Team Lakay founder and head coach Mark “The Machine” Sangiao is never surprised when fighters call out his athletes. They are, after all, one of the creme of the crop in martial arts in Asia.
The mind-blowing thing, however, is an unheard off triple-threats from fighters from different parts of the globe were thrown out at their way in a single evening.
The famed Baguio City, Philippines gym got called out three direct challenges from fighters following ONE 158. Brazilian Fabricio Andrade said he wouldn’t mind facing Stephen Loman. Fil-Australian Reece McLaren explicitly called out Danny Kingad. Finally, Gurdarshan Mangat, who represents both India and Canada, went after former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio.
“We have been summoned on many occasions before but three call-outs in a single event is definitely something. We are being sought after and I want to think that it’s because our Team Lakay athletes are par excellence and are worthy to be faced by the same elite athletes inside the ring,” Sangiao said.
Mangat, who tallied an impressive three-round unanimous decision victory over dangerous Thai striker Yodkaikaew Fairtex, called for a fight with Eustaquio, and said he would love for it to take place in the Philippines or at home in India.
Mangat also revealed the fight has a connection to his personal life.
“Another thing for me personally is Kyle Reyes, my teammate who passed away. He helped me two to three times back to back getting ready for that [Eustaquio] fight, but those fights never happened. So for myself, I kind of hold that. It’s nothing against my opponent, it’s just something personal I hold in my heart that we prepared, day in and day out, three times a day for almost two years, and now he’s passed away, but I still want to complete it.”, he said.
McLaren was second to issue a challenge, after he submitted China’s Xie Wei in the first round at ONE 158. “Lightning” wants a rematch with Kingad, whom he lost to via split decision in 2019.
“The August card [ONE 161: Moraes vs Johnson II] looks amazing. I’m gonna look to the mountains for my next opponent. I think I deserve a rematch with Mr. Danny himself.” declared McLaren.
But while Mangat and McLaren were intense in their callouts, neither could match the ferocity displayed by Andrade when he aimed his sights at Loman.
The rising Brazilian star knocked out highly ranked South Korean fighter Kwon Won Il in just over a minute to continue his ascent of the bantamweight ladder.
Andrade is focused on a shot at ONE Bantamweight World Champion John Lineker next, but should he capture the belt, which he believes is only a matter of time, “Wonder Boy” says he will give Loman the first crack at the golden strap.
“I want to finish John Lineker. I just saw Loman’s coach [Mark Sangiao] and I said to him, ‘After I finish John Lineker, I’m going to give Loman a chance because I’m here to fight.’ I want to fight all the best contenders so after I win the belt, Loman can come and try to get it from me.”, exclaimed Adrade after his victory.
Sangiao says the team is excited that the top names in the promotion are calling them out and he would gladly send his wards to do battle inside the Circle.
“It’s really exciting, and all we could say was ‘wow!’ We have this basic but strong word in our dialect that we always say when we are boldly game and are ready for war. ‘Banat!” Sangiao concluded.
The trio of Loman, Eustaquio and Kingad have already acknowledged the wins of their rivals but express total willingness to take on head-to-head their respective callouts.
By Armando M. Bolislis