MMA: Team Lakay coach feels Folayang, fighters can excel in ONE’s striking competition

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2020 06:44 PM | Updated as of Sep 18 2020 07:03 PM

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao recently gave his thoughts on the ONE Super Series, and he’s confident it was only a matter of time before Filipinos emerge in ONE Championship’s all-striking league. 

If you ask Sangiao, he said he felt that a homegrown talent could one day banner a ONE Super Series card if only someone from the country zeroes in on either kickboxing or Muay Thai. 

“I think Filipinos are good at striking and we can actually excel in it. It’s all a matter of someone focusing on it and working hard for it,” Sangiao said.

“I like the chances of Eduard (Folayang). I think he could have excelled in Super Series. Most of our top-level athletes, I think could also excel if they push for it.”

Sangiao is not the first person from the fabled Team Lakay camp to make such proclamations. 

Fifth-ranked mixed martial arts strawweight Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang is confident of his chances if he jumps over the fence -- and his poise is well-deserved. 

After all, the team from Baguio City has a solid wushu base, and it’s something that could push them to success in ONE Super Series.

That was already proven on an amateur level when some of his students -- Gina Iniong and Jerry Olsim -- took gold medals in kickboxing at the 2019 Southeast Asian games.

The soft-spoken mentor said he believes it could work on the professional level, too. 

“I think wushu is also a good background for our athletes who want to try Super Series. I think it’s a solid striking base,” Sangiao said.

“There are some differences here and there, like in Wushu there are actual takedowns, in Muay Thai there are elbows and knees, so it’s all a matter of incorporating those rules depending on where you’re competing. I think we’re pretty much the same as kickboxing.”