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MANILA, Philippines – Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao broke his silence regarding the recent departure of #2-ranked bantamweight Stephen “The Sniper” Loman from his camp.
The soft-spoken head coach has been mum ever since Loman announced that he was leaving the group for good, rendering the squad without a top-ranked fighter for the first time since ONE Championship began its ranking system.
While losing another top fighter hurts, Sangiao’s focus will be on the fighters who remain on the team.
“The strength of a focused and determined team, emphasizing quality over quantity in our approach, is a strong driver for us to reach our holy grail,” he said.
Loman’s departure was a big blow considering that another top-ranked fighter – No. 2-ranked flyweight Danny “The King” Kingad – recently announced that he won’t be donning the Team Lakay red colors anymore.
Instead, he’ll represent Lions Nation MMA when he returns at ONE 165 against Yuya Wakamatsu.
Sangiao, though, isn’t sweating it as his team pivots to their new bloods to carry the torch forward.
His son, Jhanlo “The Machine” Sangiao, is probably one of the best fighters below 21 years old in The Home of Martial Arts, making him one of the most tantalizing prospects on the main roster.
The previous year also saw the rise of several new fighters. Carlo Bumina-ang and Carlos Alvarez emerged as two men who could carry the flag for Team Lakay this year.
Bumina-ang has yet to be defeated at ONE Friday Fights, having gone 3-0 last year. While Alvarez boasts of an impressive 3-1 record in 2023 – all of his wins coming via submission.
For Sangiao, there’s nothing to worry about. He promises to continue to make the Philippines proud.
“We are still here and we are more armed, maybe not in number but in passion and dedication. Team Lakay will be showing fresh faces and a more diverse one. Another new chapter,” he said. – Rappler.com