Uniting MMA In Asia By Mark “The Machine” Sangiao

coach mark

The ONE FC Network has provided the different gyms and fighters all around Asia great opportunities and has contributed to the amazing growth rate of Asian MMA due to its vision of creating a network with common goal of great competitiveness and healthy partnership of the different promotions all over the Asian region.

Attending the ONE Asia MMA Summit 2013 is one of the most memorable experiences that I ever had. Being in the summit for the second time is such an honor for me. I had the chance of meeting some of the great people in the Mixed Martial Arts world, the heads  of the different promotions in Asia, fighters, coaches, gym owners, Sports and MMA journalists, sponsors and the siblings of the considered the “godfather” of Mixed Martial Arts, Bruce Lee.

As I sat in a room on the 46th floor of the Tower 1 of the amazing Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on the second night of the 3-day event, I pondered. I was so pumped-up that I can’t sleep having the thoughts of what had been for the full day. The day was full of incredible information and inspirations from the different speakers and panellists discussing the future of Asian MMA. There was the speech of the former UFC Middleweight Champion, Rich Franklin, sharing his experiences of how he became a fighter, and a champion from being a simple school teacher. Renzo Gracie, got the attention of the audience with his humorous style of telling his experiences and thoughts. Chatri Sityodtong, the founder of Evolve MMA, talked about the development of MMA in Asia. Speakers from Tune Talk, You Tube, Sherdog, New York Times, Fox Sports and other big names gave their own thoughts about how MMA in Asia will make it great by all working together.

But what impressed me the most was when the owner and CEO of the ONE FC, Mr. Victor Cui delivered his speech. We were all inspired by the way he envisions the future of Asian MMA by uniting some of the biggest MMA Promotions in Asia, gyms, sponsors and including the media industry. He shared his thoughts and concepts about Winning -Together. Basically, this is the aim of the network. “Winning means we all rise together” and “Together means sometimes you have to put away your own skill sets and ego to work together to accomplish something great”.  He then further ended his talk by saying that with all these accomplishments, there are still a lot of things to be achieved. And the amazing thing he said is that “we are just getting started”.

Having said this, I was inspired by this aim of the network by doing it in our local area in the Northern part of the Philippines. Organizing all of our local gyms and small MMA organizations to come together to agree to helping each other by supporting each other’s events and local fighters.

For Team Lakay, this Synergy of the ONE FC Network has provided great opportunity for our Team Lakay fighters to showcase their skills in an international level. Of course, we greatly appreciate and are thankful to URCC, with Alvin Aguilar as its founder, and his URCC Partners, because being the first and longest MMA Promotion in the Philippines, it is where we started and we hope to continue this good partnership with them.

Furthermore, the ONE FC Network has done so much to Team Lakay by challenging us more to level up with our training and preparation. We have enhanced our Outdoor Training Program as well as improved our Gym Training Program so it becomes a complete facility for Mixed Martial Arts and not only for Wushu or for just a few discipline.

With this, we have come to develop well-rounded fighters and prepare them for a higher level of competition. We have lessons from our past fights and fighting in the international arena through the ONE Fighting Championship. It has given us more challenges to prove ourselves even better. With these challenges, we have come to realize our mistakes and weaknesses and have come to improve and develop our skills more and as a result, we now have from Team Lakay, Honorio Banario as the first ONE FC Featherweight Champion. And we also hope and dream to have more champions in Kevin Belingon, who will be fighting for the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix finals, which is a few steps more to the Title. We also have of course, Eduard Folayang, Rey Docyogen and Geje Eustaquio who will be fighting on the next ONE FC event in Manila on May 31st at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines.

On behalf of Team Lakay, I therefore would like to thank the officers, organizers, promoters, sponsors and members of the ONE FC Network by giving this opportunity to us. We are greatly honoured and privileged to be part of this great Network and we join hand in hand with them in our goal of making it big in this world that we all love.

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