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Sep 7, 2017
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In the advent of mixed martial arts (MMA), several Filipinos have made it to the combat sport's grandest stage, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Although the likes of Brandon Vera and Mark Muñoz have had decent runs, the next big thing might just come from this batch of rising stars: Jenel 'The Demolition Man' Lausa, Rolando Gab 'Dy Incredible' Dy, and CJ 'The Golden Boy' de Tomas.

Lausa tried all kinds of jobs in Iloilo, before eventually making a name for himself as a boxer, transitioning to MMA when he had the chance. Dy, son of the legendary Rolando Navarette, loved to fight when he was younger and decided to pursue a career related to his passion. De Tomas, on the other hand, was lucky enough to have a supportive father guiding him since he began training at the age of five.

Despite the contrast in their origins, the three fighters share one goal: conquer the UFC. FHM.com.ph had the chance to get to know them better before they pursue the next step to international stardom.


What goes through your mind once you step inside the Octagon?

Jenel: Sa akin, naiisip ko tapusin na agad eh. Kesa patagalin mo pa. Nasa harapan pa lang kayo, gusto mo nang patayin. Iba-iba naman yung mga fighters.

Gab: Sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, 'This is the guy I prepared for the past weeks. He will try to beat me, and I will not allow it.' Before we touch gloves, titignan ko siya sa mata, kung natatakot ba siya o hindi. If he's intimidated, take advantage, or you have to break his will.

CJ: Parang naaawa ako eh, ewan ko ba. Kaya gusto ko i-takedown tapos i-submit na lang, kesa bugbugin. Ang laro ko kasi talaga takedown. Kung makikipag-strike ka, 50-50 yung panalo eh.

How do you handle hostile encounters in real life?

Jenel: Takot. Ang iniisip kasi ng fighters, halimbawa nakipag-away ka sa labas, baka mawalan ka ng lisensya, hindi ka na makakalaban. Yun ang kinatatakutan naming mga propesyunal. Dapat sobrang haba ng pasensya mo. Maliban na lang siguro pag sinasaktan ka na, self-defense na yun.

Gab: Simula nung naging fighter ako, hindi na. Dati kasi, wala kong pinagbubuhusan ng energy. Ngayon, meron nang iniisip na career, tapos araw-araw akong pagod kasi nagte-training. Also, you know that there is nothing to prove. Nakatulong din sa'kin ang martial arts to be disciplined.

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CJ: Mas mabuti pang tumakbo ka na lang. Sa panahon kasi ngayon, hindi ka pwedeng mangi-small ng tao. Tsaka isang bala ka lang eh. Hindi naman mababawasan yung pride mo pag umiwas ka.

Which part(s) of your MMA workout can you recommend to a regular person who doesn't exactly know how to fight?

Jenel: Subukan niyong mag-jogging sa umaga, kasi ganun talaga ang ginagawa ng mga fighters. Boxing, jiu-jitsu, and muay thai for self-defense.

Gab: Fitness can be achieved through running and core training. That's the best. Kahit ako, I can't be fit to fight kung hindi ako tumatakbo. Do muay thai. Lahat kasi ng bato, suntok, at sipa, galing sa core, so it's also good for cardio.

CJ: Hindi kasi ako mahilig mag-jogging, kaya dinadaan ko sa tagal mag-training. Burpees, kasi buong katawan yun. Push-ups, sit-ups, tsaka pull-ups. Tapos squats, lalo na sa mga babae, yun talaga ang pinakaimportante. Maka-100 ka kada araw, okay na yun.

Can you share one thing that most people don't know about you?

Jenel: Nagba-basketball ako. Pag walang laro, siyempre sa anak ko. Nagba-bonding kami. Kasi pagkatapos ng training ko, halimbawa tumigil ako ng ilang linggo, parang ang labo sa pakiramdam ko, kailangan kong mag-pawis. Hinahanap ng katawan ko.

Gab: I love American Bullies! Meron akong seven dogs sa bahay: Golden Retriever, dalawang American Bullies, dalawang Shih Tzu, tsaka half-Labrador. Outside of fighting, yun ang stress reliever ko.

CJ: Mahilig ako sa computer games, kasi na-skip ko yung teenage years. PS4, mahilig talaga ko. Kung nagtuloy-tuloy nga akong maglaro, pwede akong mag-player eh. PC dinCrossfire, Dota.


Dy will clash with Japanese Teruto Ishihara on September 23 at the UFC Fight Night 117 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. De Tomas is awaiting an opponent and will compete in the first-ever UFC Fight Night in Shanghai, China on November 25. Lausa is in the middle of finalizing his fight plans in the UFC in the coming months

 

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