Team Work and Hard Work Really Pay Off – By Mark “The Machine” Sangiao

team

It all paid off! After all the hard work in training; the sacrifices of time and effort; the pain, injury, sweat and tears; and even the hunger during the weight cutting…was all worth it.

This time of the year is the hardest part of the year to train since it is the rainy season here in the Philippines. Training outside the gym is limited. We can not have our high-altitude training, we do it then at the gym. This is one of the challenges of training for a fight.

Two of our Team Lakay fighters, Roldan “The Executioner” Sangcha-an and Harold Banario won their respective fights at PXC 39 which was on September 14th at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Harold Banario, a BS in Architecture student at the University of the Cordilleras (UC), was a young fellow who were once just one of the fans of Team Lakay particularly of his older brother Honorio Banario, the current URCC Lightweight Champion and the former ONE FC Featherweight Champion. He once dreamt of joining Team Lakay and fight in the ring or cage.

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Harold Banario caught Adamson Torbiso with a deep armbar (Photo by PXC)

PXC 39 was the moment for Harold especially that it was his first time to set foot at international stage. He had fought in the ring in his previous MMA and Wushu Sanshou fights, but this one was different. I can see it in his eyes. The mixed emotions of eagerness for him to realize his dream, the nervousness and excitement, and the pressure to win since he was the first one to step in the cage after a series of defeats suffered by his team mates – he has to win this fight.

Harold is a young student who always follow what his teacher tells him. By this, he followed every instruction given to him.

He won his bout against his opponent Adamson Torbiso in a very impressive manner. He submitted his opponent via an armbar in the first round. He was so delighted. The plan was executed very well; It was a success.

The second Team Lakay fighter is Roldan Sanghca-an. He is a graduating student of BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City. He is not a newbie in this stage. His memorable bout with Adam Cacay in URCC Baguio V is still in the minds of those who have watched it. He has proven the real warrior in him. Like what his seniors always do, he showed the heart and might of an Igorot warrior; the heart of being a Champion, the heart of being a Team Lakay fighter.

(Photo by PXC)

(Photo by PXC)

Another moment in Roldan’s MMA career which is remarkable, is his fight with the undefeated champion of Kazakhstan, Assulan Toktarbaev. Roldan defeated him and gave him the first loss after his 40 wins in his pro MMA career.

As Roldan stepped inside the PXC cage, the excitement to rumble with his opponent was burning in his eyes. As what I’ve seen in his previous fights, the true heart of a fighter never faded.

Roldan amazed a lot of fight fans that night. It was a good exchange of kicks and punches. At some point of the first round, he was at the defensive side, carefully measuring what his opponent can give. Measuring the strength and capability of his opponent, a great fighter from Laguna, Ernesto Montilla, Jr.

Then came the second round, he gave Montilla a double-leg takedown then he got his back and executed a very deep rear naked choke. It was the moment where Montilla can not do anything but to tap.

Immediately after the tap, Roldan did the Igorot dance, a sign of celebration,  gesture of being so proud to be an Igorot…in an international stage.

This is the beginning of another chapter of Team Lakay’s book. After all the great fight history, the rise and fall, we are proud of what we have achieved. And we plan to keep it going.

At this point, we would like to thank those who have helped us in training such as our teammates, training partners and trainers.

 

 

 

 

 

Likewise, thank you to those who have assisted us in Manila, Cacay Baltazar, Perci Diego and Jethro Chungalao.

We want to thank those who have sponsored these two Team Lakay fighters in this particular endeavor: Dante Bagsan Law Office, Vicious Circle, Head Hunting Heritage, Potato Grill, Tiong San Department Store and Supermart, 50’s Diner, Tatak Maharlikano, Dr. John Harold Hiyadan and Dr. Dave Taclobao.

Indeed, with everyone helping and supporting us, we made it.

Wushu Insights by Mark Sangiao

wushu

After having the POC-PSC National Wushu Championship 2013 held last May 28-31, 2013 at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila; the Wushu Federation Philippines is going to be busy again these coming months in preparation for the next big event in Asian Wushu.

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The Philippines is going to host the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championship to be held at the Makati Coliseum, Makati, Philippines on August 8-11, 2013. This event is going to be attended by Wushu participants from 21 different countries all over Asia.  The Asian Junior Wushu Championship is a competition held every two years and there will be two events in the competition: Taolu and Sanda.

Wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. It was developed in China. The term wushu is Chinese for “martial arts”. “Wu” means military or martial and “Shu” means art. Taolu and Sanda are the two disciplines of competitive wushu.

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Taolu are the forms and involve martial arts pattern and manoeuvres for which competitors are judged and given points according to specific rules. The forms comprise basic movements such as stances, kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps and throws based on aggregate categories of traditional Chinese martial arts styles and can be changed for competitions to highlight one’s strengths.

One famous celebrity that most people know who practiced Taolu is Jet Li. At the age of 8, he began learning wushu. At the age of 11, Jet Li won his first national championship and as a result, he travelled to more than 45 countries as part of Beijing Wushu Team. In 1974, he became the All-Around National Wushu Champion, a title he held for the five consecutive years.

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He retired from wushu at the age of 19 and went through acting martial arts films which include some of the greatest martial arts films of all times such as the Shaolin Temple, Kiss of a Dragon, Romeo and Juliet, ONE, Hero, Fearless and others. But one can never forget him playing Wong Fei-hung in the two sequels of Once Upon a time in China, where he played the legendary hero who fights against foreigners in this 19th century tale.

Sanda on the other hand, which is also called Sanshou, is a modern fighting method and sport influenced by traditional Chinese boxing,  Chinese wrestling methods and other Chinese grappling techniques. It has all the combat aspects of wushu. Sanda appears much like kickboxing or muay thai, but includes some wrestling techniques.

