May 29, 2024

The Little Machine is one of the potential mixed martial arts champions in the future.

ONE Warrior Series Chief Executive Officer Rich Franklin was reported to have witnessed the growth of Jhanlo Mark Sangiao into a potential MMA talent being undefeated as an amateur fighter.

The 17-year-old Sangiao is the son of Team Lakay chairman Mark Sangiao.

Franklin, who has been scouring the Philippines for talents, has recalled that he discovered OWS Season 8 winner Lito Adiwang, who was the only one who grabbed his attention that time.

He, however, said he was impressed with the credentials of the younger Sangiao, especially that he is surrounded by world-class MMA fighters such as Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, Geje Eustaquio, and Joshua Pacio.

“There’s going to be a lot of eyeballs and pressure on him to perform at a level that’s to be expected. I grappled with him the last time I went up here and make no mistake about it, this is a talented kid,” Franklin was quoted as saying.

“He has big shoes to fill,” Franklin said, adding that the younger Sangiao seemed determined to continue the legacy of his father, who is a former MMA champion himself.

The younger Sangiao has nailed impressive victories in MMA, grappling, and kickboxing tournaments aside from being a Muay Thai national open champion.

In previous interviews, the older Sangiao said he has seen the determination and passion of his son to become a world champion in the future. He said with proper guidance, his son can achieve his dream.

“Guidance is important when grooming athletes,” the Team Lakay chair said.

He added, “(But) I don’t subscribe to harsh discipline. I simply advise him to do what is right – train hard but also study hard. I tell him, he should always come to a fight prepared – not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually.” – Harley F. Palangchao