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Mark Sangiao mulling legal action as tension brewing vs former Lakay teammates over contract issues

Team Lakay chief Mark Sangiao is eyeing legal action for a breach of contracts between him and his former fighters amid the revelation of what led to the massive exit from the stable. ONE Championship (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Renowned martial arts stable Team Lakay said on Thursday night that its leader, Mark Sangiao, is considering legal remedies as the story behind the surprise fallout between the club and most of its former members began to unravel.

Team Lakay's legal counsel said in a statement that its former fighters just left the squad without any clear reason and committed a contract breach in the process.

"The statements about the Team Lakay contracts with its fighters that are recently being spread on social media contain falsehoods and are meant to cover up the breach of contract committed by the fighters when they left the Team Lakay stable without any valid reason," Team Lakay said.

The team also said that the fighters "deliberately snubbed" a mediation meeting set by the Games and Amusements Board on Feb. 6 to finally resolve the contract breach issues.

Team Lakay also said that Sangiao initially deferred from GAB's recommendation to file complaints against them "as it would have adverse effects on the fighters."

"However, with these recent developments, Coach Mark is being compelled to undertake the necessary legal action to make the fighters accountable for the breach of their contracts with Team Lakay," the statement concluded.

The statement came amid allegations that Sangiao is getting a hefty share of his athletes' earnings.

GMA News Online's JM Siasat reported that Sangiao is taking 30 percent of the Team Lakay athletes' earnings after their fight, including the win and performance bonuses, which according to one former Lakay member was just too much.

The revelation is said to be among the reasons that led to the shock exit of the likes of former ONE Championship champs Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, and Honorio Banario and former Brave Combat Federation champ Stephen Loman from Team Lakay last year.

However, the amount Sangiao is getting from the pugs is well within the maximum amount a pro combat sports manager could get, which is currently set by GAB at 33 percent or one-third of the athletes' earnings.

Folayang, who seemed to be Sangiao's bosom buddy as they had been comrades for two decades dating back to Sangiao's days as an active pugilist, has since founded Lions Nation MMA.

Belingon and Banario came along together with Jeremy Pacatiw, Jenelyn Olsim, Edward Kelly, and Danny Kingad, who all came from Team Lakay too.

Lito Adiwang, another former Team Lakay stalwart, also joined the massive exodus and has since joined Indonesian outfit Soma Fight Club.

Loman has yet to announce where he is heading next but in a report by PTV's Bill Velasco on Jan. 31, Loman was seen sparring at Lions Nation's headquarters in La Trinidad.

Interestingly enough, the tension between Team Lakay and its former members was publicized a week after Joshua Pacio reclaimed the ONE strawweight title from Jarred Brooks at ONE 166 in Lusail, Qatar.

Pacio also jumped ships from Team Lakay to Lions Nation, essentially making him the Folayang-led stable's first-ever world MMA champion.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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  1. Para sakin wag mo na ituloy coach,magfocus ka na lang sa team,kayo rin naman nagsabi na out of respect sa kanila kaya kayo pumayag na umalis sila kahit may contract pa s sila sa team..mga media lang nman kasi ang nangiintriga..at the end of da day..magkokompare naman kayo at brothers pa tawagan niyo sa isat isa..

  2. Sabi GAB Hindi raw siya licence manager . Ano kaya effect nito sa contract kung illegal manager at Wala sa legal standard ang tungkulin.