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This is what we practice. This is what we master. Not everyone knows that Sanda is an all-around combative sport, because it involves striking and wrestling techniques. So all we have to do is add more knowledge from other disciplines to enhance the combinations. We have to add up western wrestling techniques, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Japanese judo and other specialties from different martial arts which originated from other countries. But basically, wushu almost has it all except the grappling aspect.

In connection with Sanda or Sanshou competitions, I am again proud to announce the success of Benjie Rivera, one of a members of the Philippine National Team who is from Baguio and Benguet. He won the Chinese Fighting Championship against his Turkish opponent which was held in Shaanxi, Xian, China last June 14 to 16, 2013. Two out of our five members from the Wushu Philippine National Team won over their opponents. Another win was by Francis Solis from Ilo-ilo defeating his Chinese foe. Jessie Aligaga, Dembert Arcita and Jean Claude Saclag unfortunately all lost to their Chinese opponents.

Photos of Filipino Wushu Fighters who won in the recent

Photos of Filipino Wushu Fighters who won in the recent Chinese Fighting Championship

This win adds to the Wushu-Sanshou record of wins given by our fellow Cordillerans such Mark Eddiva, Eduard Folayang, Rexel Nganhayna, Rolly Chulhang, Jerome Calica, Jerome Lumabas, Roger Chulhang, Jason Domingo, Ronald Bingwaoel, Benito Amado, Michael Humiding, Joel Nganhayna, Joseph Pasiwat, Dare Malecdan, George Lusadan, Erik Kelly,  Mario Bey-agan, Ricky Luken, Mariane Mariano, Rhea May Rifani, Jennifer Lagilag, Dolly Andres and yours truly, among others, who are World, Asian and SEA games medalists.

With all these information, I hope to have shared some of the important insights for our readers to understand more about wushu. We wish to continue letting everybody know about this sport and one of our commitments as Wushu International Judge and Coach and as members of the Wushu Federation Philippines, is to produce quality athletes who can compete among all the best in the sport not only in the country but in Asia and the world. This is what we are training for, aside of course for MMA. This is why we have scholars. To put wushu on the map of competitive sports. This is one reason why we have our Team Lakay Wushu-Xanda and MMA Eliminations and Championships. We hope to produce competitive and quality athletes before we let them step-up to higher competitions.

Our next Team Lakay Wushu Xanda and MMA Championship is going to be on November. So we prepare our athletes for this. Athletes from other gyms from all around the Philippines are welcome to submit their participants if they want to take part in this event. We welcome them to come have a healthy competition with us. As I always say, this is for the benefit of the athletes and for the promotion of the sport and we join everyone who has the same advocacy and dream as ours.

Martial Arts Recollection By Mark Sangiao

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With the recent conclusion of the Team Lakay 13th Grappler’s Cup which was held last June 12, 2013, one of the most important day in Filipino history because we celebrated the Independence Day of our great country. We can say that it has been successful for the fact that different gyms, including those from as far as Cavite and La Union, participated in the said event. We also had the venue on a different atmosphere letting the participants have a different experience since we had it held at a roof top of one of the buildings in Pine Valley Plaza, La Trinidad, Benguet. Being different from our usual venues like school gymnasiums and beach resorts, we had it held at such venue to establish a high-altitude competition. However, it is one of the goals of Team Lakay to rotate the locations of its Grappler’s Cup competitions to let the participants experience different kinds of environment.

Having organized 13 Grappler’s Cups already, it has established Team Lakay as organizer of such events and it is our vision to continue promoting it for the development of the ground game of our fighters and members, as well as the other participants from different gyms all around Cordilleras and different parts of the Philippines, as it is getting bigger and bigger. It is also the goal of Team Lakay in organizing these kind of programs to put on a stage for them to expose themselves to more competitions before they get to compete in bigger and tougher events.

But what is grappling by the way? Grappling refers to techniques, movements, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as takedowns, proper positioning, mounting, submitting or locking, escaping, and controlling your opponent. However, grappling does not include striking.

Grappling is a technique which has been developed even in the earlier times of our history. I will not discuss here the history of Grappling or Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling, but to give you a brief background of how it went to where it is right now.

In our local region, when we were kids, we used to play what we call “Ginnabbo”, the local term for judo and wrestling. The Kankana-eys call it “Damá”, while the Ifugaos call it “Bultong”. This type of sport has already been here in our place even before we were born. It was a type of recreation for our forefathers. I even experienced it playing “Ginnabbo” on the wide, vacant grassland near our home. Like that of playing the kite and hide and seek, we played  “kinnudtar” or kicking each other, “innubba” or carrying another on one’s back as a team while kicking or striking other opponents.

Nowadays, I don’t think a lot of the children have experienced this; all they experience now is that if they want to play wresting, they have to go to the gym to practice this sport. For us it was not even a sport, it was a form of recreation.

But with the development of the sport in other countries especially in Japan, Brazil, UAE and in the United States of America, the techniques have become more formalized and improved. There are a lot of techniques that you have to master before getting into this kind of sport and eventually join in competitions.

Now, I would like also to dedicate this piece to our national hero , Dr. Jose Rizal, in memory of his birthday on the 19th of June. He was also a martial arts practitioner and being a martial artist himself, he had known how to properly use the disciplines he knew in proper and peaceful manner. This is one great character that I’ve liked about him, aside from being intelligent and talented; he had not made use of his knowledge of martial arts to form a revolution. Even having been knowledgeable in different disciplines such as judo, wrestling, arnis, fencing, shooting and others, he had not used this to gain independence from our invaders. He still managed to put into writing all his thoughts to gain independence in a peaceful manner. But if needed to apply what he knew, he will do it. That is martial arts; it is only applied when it is needed, like self-defense and during healthy competitions.

