Lausa thinks it's hard to find the next Filipino UFC star

By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--Jenel Lausa believes it may take some time before another Filipino MMA fighter will take his talents to UFC.

"Sa ngayon, wala pa akong nakikita," said Lausa in a pocket press conference on Wednesday at Hid Burger inside the Caltex Buendia-Pasong Tamo gas station if he thinks there is someone who will follow the footsteps of him, Mark Eddiva, Dave Galera, and Roldan Sangcha-an for a foreseeable future.

For him, currently at 7-2, a better fight record is not the true barometer of a pug's probability of UFC success.

"Hindi naman natin masabi kung maganda na yung record mo or ang iyong laban sa kanila, kasi ang UFC ang magde-decide if pwede na," said Lausa, who is fresh from a unanimous decision win over Yao Zhikui at UFC Fight Night Melbourne on Nov. 27 (Philippine Time) that stretched his winning streak dating back to his PXC days to five.

In a separate interview, he confirmed what some critics think the Filipino fighters need to work on to become more successful in the cage.

"Parang kinakatakutan na tayo sa striking, so kailangan lang natin i-improve yung wrestling at jiu-jitsu," Lausa continued.

With his fight originally scheduled for the canceled UFC Fight Night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Lausa devoted the extra month of training to further polish his "half Greco-Roman" ground game which proved to be vital in beating his opponent from China.

"Nagsisimula kami [sa training] ng alas-siyete ng umaga. Matatapos kami ng 9 a.m. Tutok [si Coach Mar Basas] sa akin. Inaaraw-araw niya," he bared his training regimen.

He later admitted that the fact that the game's bigger Filipino names are in another globally-recognized promotion is also a factor.

"Di kasi sila pwedeng lumaban sa UFC kasi nakatali sila sa One," continued Lausa.

However, he believes the future is still bright for Philippine MMA in general.

"Marami naman tayong magagaling na mga Filipino dito," Lausa ended.

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