TROY BANTIAG: Another Lakay prospect KOing his way to the top

Troy “The Hunter” Bantiag is a 21-year young Filipino fighter with the standout Team Lakay. His upcoming fight in Pacific Xtreme Combat 37 on May 18, 2013 will be against Trevin Jones in Manila. The Kiangan, Ifugao native is currently in college taking up Education in the University of the Cordilleras. Like most of his teammates, his Coach Marques Sangiao pushes him to excel not only in the martial arts, but in life.

Troy started into MMA competition in late 2011, and since his debut a short one and a half years ago, he’s managed to rack up a cool 5-1 record. He was signed to Pacific Xtreme Combat in their bid to land the up and coming young Filipino fighters for their Manila promotions, and Troy has proven he was worth the investment. His first and only loss was by submission to Jon delos Reyes of Guam, who was quite a bit more experienced than him at the time. He then jumped back in the ring to win with a submission of his own. Troy’s most recent fight was a solid win against Tony Reyes who was coming off a loss to none other than Masanori Kanehara in DEEP.

With a couple of KOs in his bag already, Troy will be a bantamweight to watch as he matures, gains more experience in the cage and the ring, and continues under the strong and true guidance of Team Lakay. MMA-in-ASIA’s Philippines Correspondent Kristi Barrientos spoke with Troy before his fight.

MMA-in-ASIA: How did you get into MMA?

Troy: Coach Mark encouraged me to be in this sport because he saw potential in me.

MMA-in-ASIA: How has your training been going?

Troy: It’s been great, very intense and tiring because we are training everyday in our teacher’s camp, and sometimes in Abuyao, and in the afternoons we train at the gym.

MMA-in-ASIA: Is there any difference between your training for your last fight and your training now?

Troy: The training I have been doing now is very intense, of course harder than the last time I fought because I believe that we always have to improve our skills. In order to improve them, I need to do more of the intense training. We have new routines and the one that I am hard up with are the what we call “Arado”.

MMA-in-ASIA: What is that like? We hear a lot about Team Lakay trainings and see pictures of the work you do outside in the environment.

Troy: We drag heavy dumbbell plates and run around an oval for a couple of times. Another one is the big tires, we have to make it move to and fro in the oval by lifting it, making it stand, and letting it fall back onto to the ground.

MMA-in-ASIA: What aspects are you comfortable with in fighting? On the ground or in your stand up game?

Troy: I am comfortable with stand up, but we are working on my ground game also.

MMA-in-ASIA: Since you’re a full-time university student and a full-time fighter, do you have time for a personal life? Do you have a girlfriend?

Troy: [Laughs] I do not have a girlfriend, I am single and I do not have any plans to enter into a relationship yet.

MMA-in-ASIA: What are some things that inspire you to keep working so hard? Who is inspiring you right now?

Troy: The person who is inspiring me right now is Coach Mark, he is the one who’s pumping me up on trainings, giving me advice on what are the thigs that I have to improve in my game.

MMA-in-ASIA: What can your fans expect from you in this upcoming fight at PXC?

Troy: They will see a better, stronger and more focused Troy.

MMA-in-ASIA: Is there anything you would like to say to the people who have been supporting you in your MMA career?

Troy: Brace yourself and watch me fight on the 18th of May! Thank you for supporting me and continue supporting Team Lakay.