Martial Arts are not supposed to be used to start a physical encounter and street fights; or to show to anyone that he is strong and powerful; or to intimidate or bully others. Instead, we should use this art to settle disputes and misunderstandings in a peaceful way- like what it was used to be. It has been embraced by law enforcement officials worldwide and continues to be the foundation for many specialized system used by police especially in countries like Japan. This is the way of martial arts. But nowadays, aside from bringing peace it also is a form of entertainment, a way of disciplining one’s self, and a way of bringing honor and pride to one’s country by representing his or her country in international competitions. This is what we intend to achieve, to bring peace to our countrymen, by becoming ambassadors of peace, as well as to give honor and pride to our country and family. This is what we do, this is who we are.

Team Lakay, Stronger and Better We Rise! :By Mark Sangiao

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It was another disappointing night for Team Lakay last Saturday night at the ONE FC 9: Rise to Power. It was even worse than the last event that we had been to.

Again, we went home frustrated, disappointed, dismayed and heart-broken. We lost, not just one but all of our fights. But as for me and our team, we thought some of our fighters should have won that night. At least we should have made our supporters proud, even if we did not win it all, we should have won some, especially if it was clear that we really deserve those wins. We thought that we disappointed the whole country. We apologize to the people who believed in us for not getting the wins. But we thank them for being there to support us.

However, this is not the end of everything, instead, it is just the beginning. The start of a new chapter of our lives as a team and as fighters. We were tested as to up to what point we are capable of. We are considered as the best in the country, these fighters are the best among the best and yet these happened. Questions arise in our mind and some answers came up too. A lot of facts were given, but one thing is for sure, that the Philippine MMA is still young compared to other countries especially Japan.

Japan has been in the fight business for so many years. When the UFC held its first event on November of 1993 in the U.S, Japan back in that year have already doing a lot of local MMA shows. In other words, before UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce, ONE FC, URCC and PXC came into the scene, Japanese MMA is already having a blast. In my opinion, Japan, it is even where MMA was born, it is where some of the greatest MMA fighters made their name, and it is where the greatest in MMA memories were captured. Now, as the western MMA came, it’s when the downfall of Asian MMA happened, or maybe not the downfall, but the decline due to some conflicts with the organizers, the politics inside it and the increase of even more innovations from other minds who are engaged in this kind of business.

Nevertheless, MMA in Asia, especially in Japan has not died, it was always there, it was just there, while others are so intense in the promotion and in their popularity, Japan never stopped producing some of the best fighters in the world.

The younger generations of fighters from Japan were students, sons and, children of the greatest fighters and teachers of MMA or Martial Arts in their country. With the evolution of techniques and other disciplines, they kept their young ones in Martial Arts schools, aside from bringing them in regular educational schools.

Now the Philippines has reached a point of another chapter; the realization of where we are at right now. Our assessment? Philippine MMA is still so young. Of course we see a lot of MMA gyms popping out right now all over the country. But we have to develop well-rounded gyms, camps and teams.

After the event, many saw our weaknesses; everybody became experts in this field by saying a lot of things. We had our game plans; we went to the event without the so called “zero-knowledge” in grappling, take-downs, or wrestling. Yes these are our weaknesses, but we can’t say that we don’t have knowledge about it. Experts can be the one to attest to that, they are the ones who can see what we lack. And yes, we admit and accept that we still have a lot to improve. But these are the best, so what’s good here is that it is not only us who learned from this experience. Other gyms and teams should also learn from these. In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. And as they say, you are not called to be a great fighter if you have not fought the best.

You can never learn your weaknesses unless you have not dealt with the strongest.

The bottom line is we are still young and the best is yet to come. Give us more time and you will see the best in us yet. As I always say, these experiences are all lessons to learn from. Like in life, as we grow older, we become wiser, we become better, we become what we intend to be, especially if we are willing to learn and apply these lessons in order to reach whatever our ultimate goal is.

These are all part of the game-winning, losing, criticisms, praises, challenges, laughter, tears, pain and relief. Without these, fighting is nothing. The most important thing is that we strive to become better in every experience that we have until we achieve excellence. We don’t claim perfection; we’d rather go for excellence.

We would like to thank the following for supporting and assisting us during the ONE FC: Rise to Power event: Havokk Clothing Company, Hayabusa Philippines, Head Hunting Heritage, Tiong San Department Store, Calajo Restaurant, Catering and Bakery, 50’s Diner, Tatak Maharlikano, Jun and Rosy Car Sales, Vicious Circle, Goshen Land, Atty. Dante Bagsan, Dr. Dave Taclobao, Arch. Lehman Cosalan, Gov. Nestor Fongwan, Cong, Teddy Baguilat, Jr., Jone Lapicto, Patrick Mariano, Marlyn Tafaleng, Jethro Chungalao, Ariel Corpuz, Franklin Pagnas, Cacay Baltazar, our trainers, training partners and all the others who had been there with us before, during and after the fights.

On behalf of the team, I would like to thank all our supporters, families, relatives and friends for believing in us and for being with us all throughout.

Most of all To God Be the Glory and Praises. Team Lakay will rise again Better and Stronger!

Matago tago tako am-in. Mabuhay tayong lahat!

MMA – It’s More Fun In The Philippines By Mark Sangiao

Photo Credit: Mr. Raul Landingin

Photo Credit: Mr. Raul Landingin

As the event is fast approaching, we become more excited. The ONE Fighting Championship 9: Rise to Power is scheduled tonight, May 31, 2013, 7:00 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. This is going to be historic, since this is the biggest event in Philippine MMA yet.

