just seems surreal that the kid that was just playing alongside us while we were training is now one of us."
But don't be mistaken: Jhanlo is unlike the typical warrior fans have come to expect from Team Lakay.
His entry provides a glimpse of a new breed of Igorot warrior, who is still lethal in striking but well-versed on the ground, too.
"People should look at the compilations of our experiences with these new breeds," said former ONE flyweight champion Geje 'Gravity' Eustaquio. "They shall see the beauty of our transformations. They will also see the real value of teamwork and brotherhood in these young talented athletes."
"He is very creative in his submissions and he has that undeniable power in his hands," said Folayang.
Current ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio, who is considered as the forerunner of the "new breed" of Team Lakay bets, also shared the same assessment of Jhanlo.
"Mark my words: Jhanlo is a different breed. I felt his strength and it hits differently; you can sense his explosiveness. You'll see a young, confident, and well-rounded athlete when he steps inside the circle."