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Team Lakay stays defiant

Joshua Pacio might have lost his strawweight title but Team Lakay remains defiant, hopeful over the rise of other mixed martial artists who made their presence felt in the ONE 164 at the Mall of Asia Arena late Saturday.

Jhanlo Sangiao and Jeremy Pacatiw, for one, avenged the sorry unanimous decision loss of Pacio to Jarred Brooks by displaying their dominance in the undercard bouts.

Sangiao, the son of Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao, scored a submission victory with a rear-naked choke hold over compatriot Adonis Sevilleno in the men’s catchweight.

Pacatiw, who boasts a 12-5 record, also registered a submission via a triangle choke of Tial Thang of Myanmar in the men’s bantamweight.

With their spectacular performances, both fighters received $50,000 performance bonus from ONE chief executive officer Chatri Sityodtong.

The younger Sangiao said he wants bring back the country’s glory in the world MMA circuit.

“We don’t have any belts anymore but that’s not the end. We are here and we are rising,” said Jhanlo, who has a 5-0 MMA record.

“We’ll do our best to get back, not only four, but more belts.”

Pacatiw said the bonus cash prize will be a big help in preparing for their future tournaments.

“Having that kind of bonus can be life-changing. We’re thankful to sir Chatri because we impressed him,” Pacatiw said.

Sityodtong said he is optimistic in the future of MMA in the Philippines.

“When you look at Filipino MMA at the world’s highest level, a guy like Jhanlo, a guy like Stephen Loman, you know, these are kids and that’s the next generation. In the future, the Philippines are gonna produce world champions again,” Sityodtong said.

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