Five of our Team Lakay Warriors will be proudly representing the Philippines. The ONE FC Featherweight Champion, Honorio “The Rock” Banario will be having his first title defense against Koji Oishi from Japan. Honorio, who is also the current URCC Lightweight Champion, has no plan of giving away his belt. He intends to take a hold of it for a long time.

Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, the undefeated URCC Bantamweight Champion, is fighting another Japan’s pride, Masakatsu Ueda, for the finals of the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix. Belingon has a goal to be the next Filipino to have a World Championship Belt around his waist and a win against Ueda is going to be a great stepping stone for him to reach that goal.

Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang, the reigning URCC Welterweight Champion, is undoubtedly the face of Filipino MMA. He will be battling against Iranian Kamal Shalorus, who also plans to give the Filipino fans a great fight. Eduard promised to bring a different game this time and we will be witnessing that on his fight tonight.

The current URCC Pinweight Champion, Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen, is going to give the never-say-die attitude and wants to redeem himself from his lost to Shinichi Kojima last April of this year in Malaysia by aiming to defeat the second Japanese fighter he has to face, Yasuhiro Urishitani. Both are fighting under the ONE FC Flyweight division, the most fast-paced and fast-moving division in MMA.

Another flyweight bout, Team Lakay’s Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio will be fighting Andrew Leone, an American who is fighting out of Phuket Top Team, one of the best gyms in Asia. This will be one of the most exciting fights of the night. They both expressed their desire to bring explosive fight, so we’ll see about that come fight night.

So there you go about the ONE FC event. The weigh-in is done. All the Team Lakay fighters made weight. Cutting weight is one of the most significant aspect in preparing for a fight. Besides fighting in the ring/cage, which of course is the most important thing during a fight; not everybody knows the importance of cutting weight. The effort, time, and sacrifices given to cutting weight are very essential factors to be considered. I think for a fighter to be called “professional”, he has to give his everything to make his weight to be fair with his opponent and to follow respectfully the rules of the promotion.

On the other hand, another event going on right now in Manila is the PNG-POC, Wushu National Championships, where most of our Wushu scholars and members from the Cordillera Admininstrative Region are also here for the competition. The event is on-going and ends on June 02, 2013.

Almost all Team Lakay members and supporters are now in Manila for the two events especially for the ONE FC event. Their families, relatives, friends, fans and supporters are here to show their love and support.

Another great thing here is that fans from the northern part of the Philippines, as well as from around the country, are now in Manila for the said event. Likewise, fans from other countries came to visit the Philippines to watch the biggest MMA event the ONE FC has ever had yet. For this reason, therefore, events such as these contribute to the tourism campaign of the country.

After the events local and international tourists can still go on other tourist destinations in the Philippines. While it’s still vacation time particularly in the Philippines, for the students who came to Manila for this event, , they also have the chance to go to some places around Metro Manila and its nearby tourist spots before the start of classes in the coming weeks.

The ONE FC: Rise to Power is going to be fun and exciting! Like that of the first ONE FC event last year in Manila, which was held at the Smart Araneta Colliseum, the deafening cheers from the fans will again fill up the Arena at the SM Mall of Asia. It’s going to be amazing since the fighters promised to give their best and the fight of the night thereby, giving the fans full entertainment and at the end of the night, we hope we all go home with fulfillment, enjoyment, and positive results that we all have been hoping and praying for. GOD Bless Team Lakay Pilipinas on this endeavor!

On behalf of our Team Lakay fighters, Thank you very much for your support and prayers!

Matago-tago tako am-in! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Indeed, when it comes to MMA and other Combative sports, It’s also More Fun in the Philippines!

TOGETHER WE WILL RISE TO POWER By Mark “The Machine” Sangiao

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It was a very disappointing night for Team Lakay last Saturday night at the PXC 37 event. It was one of the worst nights for the team. We went home frustrated. Our shoulders were down. There were questions in our minds. We had our hearts broken. We were not victorious.

It could have been a night of the opposite feelings. For most of our fights in the past, we usually go home successful, that even if we have not won all our fights, we have won at least one of the fights and it was a bitter-sweet feeling.

But that night was different. It was difficult. We felt that everything was fallen into pieces. It felt like we let a lot of people down. These were the feelings which we are not used to. Feelings we don’t like to feel.

But as we reach home in Baguio City, the coolness of the breeze seems like eased everything, at least the heat of our head and the pain in our hearts. After a while, we tend to accept everything.

Now, I can talk, I can share; now I can say that’s just part of the game. It was what it was. What has done has been done. We have to move on. We sat down, talked together after the fights and evaluate what had happened. It was different when all has been reviewed and assessed. When everyone has given their words of encouragement, we start to move on again.

Indeed, it was all part of the game. In a competition, especially in sports, it’s either we win or lose. If we win, it’s better, if we lose, we learn. As real and professional fighters, we have to get back on our feet and move on. Fighting is also a learning experience. It happens to every fighter.

As I have said to someone who questioned our performances before, I gave him this answer: “NO great Champion has a perfect or zero-loss record”. They all, at some point in their life, had lost their battles, learned, moved on and became one of the greatest of all time. The important thing is that, we fought, we did our best, we stood up and we move forward, applying what we have learned and become the best with all these lessons.

One thing which is great here is that, it was not just the one who fought who learned, it was the whole team. What one has experienced inside the cage, everybody in the team experienced it with him. The feelings that the fighter felt, the team feels with him (victorious or defeated). Then we all get up together for our future fights.

Now, after all that has happened, with the lessons and challenges we have with us, we have to focus on our upcoming fights in the coming week. First, we have the Philippine National Games, Wushu National Championships on May 27 to June 02, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. Thirteen (13) from Baguio Wushu Sanshou Team and 11 from Benguet Wushu Sanshou Team will be participating in the said event. We all train and prepare them further for the said event, together with their brothers at Team Lakay (mostly also a member of the team), they train with the Champions. This is the development of the grassroots level of the team. The experiences and trainings hone them to be future Wushu and MMA Champions. It is one of the visions of Team Lakay to develop a pool of talented athletes from the Cordillera Administrative Region and the Philippines. This event is also in preparation for the Asian Junior Wushu Championship sometime in August wherein the Philippines is going to be the host country.

