Randy Couture continued staying active in the MMA scene till he was 47 years old, Dan Henderson will be facing Jon Jones at the age of 42 and most recently, Long Yun Jiang defeated WBA Champion, Yodsanan Sityodtong at ONE FC: War of the Lions at the age of 44.
To these athletes age is merely a number and it is by no means a restriction to the greatness they can achieve. Another man who doesn’t see age as an obstacle is Angelito “The Saint” Manguray.
The Saint is believed to be in his 40s but that has not slowed him down one bit. He fights in the Philippine’s no.1 promotion, the URCC, and has a 4-1 record. He’s won all his fights in convincing fashion by knocking out everyone within the first round.
He’s also competed in the now defunct Martial Combat where he steamrolled over DARE’s Shane Wiggand in the most convincing fashion. If you can describe the Saint’s style of fighting in one word, it would be relentless.
While his Karate stance might remind you of one Lyoto Machida, his approach to every fight is completely different. He pushes forward and nothing seems to stop him. On top of his aggressive forward moving style, he seems to have an iron chin.
The Saint will be making his long awaited return to the URCC (he last fought in April 2011 where he lost to Honorio Banario) at URCC 21: Warpath against Team Buffet’s Will “The Kill” Chope. We managed to speak to The Saint recently on being a dentist, his love for the sport, being in his 40s and his upcoming match with “The Kill”.
WDS: First and foremost, thank you for granting us this interview. We’ve read that you’re a doctor by profession. Could you give us a brief introduction on how you got into MMA, which is completely different from what you do for a living?
The Saint: Yes, I’m a dentist by day. MMA was introduced in our city in 2002, since karate is my life, I tried it then. Curiosity got the best of me.
WDS: Are you still a practicing doctor? If you are, how do you still find time to train in Mixed Martial Arts?
The Saint: I do cardio and strength training early in the morning. I hold my clinics 9 a.m.-5 .m., then train MMA later at night.
WDS: Is it true that you’re 42 years old this year? If so, do you feel that age is a factor in your fights? Do you see your maturity over your opponents as an advantage or disadvantage?
The Saint: That’s a big lie. I’m older than that. Hahaha! Experience is definitely an advantage and age is just a number. I don’t feel my age really. I can easily keep up with the training with guys half my age.
WDS: You come from a karate background and because of it, some critics have stated that you keep your hands too low in a fight. How do you personally feel about karate and it’s place MMA. Do you feel that it has worked well for you?
The Saint: It has worked well. I have more KO wins than losses. Styles make fights and my style is to put my hands down. Karate has proven its place in MMA. Look at Lyoto Machida and GSP. They both started in karate and they are world champions in MMA.
WDS: You have a 4-1 record with all your wins coming by TKO and your one loss, at the hands of Honorio Banario, coming via rear naked choke. Would you say that the loss came due to a lack of a ground game? What have you been doing to improve that aspect of you overall skill set?
The Saint: Not really, I just got careless that time. Been training ground and stand up day & night. That’s how you improve.
WDS: Your next opponent will be Will Chope. On paper, it seems that Will has an advantage over you in terms of experience, age, height and reach. In your opinion, what makes you better than Will Chope and do you see holes in his game that can be capitalized on?
The Saint: As I’ve said before, let our fists do the talking come Saturday.
WDS: How have you been preparing for this fight?
The Saint: Been training really hard with my teammates. A lot of sparring & wrestling.
WDS: You stated in a recent online interview that you felt disrespected by Will. Could you elaborate on this?
The Saint: I said my team mates felt like he disrespected me. I never said I felt that.
WDS: With Filipino fighters like Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Eric Kelly and Honorio Bananrio making the leap into the international scene with ONE FC, do you see yourself being next?
The Saint: Hopefully.
WDS: Being a doctor by profession, many would think that financially you wouldn’t need to fight. With that being said, why do you fight?
The Saint: Karate is my life. I love fighting.
WDS: Any parting words for your fans and our readers?
The Saint: I’m back!
Angelito Manguray will be facing Will Chope this Saturday at URCC 21: Warpath. For more information on the show visit www.urccmma.com