MMA: Team Lakay coach to have ‘man to man’ talk with losing fighters


Posted at Nov 17 2020 06:28 PM

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao has always been known for his level-headed approach to life, but just like any father figure, he can be tough when the moment calls for it. 

After Kevin Belingon and Lito Adiwang dropped disappointing losses Friday, he feels this is just the right moment to show some tough love. 

“It’s going to be a tough talk. It’s going to be man-to-man between us. We really need to address a few things,” Sangiao said. 

Belingon dropped a second-round TKO loss to John Lineker in the main event and Adiwang, who was riding a wave of momentum up until his clash, dropped a split-decision loss to Hiroba Minowa in the event curtain-raiser. 

These tough talks are nothing new, however. The Team Lakay leader has been having post-bout chats with his troops after all their matches, whether they win or lose. 

“Actually, we’ve been doing this for a long time. After fights, we sit down in one room and we let it all out. We encourage each other to bring all the issues out so we can start fresh and focus once more,” Sangiao said. 

Sangiao has spent a long time with Belingon and Adiwang, so he already knows how to talk to them -- especially after disappointment.

“Being with them for a long time eases up the approach on how to talk to them,” Sangiao said. 

“I have a different approach for Kevin, and another one for Lito. This is a very crucial talk because this is really the first time we’ll have the chance to talk in-depth since returning from Singapore. 

“If there are issues, we have to fix them so [these loses] don’t happen again.” 

While it has been a rough few weeks for Team Lakay, having gone 1-3 during the ONE: Inside the Matrix series, Sangiao and his crew have been here before and have proven they can and will bounce back. 

“Yeah it was a bad night. As a coach it hurts, more so for our athletes,” Sangiao said. 

“We’re just asking for your patience and prayers. We’re going through some rough patches, but I hope that you keep on holding on to us.” 

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