Like father, like son.
For Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao, this scenario is slowly becoming a reality with his son Jhanlo Sangiao now following in his footsteps and may one day fight in the ONE Championship ring with his father at his corner.
“I’m glad that my son is following my footsteps, that he is continuing the legacy. For my side, it became easier to teach and hone him toward his inspirations as I experienced how to be an MMA athlete. I knew what to teach and how to train him. That is the plus factor, being both of us having the same interest,” Sangiao said.
His son’s interest in MMA blossomed at the age of 12 when Jhanlo began participating daily into the team’s training routines. Coach Mark saw the untapped potential his son possessed and never doubted that his son has a bright future ahead of him.
“I remember, at 12 years old, he already had that inclination towards MMA. He started to join our training and tried to follow our routines,” Sangiao said. “As someone who scouts for prospective MMA athletes, I knew from that time on that he has that potential to be one.”
Now, the 17-year-old Jhanlo is participating in amateur MMA bouts while also being a member of the Muay Thai PH junior team. His fast progression immediately caught the attention of ONE Championship Vice President and CEO of ONE Warrior Series, Rich Franklin and even earned his praise.
When asked if this is a sign of one day Jhanlo fighting under the ONE Championship banner, coach Sangiao hoped so in the near future.
“I hope so in the near future,” Sangiao said. “I am happy about his skill now but there is no reason for us to lax, we have to keep training, to keep advancing, adjusting. Mentally, let’s see after he gets to that international arena.”