Sangiao not regretting early retirement

BAGUIO. From a world-class athlete, Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao has made a name for himself as one of Asia's best MMA coach for steering the Baguio based gym to international fame. (Roderick Osis)

EVEN with his impressive resume as a fighter, Mark Sangiao's accomplishment as a coach remains one for the books.

After Team Lakay collected its fourth title courtesy of Eduard Folayang's conquest against Amir Khan for the One Championship lightweight world title, Sangiao etched a name for himself as one of the best MMA coach in Asia.

Sangiao, who is the engineer of Team Lakay's popularity, last saw action as fighter in 2009 with a first-round loss against Justin Cruz in the Universal Reality Combat Championships where he racked up seven wins, including four submissions and two knock outs with two losses.

But Sangiao said he does not miss fighting and has no regrets of hanging his mma globes early to focus on coaching.

And it was one of the most rewarding and fruitful part of his career as he brought the Philippines to the mma map all over the world.

A former wushu-sanshou practioner, Sangiao's Team Lakay has produced top caliber fighters, two in the UFC, five champions in ONE that includes bantamweight king Kevin Belingon, flyweight titlist Geje Eustaquio, strawweight Joshua Pacio, Folayang, and former featherweight world title holder Honorio Banario.

Aside from their success in ONE, Sangiao has also developed Stephen Loman into a top caliber fighter, who recently defended his bantamweight title in Brave Combat Federation earlier this November.

"Seeing my fighters win titles is worth it. Wala akong pinagsisisihan," said Sangiao during One Championship's Conquest of Champions post-fight conference. (Roderick Osis)


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