ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang: Iniong Needs ‘Statement Win’ In Bangkok
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 14, 2019 02:14 PM
"I truly believe that Gina Iniong can be our first Filipina World Champion in mixed martial arts," - Eduard Folayang on Gina Iniong (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang is convinced his teammate Gina "Conviction" Iniong has to make a huge statement inside the cage in order to get herself back in the mix of the ONE Championship women’s atomweight division.
Iniong, a six-time Philippine Wushu Champion, is scheduled to duke it out against undefeated Malaysian Jihin "Shadow Cat" Radzuan on the undercard of ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS this Saturday, 16 February at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
"This will be a good fight and a good test for Gina Iniong. Her foe has an unbeaten record and [she is] a very well-rounded fighter," said Folayang.
"Gina has to be impressive in her next fight. I think she has to keep on winning to get herself in the mix for World Title contention. She has to make a statement again Radzuan."
Iniong has long been touted by many as the best female mixed martial artist to emerge from the Philippines.
Backed by world-class stablemates at Team Lakay in her native Baguio City, Iniong is known for packing power in her punches and her exceptional takedown defense.
She started her journey in The Home of Martial Arts with two impressive wins over Natalie Gonzales Hills and Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol, but lost by unanimous decision to former World Title challenger Mei "V.V" Yamaguchi in her next outing.
Furthermore, "Conviction" suffered another setback after losing to Brazil's Istela Nunes by way of unanimous decision at ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS last July.
According to Folayang, Iniong may very well have to challenge her old conquerors in order to get back into the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title picture.
"She may very well have to fight Mei Yamaguchi and Istela Nunes again and win to prove her worth,” the lightweight king shared. "What's important right now is to make a statement in Bangkok."
If there is one thing Folayang is known for, it is his mental toughness and ability to turn unfavorable situations to his advantage.
That is something he hopes to impart with Iniong.
"I always tell her to have the right mindset, I think that is the most important. She needs to focus on what she wants to achieve," he stressed.
"Even if you're training but the mindset is bent on other things, then the goal of being a World Champion would not happen. Mindset has to be positioned to her goal that she wants to reach."
Despite the recent setbacks in her young career, Folayang is still a firm believer that Iniong can fulfill the promise and the potential that she possesses.
"I truly believe that Gina Iniong can be our first Filipina World Champion in mixed martial arts," he revealed. "It takes a lot of discipline and hard work, but I really believe that it is something that she can do."