Second, on May 31st, Team Lakay will be invading Manila for the biggest MMA event in the Philippines yet, the ONE Fighting Championship: Rise to Power. Five Team Lakay warriors are going to be having their toughest fights of their careers. Honorio “The Rock” Banario will be defending his ONE FC Featherweight title for the first time against Japan’s veteran fighter, Koji Oishi for the main event of the night.

Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon will be facing Masakatsu Ueda for the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix finals wherein the winner will have the chance to fight for the title later on this year.

Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will be fighting against Iranian Kamal Shalorus who is a high-level wrestler who also had fought in the WEC and UFC.

Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen will be going against Japanese Shooto Champion, Yasuhiro Urishitani.

The fifth Team Lakay fighter on this card is Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio. He will be facing off with the american and fighting from Phuket Top Team, Andrew Leone. It’s definitely a big load for them fighting in front of their fellow Filipino fans in their homeland. But it’s not going to be exhausting since they enjoy what they do; it’s their passion fighting either in or outside the country. Instead, it gives them pride and honor to represent the country. Many say the pressure is on them, since hopes and expectations are on their shoulders. But for as long as they’ll do their best, with the aim to be victorious, they know their countrymen will be proud of them. Team Lakay fighters don’t like to let their supporters down. Whenever our fans are watching us fighting, it adds fuel to our fighters to perform at their best and energizes them to showcase their full potential.

The prayers and faith of our fighters, together with that of our countrymen (being a prayerful country) will knock on God’s door and answer them.

With these, we don’t claim that this is our fight alone; this is the fight of the whole nation. So, together with our Team Lakay fighters, we dedicate all these fights to all of our supporters. As early as now, we would like to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts. We hope and pray that we will all succeed come May 31st at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Philippines. Please be there with us and together we will rise to power!

PXC 37 Results – Tanaka Is The New PXC World Bantamweight Champion, Jang Yong Kim Advances To The Tournament Finals

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Venue: PXC 37

Date:18 May 2013

Location: Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig, Phililppines

Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC) wrapped up its 37th installment on Saturday (May 18, 2012), at the Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City, Philippines.

Crisanto Pitpitunge failed to defend his title as he was defeated by the skillful Japanese fighter, Michinori Tanaka via Unanimous Decision.

It was a very entertaining fight between Tanaka and Pitpitunge as two of the best bantamweights in Asia gave all they got to entertain the fans.

In the first round, everyone thought that Crisanto will make Tanaka tap as he caught the Japanese submission specialist into a tight rear-naked choke. But Tanaka looked very relaxed while Pitpitunge’s squeezing his neck – that’s how high level grappler Tanaka is. Since that RNC attempt by the former champ, it was all about Tanaka’s wrestling.

Tanaka and his team were very emotional after the fight as they all knew that their labor paid off as they’ll bring the PXC bantamweight belt back home in Japan. In this sport of MMA, each bout can only have one winner and one loser. Getting a victory in this tough sport is no doubt, one of the best thing that has happened to a fighter while losing can put a fighter down emotionally and mentally.

We know the fact that all fighters are looking for that win; we must also know that some captures it, others don’t.

After enduring some rigorous training and exhausting weight cut, Korean Top Team’s Jang Yong Kim is back to his winning ways as he submitted an up and coming fighter from Hawaii, Nate Thorell in the opening round via kimura.

While Kim is celebrating his win against Thorell, his team mate, Hong Seung Chan was at the dugout thinking what went wrong in his game plan as he was defeated by Reno Remigio of Hawaii in the third round by way of TKO (punches). Remigio’s Muay Thai played a big factor on his victory over the South Korean fighter. He is connecting solid knees and razor sharp elbows whenever they are in the clinch position. Also, the take down defense of Remegio helped him get the W for his PXC debut. Though stepping up late to fight Chan, the part Hawaiian-Filipino Remegio showcased his superb striking abilities and left a message to the rest of the lightweight division that he is here to stay.

Fight Works MMA went 2-0 as Rolando Gabriel Dy submits Arex Montalban by way of armbar and Ernesto Montilla Jr. shocked the crowd by taking out Team Lakay’s Jerome Wanawan in the second round. The Laguna-based fight team is going to celebrate its first anniversary on May 27th and getting big wins last night were an early gift for the whole team who struggled to get some sponsorship prior to PXC 37. Someone really needs to support this team financially because the talents over there are exceptional. I predict that FWMMA will be one of the Philippines’ best MMA team in a couple of years.

While Fight Works MMA celebrates their huge victories last night, Team Lakay arguably had their toughest outing so far as they went 0-3. Wanawan faced a much improved Ernesto Montilla last night. Montilla showed speed, power and his excellent endurance. Montilla handed Jerome his second straight losses. Troy Bantiag faced Trevin Jones in a match where most of the fight fans knew he will dominate. But Jones fought smart and took the fight to where Bantiag has his weakness – on the ground. Jones defeated Bantiag via UD. Team Lakay vows to bounce back strong on August 31st as 5 of its best fighters will fight in ONE FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’.

