UFC flyweight Jenel Lausa looks to win one for his ailing friend


A very motivated Jenel Lausa heads to the Octagon this weekend thanks to a newfound friend.

A few months ago, UFC flyweight Jenel Lausa made his pay-per-view debut on the undercard of UFC 210. Unfortunately, things didn’t go his way inside the Octagon, losing to the Magomed Bibulatov. But he returned home to the Philippines more satisfied than getting his hand raised inside the cage.

That’s because days before his fight in New York, Jenel flew to San Diego, California to meet a Filipino-American kid named Jonah Villamil. At a very young age, Jonah was already battling a serious illness. Moreover, he also happened to be a BJJ practitioner and a huge fight fan, which was why meeting the UFC fighter meant a lot to him.

In the same way, Lausa was inspired by the 4-year-old’s spirit during the short time they’d spent together.

“Nakita ko sa kanya yung determinasyon niya, laban lang siya nang laban (sa sakit),” Lausa shared with Dojo Drifter. “Parang nakita ko sa kanya na kung yun nga kinakakaya niyang labanan yung ganun kabigat na sitwasyon, pano pa kaya ako?”

This is my friend Jonah. He struggles with a rare disease but he still continues to fight everyday. His courage is an inspiration for my own fight. Salamat Jonah! Laban lang! 👊🏽🇵🇭

Posted by Jenel Lausa on Monday, April 3, 2017

“The Demolition Man” is no stranger to adversity. In fact, it has been part of his life. During his youth, Lausa had to leave his hometown to avoid becoming a rebel with the New People’s Army. He then had to work his way up from being a no-namer to becoming a PXC champ, beating perhaps one of the best Pinoy flyweights at that time to do it. Now in MMA’s biggest stage, every fight remains a challenge to prove he’s worthy of competing inside the Octagon.

However, meeting Jonah served as a reminder for Lausa to always be positive, no matter the situation.

“Nakakataba ng puso na nakasama ko siya kahit sandali kasi ang saya-saya niya nung nakita niya ako.” Lausa shared, “Kasi sa edad niyang yun positive siya na gagaling siya. At the same time, pinapaalala niya sakin na maging ganun din ako. Mag strive hard at magtiwala kay Lord.”

“Ika nga eh, walang nilaga kung walang tiyaga. Diba?”

Now as he heads to Sydney for his third UFC assignment, Lausa looks to get the W against Eric Shelton not only to continue his ascent to the top of the flyweight rankings. But also, to win one for his young friend.

Like his battle cry inside the cage, Jenel wants Jonah to continue doing the same.

“Kapit lang, laban tayo Jonah,” he said.

Mike Miguel

If there’s anything MMA related going down in the Philippines, Mike would know about it. With a knack for photography and social media, Mike never misses a beat.
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