Jhanlo Mark Sangiao may have won his first two bouts in ONE Championship with his wrestling and grappling, but he insists there’s much to work on if he wants to reach the pinnacle of the division.
Sangiao’s grappling skills will be tested when he takes on proven submission artist Matias “El Rasta” Farinelli in a bantamweight MMA bout at ONE Fight Night 9: Nong-O vs. Haggerty on April 22 inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 20-year-old took two quick submission wins over Paul Lumihi and LA Lauron to start off his career in The Home of Martial Arts. However, he admits there’s still a long way to go. In fact, he believes he has yet to scratch the surface of his potential.
“I don’t think I’m a complete mixed martial artist, at least not yet. I have a lot to learn. Sure, I may know how to strike, grapple, and wrestle, but I believe I have to sharpen those skills up,” Sangiao said.
“I have to make it tighter, I have to add more things like power and technique, so now it’s all about sharpening those tools.”
However, Sangiao is proud of how the next generation of Team Lakay athletes are incorporating wrestling and jiu-jitsu into their already signature Wushu Sanda striking.
Aside from Sangiao, fans have seen the likes of Stephen Loman, Jenelyn Olsim, and Jeremy Pacatiw utilize their grappling to score crucial victories for the squad. Due to that, “Lil Machine” is confident that this isn’t an isolated case.
“I know Team Lakay is known for producing some of the best strikers but slowly, we’re building something else here in this gym,” he said.
“We’re working on our jiu-jitsu. We’re working on our wrestling. And I believe that the next generation of Team Lakay fighters who’ll compete here in ONE will have wrestling and grappling as their bread and butter,” he added.
“However, the striking will always be there. That will always be ingrained in Team Lakay.”
Come fight night, Sangiao is confident wherever the match goes, be it on the feet or on the mat.
Still, he sees this bout as the perfect way to prove a point, and fans can expect him to tackle Farinelli head-on with the Argentinian’s strengths – the ground game.
“I want to continue to prove that we’re more than just strikers, and Farinelli is the perfect opponent for that. We’ve been criticized by fans a lot, saying that we’re only good in striking but totally lacking on the ground. Now I want to prove that it’s different. We’re focusing on wrestling and grappling,” he said.
“The team is inviting a lot of international martial artists, BJJ black belts, Olympic wrestlers, and whatnot, so we’re confident that we can hang with anyone in there from jiu-jitsu, MMA, and striking.”
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