We visited the Lakay Club, the leading MMA oven in the Philippines, located in Baguio City and had the opportunity to interact with many young boxers here.
Money, scholarships and career opportunities
When we entered the Lakay Club headquarters, we saw pictures of famous MMA fighters in the Philippines hanging on the walls, including photos of Mark Eddiva and Eduard Folayang.
Boxer Taro Barrientos pointed to Eduard Folayang’s photo and said: “He is my idol. Every time I practice, I look at him and see that is the biggest goal in my martial arts career ”.
Folayang is one of the most famous MMA fighters in the Philippines with a record of 14 wins out of a total of 19 times.
He has also been the ONE FC champion (number one MMA tournament in Asia) in the 70kg weight category. Folayang is also training at Lakay Club.
Like idols, young boxers in the Philippines love to compete in iron cages and desire to earn money on the ring. The common point of most young boxers is that they are from poor backgrounds and dream to rise from the MMA arena.
Of course, MMA has only been introduced to the Philippines for a long time and cannot be a “money-making” sport like in the US, UK or Russia, but this tearful stage still provides hope for the future for many shortages. Filipino.
Taro Barrientos, a young 18-year-old boxer from Lakay Club, who is currently studying in the first-year economics department at Lorma College (Philippines), said:
“I love playing in the loud cheers of the audience. You see, when I won, they screamed my name like an idol.
In addition, MMA also gives me many advantages, although it is not too much money, but it is enough for me to cover tuition fees and enjoy some priorities in the school curriculum. ”
Barrientos was born into a poor family of five siblings. Because of that, from an early age, he soon had the ambition to fight for money to help his family.
At the age of 13, Barrientos won a gold medal in the national wrestling tournament, he also competed in many other martial arts such as wushu, kickboxing before coming to freedom martial arts.
Having only trained MMA in the past one year and not yet become a professional boxer, but the two times the upper house won also helped Barrientos earn a decent amount of money.
More specific than Barrientos was Olivar “Jon” Rizalino, a 20-year-old boxer who had been practicing MMA for a year. Rizalino is currently a student of the criminal department of Cordilleras University (Baguio City) and dreams of becoming a police officer in the future.
Rizalino came to MMA for a very simple reason: if he was selected for the school’s competitive team, he would receive a 50% discount on tuition.
In addition, MMA’s special style of play also provides many important skills for him in the police school.
Before the tournament of Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC), young fighters had to abstain from eating, even fasting for days to weigh.
Weight loss (takes place a day before the match) with the boxers so thrilled just as hard on the floor, because just a few hundred grams excess is the effort of their whole year of training is considered to be dissolved. soap bubbles.
Therefore, in the weight weighing session held on 27-2, the boxers of the Lakay kiln look very haggard, tired of having to fast.
Right after stepping down from the electronic scale and the organizers declared a suitable weight to compete tomorrow (February 28), the boxers rushed to grab … bananas or drink ginger. A few liters of water after all day of hunger!
But there are also boxers who must keep starving because their weight exceeds the allowed level, such as Jon Chris Corton – Lakay boxer. He competes in a weight of 54kg and has half a kilogram left over.
This situation forced him to “suffer” to continue to fast, lie for hours in the sauna, and jog before returning to the scale in the afternoon.
Winning will make a lot of money, but not all boxers have won many and some have had to overcome the bitterness of failure, difficulties in life and opposing pressure of the family to pursue passion on the ring.