LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Trepeat Southeast Asian Games gold medalist for kickboxing Jean Claude Saclag may turn professional but will remain with the national team.
In an interview at the Benguet State University gym Tuesday where he was doing weights training, the 28 year old 2014 Asian Games silver medalist for wushu sanda said that he may fight anytime this year in mixed martial arts.
“It could be this month, or next,” said the recently signed Team Lakay who is known for his explosiveness that has earned him the moniker the “Dynamite”.
The Kalinga born Saclag named after the famous martial arts actor Jean Claude Van Damme said that he is ready to take on the mantel as a Team Lakay fighter as he hopes to bring in his wares to the octagon ring against the bests not just in Asia but in the world.
“I am ready to fight in the flyweight division (61 kilogram),” said Saclag, the same weight former ONE featherweight champion and team mate Geje Eustaquio used to rule.
“I will be fighting in the MMA but I could still fight for the country in kickboxing,” said Saclag, who will follow the footsteps of ONE fighters Honorio Banario, the inaugural ONE featherweight champion, and Gina Iniong-Araos, who won back to back gold medals in the 2019 and 2021 SEAG.
But he said that it will al depend on coach Mark Sangiao, who earlier said that Saclag may soon be in the octagon ring as one of the new faces of the most respected teams in the world’s biggest MMA stage.
He said that he is ready saying that he has the experience as well as the aggressiveness and speed to make good in the octagon ring.
It will be the second professional fight for Saclag who once fought in the Shooto MMA in Japan where he lost in his debut.
Saclag was discovered as a 17 year old wushu sanda prospect who made it to the Incheon, South Korea Asiads in 2014 and where he delivered a silver medal in the quadrennial event, the best finish for a Cordilleran since Rolly Chulhang in 2002.
He debuted in the 2013 World Wushu Championships in Kuala Lumpur where he took home a bronze medal. In the 2014 Sanda World Cup, the Lubuagan, Kalinga born fighter won the gold medal. Pigeon Lobien