ONE: Eduard Folayang returns to Singapore with hopes of working back up to the title
Santino Honasan on May 17, 2018 02:36 PM
“Singapore has a special place sa heart ko, especially sa career ko as a martial artist,” - Eduard Folayang
November 2016, Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Eduard Folayang’s career resurgence was capped off by an improbable ONE Championship Lightweight world title win after defeating MMA legend Shinya Aoki in the second round.
It was the start of what would be the highest point of Folayang’s mixed martial arts career, so far.
The Team Lakay lightweight star would defend his title once, but just a day short of the one-year anniversary of his world title win, a single punch from Martin Nguyen would bring everything to a screeching halt.
Now, six months after his shocking knockout loss to Nguyen in Manila, Folayang makes his highly-anticipated return to the ONE cage, in the very same battleground where he won his first world championship.
“Singapore has a special place sa heart ko, especially sa career ko as a martial artist,” said Folayang.
In six fights in Singapore, Folayang has only lost once.
Aside from keeping that record intact, Folayang hopes to get back on track and once again prove himself as a contender in the ONE Championship lightweight division.
“It gives me a lot of motivation to push through. Alam mo yung pressure nandiyan pero the more na naririnig mo yung pangalan mo, the more na namomotivate ka para mag-prepare.”
Friday evening at ONE Championship: Unstoppable Dreams at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Folayang begins his road back to the championship, and his first test will be against Russian newcomer Kharun “The Predator” Atlangeriev, an undefeated grappler with six of his eleven wins coming via submission.
While Folayang and the rest of Team Lakay have showcased their vastly-improved ground skills, in the past couple of years, the 33-year old isn’t going to rest on his laurels.
“Siguro damihan ko pa yung ground defense ko, and as much as possible, kung kaya ko mag-attack sa ground, I will be doing it,”
While grappling appears to be Atlangeriev’s bread and butter, the Russian also has four wins via KO and TKO to his name, so he won’t be afraid to mix it up while standing.
A challenge that Folayang, whose strong suit is his striking, will surely welcome.
“Accuracy talaga and magandang timing, for me to execute yung strikes ko sa kanya.” Folayang added.
Catch Eduard Folayang's return to the ONE cage at ONE Championship: Unstoppable Dreams on Friday, May 18th at 8:30 PM LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!