ONE: Former champ Eduard Folayang learned from teammate Kevin Belingon’s title win over Martin Nguyen

Santino Honasan on Jul 30, 2018 03:45 PM
Folayang learned from Belingon's title win over Nguyen
“On the fight of Kevin, I really learned a lot. Of course I need to be careful in those areas na kalakasan ng kalaban, and then kung saan ka malakas, be careful din kasi doon ka papasukin.”

Team Lakay bantamweight star Kevin Belingon did something that not a lot of people have been able to do, and that’s defeat Martin Nguyen.

In the main event of ONE: Reign of Kings, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena, Belingon outstruck and outworked Nguyen over the course of five rounds to earn a unanimous decision win and become the new Interim ONE Championship Bantamweight World Champion.

The Baguio native becomes just the third man to defeat Nguyen, along with former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov and reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes.

As Belingon implemented his winning gameplan against Nguyen, his teammate and former ONE Championship Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang was an interested observer.

Aside from watching one of his Team Lakay brothers fight for a world championship, Folayang is also preparing for what could be a possible rematch with Nguyen, the reigning ONE Championship Lightweight king.

Folayang who took to the cage Friday evening, defeating previously-undefeated Russian Combat Sambo world champion Aziz Pahrudinov via Unanimous Decision.

Having already won back-to-back fights, Folayang is on the brink of another shot at regaining the championship that he used to hold, and during the post-fight presser, Folayang admitted to have overlooked some stuff in his previous fight with Nguyen.

“I think in the first time na nag-meet kami [ni Martin Nguyen], I overlooked some things, in some cases, na-overconfident din ako, and nakalimutan ko na it’s MMA,” Folayang bared. “There will always be a way for your opponent to hit you.”

Against Nguyen, Folayang was on the receiving end of a vicious KO.

Watching Belingon beat Nguyen however, Folayang says that he’s picked up a more confident approach, should he and the Viet-Aussie star share the cage again.

“On the fight of Kevin, I really learned a lot. Of course I need to be careful in those areas na kalakasan ng kalaban, and then kung saan ka malakas, be careful din kasi doon ka papasukin.”

Since falling to Nguyen, Folayang has taken a more patient approach in his fights, and it has led him to two convincing wins against a pair of tough Russian grapplers.

With the way things are playing out in the lightweight division however, it’s more likely that Folayang finds himself going up against another former opponent and fellow former champion in Shinya Aoki.

Folayang dethroned Aoki for the lightweight title back in 2016, and says that a rematch against the grappling ace wouldn’t be a problem.

“Okay naman ang rematch kay Shinya,” Folayang said, before jokingly suggesting that another unbeaten Russian could be the next person that ONE puts in front of him. “Siyempre hindi lang natin alam, baka mamaya another undefeated na Russian ulit, si Khabib [Nurmagomedov] naman ang susunod, we just really don’t know. That’s a joke.” the former champ said with a laugh.

Nurmagomedov, of course, is the reigning UFC Lightweight World Champion.

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