MMA: Team Lakay coach wants sure win for Pacio, Adiwang

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2021 09:50 PM

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao wants to make sure that both his wards score finishes when they take on different foes in ONE: Revolution this Friday.

ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio returns to action when he completes his trilogy with Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta while Lito Adiwang battles “Wolf Of The Grasslands” Hexigetu in the another strawweight pairing. 

Sangiao has seen how close matches can go either way in the eyes of the judges, evident in Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga’s contentious split-decision loss to “Arale Chan” Seo Hee Ham earlier this month – and the soft-spoken mentor wants to avoid that situation altogether. 

“I really believe that Denice won that bout. It was a pretty close fight though. The result was the call of the judges, and I can’t dispute that given their experience in handling big bouts,” Sangiao said. 

“Now I’m reminding the boys to not leave it in the hands of the judges. I know they’ve worked extremely hard for this, and we’ve prepared them to work to finish in their upcoming matches.” 

In making sure that they’re ready to pounce on whatever opportunity they get to finish, Sangiao has added emphasis on grappling and positioning in this camp – putting in extra hours to make sure the elite strikers have other tools to fall back on. 

“We’ve worked a lot on their wrestling and ground game. That’s one thing we really added in their training. They’re known as strikers, but we want to continue building other parts of their game,” he said. 

“We’ve added time on our wrestling drills because that’s something I felt like we needed to prepare for. We want to make sure that if we get to that position, we’re ready to take advantage.” 

The 42-year-old head coach believes that they have done everything in camp to make sure that both Pacio and Adiwang come in prepared for a victorious return in the ONE Circle. 

Now it’s all about reaping the rewards of their hard work. 

“We don’t want to leave any doubts. We hope that they finish their opponents, but if they can’t, we’re looking at total domination so there’s no question of the result,” Sangiao said. 

“That’s why we’re really studying their opponents’ weaknesses, and that’s where we’ve focused our game plan on. Hopefully, we impose our will and get that big win.” 

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