MANILA, Philippines -- The head coach of Team Lakay, Mark Sangiao, has no doubt that his son is ready to make his debut in ONE Championship -- and that the younger Sangiao will soon make a name for himself.
Jhanlo Mark will become the latest Team Lakay product to see action in ONE Championship at ONE: Winter Warriors II on December 17, where he will be up against Paul "The Great King" Lumihi of Indonesia in a bantamweight bout.
"This will be the first time that I'm going to coach my son," the elder Sangiao said in Team Lakay's recent media availability.
While Coach Mark has served as a father figure to the Team Lakay fighters, his situation with Jhanlo is unique.
"Although I consider our athletes as like our own children, it's really different when it's your own blood," he said.
The coach insists that he won't treat Jhanlo any differently come fight time, and will give him instructions as he would any other Team Lakay competitor.
"If it's just up to me, I will treat him the same as our other athletes. But we don't know what will happen and like I said, that will be the first time that I will experience that," he said.
"So I think we could only wait for fight night before we can see how different I could really be when I'm just barking orders for him as a coach on the side," he added.
What gives Coach Mark confidence is that his son is adapting quickly to the situation, even amid the pressure of debuting in ONE Championship.
"He has to understand how to handle pressure despite this being his first time fighting here. But as far as I can see, he's really ready to fight," said coach Mark of Jhanlo.
ONE: Winter Warriors II is a busy night for Team Lakay.
Aside from Jhanlo, three other Filipinos will be in action: Stephen Loman will be up against Russia's Yusup Saadulaev in a bantamweight bout; Kevin Belingon will battle South Korea's Kwon Won Il in a bantamweight match; and Danny "The King" Kingad makes his return in the main event against Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan.