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Louie Sangalang is ‘last man standing’ in The Apprentice: ONE

Louie Sangalang continues to astound fellow candidates in The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.

The former MMA champion, international marathon finisher, triathlete, and cancer survivor emerged as the “last man standing”, outlasting all his fellow male candidates on the show and is still going strong in his quest to be “The One”.

Victory was sweet for Sangalang in this episode, with his Team Valor edging out Team Conquest in the most death-defying physical task for the candidates yet. None other than MMA legend and multiple-time mixed martial arts World Champion Rich Franklin took charge in the physical task. And it was big treat for Sangalang, who has been a big fan of Franklin since his fighting days.

The task severely tested the survival skills of the candidates, as they had to disengage themselves from a sunken helicopter; locate the windows and swim through them; then go up for air and climb onto a raft.

Team Valor — with Sangalang, Monica Millington, Paulina Purnomowati, and new member Niraj Puran Rao — won the challenge and outlasted Team Conquest.

Sangalang felt especially thrilled that he and his team performed well in this physical task. He and Franklin share many common experiences.

Franklin, one of the world-renowned names in MMA won the UFC Middleweight Championship and had two successful defenses before retiring in November 2012 with a 29-7 (1 NC) record. Since then, the American grappler has dabbled in the world of business and is now a vice president in ONE Championship.

Sangalang has a similar path. A mixed martial arts practitioner himself and a former champion who owns a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, he is now a procurement consultant and has a lot of business savvy.

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That exhilarating accomplishment in the physical challenge spurred the 43-year-old Filipino to do his best for Team Valor in the business challenge: selling sustainable goods for both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) markets, negotiating with customers, and seeking high sales and profit margins.

Although he did not take the lead and ceded the role to Paulina, Louie shone in the task. He collaborated with her in negotiating on the retail side, hoping to sell more by quantity. He earned a team-high S$1,026 in sales; and was the biggest individual contributor to the team’s S$15,769 overall haul.

Even ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong felt intrigued. Sangalang explained he was no stranger to being a seller as he was involved in it two decades back.

“To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve been in sales. At the age of 21, I actually sold encyclopedias and credit cards, so I knew that if I could establish that rapport, I would be able to sell. So I’m proud of that,” he said.

Despite Sangalang’s exceptional selling skills, it was Team Conquest’s whopping S$26,416 earnings that won the nod of the judges. They focused more on personal sales over the retail side, earning the win.

Nevertheless, Sangalang was without question the strongest performer for Team Valor. He was also the only candidate saved from a trip to The Boardroom.

Being on the losing team, Sangalang’s Indian teammate Niraj Puran Rao went home home. That left Sangalang as the only male running after the prize of a US$250,000 job offer as Sityodtong’s protégé and ONE chief of staff. The winner would also become head of a business development unit at the ONE Championship Global Headquarters in Singapore.

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It’s an uncanny position to be in, the only thorn among the roses. Still, Franklin said, “It’s important to never crack under pressure in ONE Championship.

Sangalang has to live by those words if he truly wants to be “the one.”

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