The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is about individuals, but most of its highly-regarded world champions are forged in strong camps that bring in many great fighters.
In a very different atmosphere from boxing, MMA hardly sees any high-profile competitors building training camps around one man or woman as it often centered around a gym where several coaches work in conjunction with each other to train a stable of fighters of varying skills and weight classes.
These gyms often take on a close-knit and team-based environment, which is very unusual for an individual combat sport like mixed martial arts. However, it leads to an effective outcome.
Dutch-Indonesian standout Anthony “Archangel” Engelen credits his current stature as an international MMA competitor to his team.
The 31-year-old standout trains at Tatsujin Dojo, an MMA training facility that is established in Jakarta, Indonesia. The gym was founded by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and martial arts guru Martijn de Jong in 1995.
Ever since he started his prizefighting stint in 2013, Engelen has been training at Tatsujin Dojo under the tutelage of De Jong.
Although he aced his first three assignments as a professional fighter, Engelen encountered mix results when he directed his career path to ONE Championship in 2015.
Engelen fell short in his December 2015 promotional debut against grappling world champion Bruno Pucci. Even though he managed to redeem himself with a win over ex-Filipino boxer Rocky Batolbatol in February 2016, he suffered another setback at the hands of Singaporean prospect Christian Lee a month later.
Despite going through ups and downs in his budding MMA career, Engelen did not lose hope as De Jong and the entire crew of Tatsujin Dojo never left his side.
Engelen trusted the entire process and eventually reaped the fruits of his labor. To cap off his 2016 campaign, he scored a sensational victory over Sami Amin in August, submitting the Egyptian journeyman with a second-round armbar.
“My last fight has only made me feel a lot stronger and more confident in my training,” Engelen shared.
As to whatever he has achieved lately inside the ONE Championship cage, Engelen quickly gives the recognition to his coach and training partners.
“I have a tremendous support system in my training, especially with the help of my coach Martijn de Jong. He knows how to bring out the best in me. It is always exciting to prepare for a fight,” he said.
Engelen and his team will be tested once more as he is set to square off with AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor on the undercard of ONE: QUEST FOR POWER in Jakarta, Indonesia on 14 January.
Mansor is one of the finest MMA coaches in the Southeast Asian region. Based out of Borneo Tribal Squad in Sabah, Malaysia, Mansor is responsible for training athletes like female fighting sensation Ann “Athena” Osman.
His opponent might have a remarkable team behind him, but Engelen is confident that his support system has geared him up splendidly for his three-round featherweight meeting with the seasoned veteran.
“I have an outstanding support system for this fight. I have the best coach in my corner. I also train with the best fighters in the region. With that said, I’m confident coming into this fight because I have them behind me,” he stated.