Angelito Manguray is definitely not your average MMA fighter. He has an unusual job and an even more unusual style. Manguray is a full time dentist who fights in an orthodox Karate stance.
However while Manguray might be unconventional in almost every respect he is much more than just a novelty. The 42 year old is unbeaten in four MMA fights and is the reigning URCC Lightweight champion. He recently made his international debut at Martial Combat 7 and looked extremely impressive in finishing Bangkok based fighter Shane Wiggand early in the first round.
Despite his age and the fact that he is forced to fit his training schedule around the demands of being a full time dentist Manguray is firmly establishing himself as one of the most intriuging prospects to emerge from the Philippines.
Prospect seems and unusual word to apply to a 42 year old but Manguray’s MMA career is still very much in its infancy. He had his first professional MMA fight in 2009 and has won all three of his subsequent fights. He actually attributes much of his success to the failure he endured on his MMA debut,
"I lost my first amateur MMA fight on a local show and I thought to myself, ‘I can do better than this’. I might have lost that fight but it inspired me to train harder. I was so confident in my Karate but after that fight I realized MMA is not about just one martial art. After that I got into Muay Thai, Judo and Jiu Jitsu which helped a lot," he said
Although Manguray is a much more well rounded fighter these days his square on stance still betrays his Karate background. Manguray also tends to fight with his hands hanging near his waist in classic Karate style but the Filipino fighter compensates by being extremely elusive,
"I want to fight smartly. Most of the time I just keep my distance, lunge in and then get out. That’s the way I want to fight. I have been doing Karate since I was 9 years old and I have been in a lot of Shotokan Karate tournaments," he said.
Manguray is a practicing dentist who has a truly hectic schedule when he is preparing for a fight. More and more MMA fighters are dedicating themselves full time to the sport but Manguray has to fit his training around a full time job,
"I work as a full time dentist but I normally take a week off when I fight and ask some of my colleagues to watch my clinic. My training starts at 4am or 5am and I train until 6am or 7am and then drive my kids to school. After work I go to the gym from 7pm until 9pm every day. My wife doesn’t like it but she can’t do anything about it!" he said.
Manguray’s wife might be long suffering but his opponents tend to get put out of their pain fast. All four of Manguray’s professional MMA wins have come by way of first round stoppage. This success has brought Manguray something of a cult celebrity status in his hometown of Davao and he has no regrets about starting MMA at such a late stage of life,
"I don’t wish I had got into MMA when I was younger I think this is the right time for me. I will carry on fighting for as long as I can kick and punch. It is a challenge for me. I am asking myself, ‘am I still capable of stepping in the ring?’"
On the basis of Manguray’s performance at Martial Combat 7 the answer to his question is an emphatic ‘yes’. There is still one question which I cannot resist asking him. After years of being employed to tend to other people’s teeth I wonder if he ever worries about inadvertently inflicting dental damage on people as a fighter. It turns out Manguray feels that his two contrasting careers can actually compliment one another,
"I never worry about damaging my opponent’s teeth, it’s good for business!"
Angelito Manguray will be back in action at Martial Combat soon. For more information visit: www.rwmartialcombat.com.