Team Lakay of Baguio City is undoubtedly the most successful mixed martial arts team in the Philippines. Under the supervision of Mark Sangiao, they were able to produce five world champions so far, with Joshua Pacio successfully retaining his ONE Strawweight title against Yosuke Saruta in the recently concluded ONE: Revolution last September 24.
Aside from Pacio, his veteran teammates, Honorio Banario, Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, and Kevin Belingon were able to capture their division’s championships, thus forging a successful path to the new generation of fighters to emulate.
With their seasoned fighters not getting younger and is now being caught by father time, the team is now starting to introduce a new breed of competitors who are ready to take over Asia’s biggest promotion and duplicate the success they had in 2018 where four of their members were world champions simultaneously. You might want to take down some notes and remember their names as we begin with:
Jhanlo Mark Sangiao
The son of the head tactician of the team, Mark Sangiao, has officially joined the Singapore-based promotion by signing a contract last June 2021 where he will be taking his talent in the Bantamweight division. Jhanlo currently holds a perfect 3-0 record after winning all of his matches via stoppage. The 18-year old is touted to be one of the biggest prospects out of the famed team. Currently, he still hasn’t made his debut but fans should never miss his future bouts.
After a historic run with BRAVE Combat Federation where he reigned as the longest titleholder in the organization’s history, Stephen Loman is now part of Asia’s biggest martial arts promotion and joined his teammates under the ONE banner. Loman was supposed to have a blockbuster debut last April 2021 where he was scheduled to face John Lineker in the headliner of ONE on TNT 3, but due to health protocols, he was forced to withdraw from that bout and was eventually replaced by Troy Worthen.
Despite this delay in his ONE Championship journey, Loman still carries an impressive resume of 13 wins and only 2 losses, thus not tasting a defeat since 2016. Also, he currently holds an eight-fight winning streak including three title defenses as BRAVE’s Bantamweight world champion. At only 29 years old, he is still well under his prime and can be a threat in the division where Bibiano Fernandes reigns as the undisputed champion.
Wrapping up this list is recently minted ONE Atomweight Grand Prix semifinalist, Jenelyn Olsim. 24-year old Olsim has been presented a golden opportunity in front of her after being called up to replace Itsuki Hirata in the tournament due to a high fever and the Filipina didn’t hesitate to grab the chance and agreed to face Indian wrestling phenom, Ritu Phogat.
This opportunity didn’t just come by luck, instead, she earned her right to be in this Grand Prix by winning her first two fights under ONE Championship. First, she scored an impressive Guillotine-choke win over the then number-five ranked Atomweight, Maira Mazar at ONE: Fists of Fury last March 2021 and followed it up with an outstanding unanimous decision victory over veteran, Bi Nguyen this past August for ONE: Battleground 3.
Her Muay Thai and Wushu background will be on full display against the Indian Tigress and if she manages to get a victory over Phogat, then she will enter the tournament’s finale and face either Stamp Fairtex or Julie Mezabarba.
Featured Images and Videos Credits to ONE Championship