'The journey doesn't end here': former champ Eduard Folayang remains motivated following loss to Martin Nguyen
"I believe challenges inside and outside the cage always bring out the best in us. I assure you that the journey doesn't end here." - former ONE Championship lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang
Eduard Folayang's magical run as ONE Championship lightweight world champion is over.
Friday night at ONE: Legends of the World in Manila, Folayang was on the wrong end of a brutal knockout loss to now-two division world champion Martin Nguyen.
It was a painful end to what was an insipiring journey to the top for the Team Lakay superstar, and the image of seeing the Pinoy hero getting seperated from his senses is one that will remain with Pinoy fight fans for a while.
Days after the loss, Folayang released a statement via ONE Championship, reassuring everyone that he's fine after the match's violent end.
"First and foremost, I thank God for His protection. At this point, I assure my followers and the fans of Team Lakay that I am alright and there is nothing to be anxious about. I am still in good physical condition." Folayang said. "I extend my heartfelt gratitude to ONE Championship for seeing that I get the best medical attention after the match.
Folayang went on to thank the Filipino fans who came and supported him and Team Lakay, Friday night.
"I take this opportunity to thank my countrymen for their support not only to me but to the entire Team Lakay athletes who competed last November 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena. My heart is overwhelmed with the outpouring of their encouragement. We hope we can pay it forward.
As for Nguyen, the Baguio City native congratulated the new champion and added that this isn't the end of the line for 'The Landside."
"I tip my hat off to Martin Nguyen. He did his homework well and came very prepared. Because of this, my hunger for improvement remains unsatiated. This is a big lesson learned. I believe challenges inside and outside the cage always bring out the best in us. I assure you that the journey doesn't end here."
The former champion has been in the same situation before. Following a devastating KO loss to lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin back in 2014, Folayang went on an amazing run which led him to the top of the lightweight division.
ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong fully believes that the Pinoy warrior can once again rise to the top of the heap. "I expect Eduard to shine again." Sityodtong said during the post-fight presser.
As for now, Folayang will likely take a break as he and the team prepare for what's set to be an eventful 2018.
"The odds were not in my favor last Friday. Nevertheless, Team Lakay and I will exert our best efforts to wave our Philippine flag more triumphantly in 2018."