Bout 1: Dy versus Montalban – Featherweights

[Dy def. Montalban via 1st Rd. Submission (Armbar) ]

Bout 2: Nakayama versus Pecyna – Featherweights

[Nakayama def. Pecyna via 1st. Rd. Submission (Kimura) ]

Bout 3: Samad versus Machado – Lightweights

[Samad def. Machado via 2nd Rd. Submission (Armbar) ]

Bout 4: Montilla Jr versus Wanawan – Flyweights

[ Montilla Jr. def. Wanawan via 2nd Rd. TKO (Punches) ]

Bout 5: Chan versus Remigio – Lightweights

[ Remigio def. Chan via 3rd Rd. TKO (Punches) ]

Bout 6: Bantiag versus Jones – Bantamweights

[ Jones def. Bantiag via UD ]

Bout 7: Kim versus Thorell – (Featherweight Semi-Final)

[Kim def. Thorell via 1st Rd. Submission (Kimura)]

Bout 8: Pitpitunge versus Tanaka (Bantamweight Title)

[ Tanaka def. Pitpitunge via UD ]

Mark Sangiao Is Preparing His Pupils For The Biggest Fights Of Their Careers

coach mark 2

In the past few years, Team Lakay has been a major force in Asian MMA scene, especially in Philippine MMA. They are one of the reasons why Philippines is the hot bed for MMA in Asia today.

Team Lakay is the home of MMA champs such as ONE FC featherweight world king Honorio “The Rock” Banario, who is also the current URCC lightweight title holder. The Baguio-based MMA fight team is also the residence of PXC world bantamweight champion Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge, URCC welterweight champion and Martial Combat Superfight title holder, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, URCC flyweight champion, Kevin “Silencer” Belingon and the longtime URCC flyweight title holder, “The Punisher” Rey Docyogen.

If there is one man who is responsible for producing such great fighters, that would be none other than Team Lakay’s head coach, former URCC bantamweight champion, and former SEA Games Gold Medalist, Mark “The Machine” Sangiao.

Sangiao is a long-established martial arts practitioner. From kickboxing to taekwondo, judo to Brazilian jiu jitsu, Sangiao is truly, the pioneer of MMA in his home town Baguio City and arguably one of the people who brought MMA in the Philippines into a whole new level.

Sangiao knows how to build champions, he knows how exactly a fighter should train and eat because he is a former fighter himself; he understands the point of view of every fighter who trains at his gym.

mark sangiao 2

Team Lakay’s journey on top continues as they prepare for the biggest fights of their MMA careers. Mark Sangiao is getting his fighters ready for two of the most anticipated mixed martial arts events not only in the Philippines, but in whole Asia, as 8 of his best pupils will compete in PXC 37 and ONE FC 9 ‘Riste to Power’. Both events will be headlined by two Team Lakay world champions.

First up, PXC 37, happening on May 18th at The Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Philippines, as the current champion Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge makes his first-ever title defense against the undefeated and ground specialist from Japan, Michinori Tanaka. Also, two of Team Lakay’s young fighters, Troy “The Hunter” Bantiag and Jerome Wanawan will make their appearances at the said PXC event. Bantiag will go up against Guam’s Trevin Jones, while Jerome Wanawan looks to comeback to his winning ways against a very talented fighter from San Pedro, Laguna, Ernesto Montilla Jr.

After PXC 37, the mammoth ONE FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ is up next for the Baguio-based fight team. The current ONE FC world featherweight champion from Team Lakay, Honorio “The Rock” Banario will also make his first title defense against a seasoned veteran in Koji Oishi of Japan.

Four more well-recognized Team Lakay fighters will make their toughest fights so far as Eduard “Landslide” Folayang faces WEC and UFC vet, Kamal “Prince of Persia” Shalorous, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon battles grappling wizard Masakatsu Ueda for the Bantamweight GP Finals, Rey “The Punisher” Docyogen takes on former UFC fighter, Yasuhiro Urushitani and “The Gravity” Geje Eustaquio is finally back inside the ONE FC cage against his toughest opponent to date, Phuket Top Team’s Andrew Leone.

team lakay elites

Mark Sangiao’s pushing his fighters to the limit to prepare them for tough battles against some of the big names in Asian MMA today. Team lakay fighters are known for their excellent condition, power and rigorous training regimen. Mark is assured that his boys are ready come fight night due to a very much-improved training that his fighters are doing for the big events coming up,

“They are doing great. The training leveled up compared to the last ones because they are training together and they know that they have their own big fights to win.”

mark sangiao 3

Getting a fighter ready for a big event is a very difficult taks to do. But from Mark Sangiao’s standpoint, as long as you and your fighters work together, nothing is impossible,

“No, it’s not hard to train them because we really work as a team and brought in some additional coaches who specializes in boxing and Muay Thai. Also, we have our own Sanshou background that we can add well with some wrestling techniques. We also added some extra time on our grappling. But all in all, training our guys here isn’t too difficult.”

Aside from bringing in coaches who specializes in Boxing and Muay Thai, Sangiao also arranged additional outdoor training for his fighters and added extra hour to every practice just to make sure that they are well prepared when they go to battle,

team lakay

“We adjusted our time of practice; we extended our training hours. Also, in this training camp, we only not focused ourselves inside the gym and having uphill sprints, we also added some extra training at Teacher’s Camp here in Baguio City for strength and conditioning.  So those are some of the adjustments that we made for this camp.”

All of Team Lakay fighters that will compete at PXC 37 and ONE FC 9 are matched up against world-class grapplers. It is evident from their past fights that whenever a grappler fights a Lakay fighter, it is either that grappler’s going to give the Lakay fighter a tough fight or submit him.

But as we all know, the game is continuously evolving so as the fighters. Lakay fighters, through their setbacks against ground specialists, gave them a serious motivation to train harder and focus more on sharpening their grappling skills.

