On eve of championship anniversary, Eduard Folayang out to remind people why he has the title
Santino Honasan on Nov 09, 2017 10:58 AM
"On November 11th, 2016, that was the time I won the lightweight belt. On November 10th, 2017, that will be the time that I show everyone why I won that belt in the first place." - Eduard Folayang
November 11th, 2017 will mark the one-year anniversary of Team Lakay superstar Eduard 'Landslide' Folayang shocking the world and dethroning long-time champion Shinya Aoki for the ONE Championship lightweight world title in Singapore.
The question however is, will Folayang still be champion by the time November 11th rolls in?
That's because on the eve of his one-year anniversary as lightweight champ, he puts the title on the line against reigning ONE Championship featherweight king Martin 'The Situ-Asian' Ngyuen in a champion-versus-champion superfight at ONE: Legends of the World in Manila.
And while it certainly adds pressure to Folayang's second title defense, the Baguio City native also wants to use it as a reminder of why he has the belt in the first place.
"On November 11th , yun yung time na nakuha ko yung lightweight belt," Folayang said. "On November 10th , yun yung time na ipapakita ko ulit kung bakit ko nakuha yung lightweight belt."
("On November 11th, 2016, that was the time I won the lightweight belt. On November 10th, 2017, that will be the time that I show everyone why I won that belt in the first place.")
Nearly a year into his title reign and already with one defense under his belt, there's little doubt that right now, Folayang is 'the guy' in the ONE Championship lightweight division.
Still, it's an underdog mindset that motivates the champion, an underdog mindset that he used to overcome the lightweight juggernaut that was Aoki back in Singapore.
When it was announced then, that Folayang would be getting the title shot, not a lot of people gave the Pinoy a chance against the Japanese submission machine.
But of course, by now, we all know how that fight ended.
"Sa akin, motivation yun, kasi it’s those memories na kung saan I go there as an underdog, halos 90% ng mga sanay na dito sa MMA, they’re not expecting you to win, so I always take it as motivation."
"Yung memories, yung mga remembrance na nakuha ko doon, I take them as a part of this fight, para as much as possible, I can hold this belt for a long time." Folayang added.
(For me, I take it as motivation. It's those memories where in I came in as an underdog, almost 90% of people who know their MMA, they weren't expecting me to win, so I always use that as motivation. The memories, the rememberance that I got from that, I take them as a part of this fight so that as much as possible, I can hold this belt for a long time.")
Friday night, Folayang heads into his second title defense, in front of a hometown crowd, against the champion of a lighter weight division.
All things considered, it'll be hard to see the Pinoy champion as the underdog.
Still, you can expect that Folayang will be using that same mentality to make sure that he gets to enjoy his one-year anniversary as the ONE Championship lightweight world champion.
Eduard Folayang defends his ONE Championship lightweight world title against reigning ONE Championship featherweight world champion Martin Nguyen in the main event of ONE: Legends of the World on Friday, November 10th at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Catch the action LIVE, 8:30 PM on S+A channel 23!