MANILA, Philippines -- All eyes will be on Jhanlo "The Machine" Sangiao when he makes his ONE Championship debut against Indonesia's Paul "The Great King" Lumihi at ONE: Winter Warriors II.
Sangiao is the son of Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, and expectations are understandably high for the young fighter.
Sangiao will battle Lumihi (7-5) in a bantamweight showdown.
"I think he's the oldest fighter I've faced," Sangiao said of Lumihi, who is 14 years his senior. The Indonesian is a veteran in ONE Championship, but he has lost four straight matches and is looking to turn his career around.
"I've faced older men in the amateurs but not this old, they're like 28. But I feel like youth is an advantage of mine. I feel like I'm stronger, I'm younger and I can beat him," the confident Sangiao added.
The 33-year-old Lumihi is a former OPMMA Featherweight Champion with years of fighting experience at the professional and amateur level. He is well-versed in martial arts styles such as kung fu, taekwondo, wushu, Muay Thai, and the like. It's safe to say that Lumihi represents the toughest challenge of Sangiao's blossoming career thus far.
Breaking down their stylistic matchup, Sangiao believes he holds several key advantages that he says will be the difference in this fight.
"Based on what I've seen, he's more of a striker but he tends to struggle when the fight hits the mat, he either gets submitted or gets punished on the ground. But it doesn't matter, wherever this match goes, I feel like I can take him on. But of course, I don't want to be overconfident," Sangiao said.
"Of course I am the better striker. I feel like I have the edge over him in a lot of stuff. I'm younger, much more powerful and I get to train with some of the best strikers in the world. World champions like Joshua Pacio, I get to train with Danny Kingad and of course my sparring partner is the most lethal striker in ONE in Kevin Belingon," he added.
Being a member of Team Lakay, Sangiao has access to some of the most talented and experienced world champions in ONE Championship. His mentors include not just Belingon and Pacio, but also former world champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang.
"That's why I am confident that I am better than him at striking," Sangiao said.
Despite his confidence, Sangiao is aware that victory is not a certainty.
"Anything can happen, but of course I want to get that bonus whether that submission or knockout. When that opportunity comes I'll be taking it," Sangiao said.
ONE: Winter Warriors II is the final event for ONE Championship in 2021, and is the second of the "Winter Warriors" series. In the main event, #2-ranked flyweight contender Danny "The King" Kingad takes on #4-ranked contender Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov.
The previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium is set for broadcast via tape delay on Friday, 17 December.