Jenel Lausa seeks to break homegrown Filipinos’ losing spell in UFC
MANILA, Philippines – Jenel Lausa will not only don the country’s colors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) second trip to the Philippines on October 15, but he will have the opportunity to snap the losing skid of purebred Filipino fighters in the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.
A sweet victory inside the Octagon has been elusive to homegrown MMA talents since Mark Eddiva’s successful UFC debut against Jumabieke Tuerxun in March 2014.
Following his triumphant maiden appearance as a UFC competitor, Eddiva dropped 3 straight bouts that compelled the UFC to send him home packing.
Eddiva succumbed to a second-round technical knockout loss versus Brazilian featherweight Edimilson “Kevin” Souza in May 2014 before he fell short to Georgian stalwart Levan Makashvili via split decision nearly a year later.
The 84-second submission loss to Daniel Hooker last March gave the UFC no other choice but to hand Eddiva the pink slip. (READ: Mark Eddiva is on ONE Championship’s radar, says Victor Cui)
Meanwhile, Roldan Sangcha-an has lost two consecutive Octagon outings, yielding to Australian flyweight Richie Vaculik in June 2014 before suffering a second-round submission setback to Guamanian journeyman Jon delos Reyes in May 2015.
Sangcha-an was supposed to make his return to active competition at UFC Fight Night Manila 2 after a year-long layoff, but he failed to get a much-needed clearance from the United States Anti-Doping Agency. (READ: Sangiao explains Sangcha-an’s failure to secure USADA clearance)
Lausa is keen on ending this series of Filipino defeats.
“It has been a long time since a pure Filipino fighter got his name announced as the winner in the UFC. It’s one of my goals in my UFC debut to bring that first UFC win in two years,” he told Rappler.
Lausa will have a shot at breaking that UFC losing spell when he faces China’s Yao Zhikui on the undercard of UFC Fight Night Manila 2.
“Giving pride and glory to my country is the top priority. It's one of the main reasons why I am so motivated to get the win. I want to prove that Filipino fighters have their own niche in this sport,” he explained.
Even though Lausa has the hometown advantage come fight night, the 28-year-old native of Concepcion, Iloilo is trying his best to avoid complacency.
“I don’t want to be overconfident. It’s still a fight. Anything can happen,” he stated. “I am giving everything I got in training to make sure that I can get that big win for my country. I want my countrymen to go home happy after this event in October.”
Lausa aims to score a convincing conquest against Yao, who has already fought thrice inside the Octagon.
“If an opportunity to finish him presents itself, I will go for it. If not, I will make sure to win in decisive fashion,” he said. – Rappler.com