First on Mark Sangiao’s list is Crisanto Pitpitunge’s title defense against Michinori Tanaka, who we all aware of being such a deadly fighter whenever he’s on the ground. Sangiao has been working on improving Pitpitunge’s take down defense and how to escape from various submission holds. Also, in PXC 37, Troy Bantiag will face Trevin Jones, a fighter who has a very intimidating wrestling game and serious punching power. Jerome Wanawan will make his first appearance of the year as he comes off a humbling loss against Eugene Toquero last year,

“Crisanto’s training is great. We know that Tanaka’s well-trained on the ground and has very decent grappling skills. That’s why we trained Crisanto’s take down defense and focused more on his grappling because we know Tanaka will try to take him down, so we also practiced various submission escapes.”

“Troy and Jerome also are doing great. They are very positive the whole training because they really want to win their fights. Another great thing about this camp is that everyone is helping each other to improve. They are forcing everyone to sharpen their skills and aim to level their skills up together. They will be ready on May 18th for PXC 37.” Sangiao added.

After PXC 37, ONE FC 9 ‘Rise to Power’ is next as Honorio Banario defends his title against Oishi, Belingon battles Ueda for the GP finals, Docyogen faces former UFC fighter, Urushitani and Eustaquio to lock horns with Leone.

Banario captured the title against Eric Kelly on February 2, 2013, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Now that he is going to defend his belt for the first time, fighting in front of his home crowd adds up to the pressure. It is a tough task to fight world-class fighters in your backyard, but Sangiao is confident that Banario and the rest of his fighters will be 110% ready on May 31,

“Honorio’s training is phenomenal, especially that Eduard is fresh from the U.S and has some great techniques with him that he can impart to his training partner, Honorio. He really wants to retain his title and I am happy to see him doing all his best in every training session we have.”

“With regards to Oishi’s ground skills, I saw some of his fights and the truth is, he is not really that fighter who loves to take the fight to the ground. I watched some videos of him and he also likes to strike. I am pretty sure that this fight is going to be electrifying. My prediction for this match up is that thousands of fans will be on the edge of their seats. But just in case Oishi will take Honorio down, we are ready for that; Honorio can beat Oishi at his own game.”

Fresh off his TKO victor over Thanh Vu last April 5th in ONE FC 8, Belingon’s next assignment is to beat a fellow GP finalist, Masakatsu Ueda.

belingon vs ueda

Belingon is an extraordinary fighter. He comes to every fight with a lot of surprises. Whenever he steps inside the cage, he is a different man, a much-improved fighter every time he fights. He will face another high-level grappler in Ueda for the ONE FC Bantamweight GP Finals,

“Ueda is very refined on the ground, but Kevin obviously has a significant advantage in the striking department. If Ueda will take Kevin down, I’m positive that with the much improved grappling skills of Kevin, he can keep up very well with the Japanese’s game. Kevin is getting better and better every fight. So I know he will soon be a contender to the ONE FC Bantamweight title.”

After 7 weeks of refining his ground game in the U.S, the poster boy of Team Lakay, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is back and hopes to beat Kamal Shalorous using his much-improved ground game. Sangiao believes that Folayang’s U.S trip was a huge eye-opener for the reigning URCC welterweight champion to train harder to improve his wrestling and jiu jitsu game,

Photo Credit: Anton Tabuena

Photo Credit: Anton Tabuena

“We cannot say that in just 7 weeks of his training in the U.S, we can see a well-versed Eduard Folayang on the ground. But at least, he absorbed some important techniques that he can use in his future fights. His U.S trip was a great eye-opener for him to work harder to refine his grappling.”

Shalorous has been in the UFC and fought some of the best in the world, which makes him a real threat to Eduard Folayang. But Mark saw something about Shalarous game that Eduard can take advantage of and he believes that his pupil will win the fight,

“We watched some of Shalarous fights and we saw something that Eduard can capitalize on. I cannot reveal what it is, but I think Eduard is much faster and technical than him. I know he can beat Shalorous. But if Eduard can do it via KO or TKO, much better.”

When asked if his boys are ready for PXC 37 and ONE FC 9,

“Of course, they are good to go. But as of now, we are very cautious about them not getting any injuries as the fight day approaches very fast. That’s the only concern we have right now.”

Being a coach, adviser, provider and a second father to his fighters, aside from making their dreams come true; one great thing about handling these fighters in Sangiao’s assessment is changing those fighters to become a better person,

“That’s one of the great things about this sport. We’re dealing different personalities and change them for the better. For me, even if sometimes I am not around during practices, I know they will do their part as a fighter. I know they will do what is right whenever they’re in the gym, even though sometimes my eyes are not monitoring them. Because I am always telling them that you will not be a champion unless you train like one.”

When asked on who are the naughtiest Team Lakay fighters,

“I would say Rey (Docyogen) and Honorio (Banario). (Laughs) Unlike their other team mates, those two are the loudest people everytime we train; they always make their team mates laugh. Also, Troy (Bantiag), maybe it’s because of his age, but he sometimes doesn’t take things seriously, but I understand that. He still got a long way to go.”

Last year, through his personal Facebook account, Sangiao asked a question to his fans on whether they like to see him back in action inside the ring/cage. It was obvious in the comment thread that a lot of fans and friends want him to go back and fight. But due to his tight schedule preparing his fighters to various gigantic MMA events around Asia, it seems like he really hang up his gloves and focused himself on handling his fighters and setting up local MMA and grappling tournaments,

“We already discussed about that matter, but as much as I’d like to go back into fighting, with the tasks I have as the head coach of the team; organizing some local shows like Team Lakay Championship and Team Lakay Grapplers’ Cup, it is really rational for me to not fight anymore. It’s not that my body cannot do it anymore, it’s just my schedule is so tight that I cannot train hard because I have more important things to do like those I’ve mentioned a while ago. So right now, that is my focus, coaching and organizing our events.”

