Jhanlo Sangiao is 13 years younger than his upcoming opponent. But the Filipino believes he is more experienced than Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu who he faces at ONE Fight Night 13.

Sangiao might only have six MMA fights to his name. But the undefeated bantamweight believes getting a very early start was the key to his success,

“I don’t want to sound too confident, he’s certainly a strong fighter, but I don’t think we’re at the same skill level. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. That’s why I know that I can hang with whatever he plans to do, for sure.”

His father is Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao and he was just 15 when he made his pro MMA debut. But it is clear that the foundations for success had first been laid many years earlier.

Every opponent

Sangiao now holds a 6-0 record with three of those wins coming in the ONE Championship cage. He has submitted every opponent he has ever faced which is particularly impressive when you consider Team Lakay is more renowned for producing strikers than grapplers.

Sangiao’s progress is testament to the entire team’s evolution and he expects Baatarkhuu to try and take him down,

“His wrestling is definitely his strong point. I’ve been working on my wrestling defense for him, but most importantly I’m planning to use it offensively as well. I’m going to be the one pushing the fight here and gunning for the offense.”

Baatarkhuu holds a decision win over Team Lakay’s Adonis Sevilleno. Sangiao says he has been taking some tips from his teammate in training ahead of ONE Fight Night 13,

“Adonis has been in my ear all throughout the camp because he’s already faced him. I felt like Adonis could’ve beaten him. The problem was Adonis didn’t initiate the offense in that fight. He became very defensive .”

While both Sangiao and Sevilleno have six pro fights the similarities end there. The latter has lost four of them while the former has yet to meet an opponent who could survive a single round.


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Toughest test

Sangiao has yet to be matched with a ranked bantamweight and there are suggestions this will be the toughest test of his career. It is not a narrative that the 21 year old agrees with.

He thinks he is up there with the division’s elite and plans to prove it by ploughing through as many unranked opponents as ONE Championship can fine,

“I want to prove something. Fans have been telling me that this is the biggest test that I’ll be facing in my ONE Championship career (but) I say no, I’m just starting. This isn’t the test for me, the biggest test for me would be a world title fight.”

Several fighters have left Team Lakay but #2 ranked bantamweight Stephen Loman is still there.  So Sangiao has not exactly struggled to get good quality sparring and says his entire camp went very smoothly,

“Preparation has been great for me. I have a lot of excellent training partners in the gym. Coach Mark has also been preparing a great game plan for this.”