IT IS rare to see a teacher by day and a fighter by night.
On Sunday, October 7, Angelie Sabanal finally revealed her life in combat sports to the local fans watching her winning the gold in the 2018 Muay Thai National Open Mindanao Leg at the Limketkai Mall Atrium, Cagayan de Oro City.
The 28-year-old Sabanal stamped class after forcing Shaisa Prayon of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon to retirement in the third round of their 54 kilograms (kgs) senior’s final that also catapulted her to winning the best female boxer award in the leg.
But, what they saw was just a tip of the iceberg as she brims pride for the city.
Sabanal is not just a butt-kicking lady. She is a college math instructor at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTSP).
She started to learn Muay Thai late at age 22 at the city’s renowned combat sports gym— the Mindanao Ultimate Mixed Martial Art (MUMMA)— situated before in Cogon Market area and now transferred near Xavier University’s main building.
From there, she developed herself in Thai martial arts while she’s still a student assistant (SA) at the university.
It took her five years to muster enough courage to climb the ring, right after she finished her Master’s degree.
It did not take long for her to reap the gold medals both in the Visayas and Mindanao legs and a silver medal in the national finals in 2017.
That led her too to sign an exclusive contract for Asia’s premier mixed martial art entertainment in the One Championship where she beat Rika Ishige last March in her first ever MMA fight in Bangkok, Thailand.
In fact, she is rumored to have her second fight next month in Indonesia.
“I am proud of her. She balanced her passion in the combat sport and her job as educator,” said Roselyn Hung, owner and manager of MUMMA.
She is not only training in Muay Thai but other combat sports like jiu jitsu, which she also won a silver medal in the ADCC Northern Mindanao Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competition in Butuan City on May 5, 2018.
Sabanal had to keep her stamina with rounds of jogs at Galaxy Complex in Barangay Gusa in the morning before she goes to work and maintain her pacing at the gym by night.
She is aiming for her first ever gold in the national championships this year and is also waiting for her second fight probably on November.
“Bihira ka lang makakita ng isang atleta at nagtratrabaho pa. Hindi lang pang champion ang buhay niya, pang telenobela pa (It is very rare to see an athlete who is, at the same time, working. Her life is not just for a champion but also fits for soap opera),” Hung said.