When asked on what advice he can give to those coaches who look up to him,

“For me, to be able to stay hungry in the sport, is they need to check their passion for this sport. Then they need to look at the future of MMA in our country. If they want to be successful in this sport, all they need to do is focus and get real serious about it.”

“I am always saying about this to other coaches – we need to have healthy competitions among us. If we have events here in Baguio, they are welcome to join us. If they do have events in their own provinces, we are glad to join and help them. Let us just take away that traditional mentality of comparing each other’s abilities; we need to have a healthy competition. We need to learn from each other for the benefit of the sport. Here at Team Lakay, we are willing to invite them to join our events. We set aside our pride because we know that we also need the knowledge of Muay Thai practictioners, Wrestlers and Jiu Jitsu, for us to be a well-rounded.” Sangiao added.

PXC 37: Jerome Wanawan Is Confident He Will Win Against Ernesto Montill Jr.

jerome

In the ultra-competitive PXC flyweight division, if you want to standout among other talented fighters, you have to have not only the ability to attract fans, but a skill set of a world-class MMA fighter.

Jerome Wanawan is one of the most well-liked fighters in the PXC. He is super talented and yet very grounded guy.

Wanawan is known for his tremendous athleticism, deadly throws and power. His pinpoint striking game makes him one of the most effective flyweights in the region today.

The physically talented fighter from Baguio trains out of the famed Team Lakay under the guidance of Mark “The Machine” Sangiao.

Wanawan is a former boxer who then made his transition to Wushu Sanshou and now in MMA. He started his MMA career on February 2011 against Charlemagne Pakeo-an at URCC Baguio 2 ‘Tribal Wars’. Wanawan used his outstanding wrestling skills to control Pakeo-an on the ground and connected huge strikes from the top. Wanawan tops Pakeo-an via UD.

A year later, Wanawan made his second pro MMA bout versus Redentor Saclag at URCC URCC 3 “Invasion”. Wanawan used his superb striking to beat Saclag via 1st round TKO win.

On September 1, 2012, Wanawan made his PXC debut against the much experienced and submission specialist fighter in Victor Torre. Wanawan impressed the crowd early by tagging Torre with his strikes and taking his opponent down with vicious judo throws. Wanawan defeated Torre via TKO (punches) in the opening round.

Just when Wanawan starts to gain some momentum on his career, in November of 2012, he lost in the hands of a knockout specialist, Eugene Toquero at PXC 34. That first loss on Wanawan’s career sent him back to the drawing board and surely taught him a lot of lessons.

Jerome Wanawan’s next fight is scheduled next week, May 18th, at the Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City, Philippines, at PXC 37 against one of the heavy-handed flyweight fighters, Ernesto Montilla Jr.

Wanawan knows that this fight is the most important fight of his career to date as he aims to get back to the winning column; that is why he is preparing very well for his fight against Montilla Jr. on May 18th.

“Training has been good so far. I need to win this fight and apply those techniques I’ve learned in my preparations at PXC 37.”

He is extra motivated to train for this fight because the picture of him losing against Toquero still lingers on his mind.

“I was out of focus on that fight. Our gameplan was to strike and take him down but I got a lot of things coming to my mind that night. But I respect Toquero, he was better than me that night.”, Wanawan said.

Wanawan is facing a serious threat against Montilla Jr., who is a physically gifted athlete who has a nuclear bomb on his fists. Montilla is coming off a submission (Rear-Naked Choke) win over a highly-regarded striking specialist, Ruel Catalan.

“Montilla is a well-rounded guy. He’s got great ground skills and boxing, that’s why I’m working really hard for this fight. I know he is not a pushover but I am confident I will in the fight.”

When asked on what is his advantage over Montilla, “My advantage would be my speed. Montilla is really a tough fighter, but I am willing to stand and bang with him.”, Wanawan answered.

Since he tasted his first-ever loss agains Toquero, Wanawan made some adjustments in his training. This includes managing his time wisely and prolonging his everyday training up to 3 hours.

“What has changed in this training camp is time. In my previous fights, I am sometimes late for the scheduled time of training and we only train for 2 hours, 2 times everyday. But now, I am always on time for practice and we extend another hour to train, so we train for 3 hours, 2 times a day.”

There’s no doubt that Wanawan’s striking abilities is second to none in his division. But one thing that he is focusing on right now is to become a well-rounded fighter by honing his ground skills. He is also aware of his opponent’s impressive ground game, that is why he spends more time on the ground to perfect his grappling.

“My ground game is improving. Coach Mark is always reminding me to focus more on my ground defense. Like what I’ve said, Montilla is a great fighter, so I really need to prepare for him.”

Wanawan is lucky to have an incredible team behind him who is always there to support. Team Lakay, for him, made him not just a better fighter, but joining the most dominant fight team in the Philippines made him a much better person.

“One thing I’ve learned since joining this great team is how to manage your time. Time is very important in our lives, we need to use it properly. Also, being with these fantastic fighters here at Team Lakay gives me extra motivation to train harder everyday.”

The Bachelors of Science in Education graduate is fighting not only for himself, but for his family’s future as well.

“Fighting helped me reach one of my biggest dreams; to graduate from college. It helped me provide those material things necessary for my studies. I fight to secure my family’s future. I am really thankful to those people who helped me, especially coach Mark Sangiao, who has been with us since day one, our mentor, guidance counselor and our second dad, he is the best.”

On May 18th, Wanawan looks to amaze the fans once again as he takes on a fellow talented fighter in Montilla Jr.

Headlining the PXC 37 card is a World Bantamweight Championship bout between the champ Crisanto Pitpitunge and the challenger Michinori Tanaka.

Also, the first fight of the four-man featherweight tourney is set between Hawaii’s Nate Thorell and South Korea’s Yan Jong Kim.

Visit PXC.COM.PH see the complete fight card for PXC 37!