ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong confident in Eduard Folayang's return to glory
Santino Honasan on Jan 25, 2018 06:24 PM
"I think Eduard, in my opinion, his warrior spirit, his talent, his ability, his work ethic, he will be winning a couple of fights, and before you know it, he’s gonna fight for a world title again," - ONE Championship founder, chairman, and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
When former ONE Championship lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang dropped his title in devastating fashion to Martin Nguyen in Manila late last year, it left a lot of supporters and spectators in shock.
It also left people forming their own opinions regarding Folayang's loss, and a lot of people wondered what would be next for the Team Lakay superstar.
Was it the end of the line for the 33-year old Folayang?
Would he be the same fighter if ever he came back?
One of the first to show confidence in Folayang’s ability to come back from adversity was none other than ONE Championship founder, chairman, and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, who said he believed that Folayang would ‘shine again.’
A little over two months removed from that fateful night at the Mall of Asia Arena, ONE Championship makes their return to the very same Pasay City stadium for their first show in Manila for the year, ONE Championship: Global Superheroes.
While Folayang isn’t scheduled to compete on the card, he was present at the pre-fight press conference and stated that he was ‘excited’ to come back to the cage and work towards a better 2018.
During the same press conference, ABS-CBN Sports managed to speak to Sityodtong, and again, the martial artist-turned mogul preached nothing but his belief that ‘The Landslide’ would be back on top soon.
“I’m a huge fan of Eduard, not only as a martial artist but as a human being, he is one of the very best martial artists in the world,” Sityodtong shared, before responding to the former world champion’s critics.
“You know I was a little angry at some of the reporters who counted him out. You know, anybody can get punched and get a bad day, but I think Eduard, in my opinion, his warrior spirit, his talent, his ability, his work ethic, he will be winning a couple of fights, and before you know it, he’s gonna fight for a world title again, and I’d love to have it in the Philippines.”
Sityodtong went on to liken Folayang’s situation to that of Filipino boxing legend and eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao, who, back in 2012, was on the wrong end of a vicious sixth-round knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez.
“I have seen many great fighters, even remember Manny Pacquiao, just a few years ago got knocked out.”
Pacquiao went on to regain the WBO welterweight world title twice more, and Sityodtong believes that Folayang the same comeback story in him.
“Make no mistake, I believe this is the beginning of Eduard’s journey.”
“If you have a warrior spirit, and his health, he’s in very good health, I talked to Mark afterwards, and I talked to Eduard, and I wanna see him come back, for sure.” Sityodtong added.