ONE Championship: 'That's Life' - Eduard Folayang On World Title Loss To Shinya Aoki

ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 02, 2019 07:44 PM
That's Life' - Folayang On World Title Loss To Aoki
“It’s his night. It’s a lesson for me not to be complacent in anything, though we all know that the ground game is his area of expertise.”

Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang has been in this position before, and it’s something that he has always found a way out of.

Folayang, who had never been submitted in his career, was put to sleep by his old rival Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in the main event of ONE: A NEW ERA on Sunday, 31 March.

In front of a packed crowd at the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, the hometown hero defeated “Landslide” via arm-triangle choke halfway into the first round to claim the ONE Lightweight World Championship.

For the soft-spoken 35-year-old Baguio City native, that’s the nature of the game.

“It’s not our night. I made a huge mistake on my part. Although I know that when Shinya gets the opportunity for the takedown, he won’t be wasting it,” Folayang admitted.

“I think my main fault was trying to escape his side mount carelessly — that’s when he capitalized and put on the choke.

“It was really tight, and he had a good grip in it. He wasn’t going to let it go as he sunk it deep.”

Folayang has no regrets.

The Team Lakay veteran believed he had a brilliant strategy for the Japanese legend, but it just so happened that Aoki performed better on Sunday night.

“Actually, I had a good game plan. I was baiting him and I can feel like he was getting comfortable with his striking. However, he immediately went for the takedown when he got clipped,” Folayang explained.

“It’s his night. It’s a lesson for me not to be complacent in anything, though we all know that the ground game is his area of expertise.”

Also, with the crowd on Aoki’s side, it was tough for Folayang to garner any amount of momentum.

“Landslide” thought it was going to be either one of two things — Aoki succumbing to the pressure of performing in front of his countrymen in the ONE Championship cage for the first time, or the submission artist being inspired even further.

What happened was the latter, which turned out to be disastrous for Folayang.

“He got his confidence from the crowd in Tokyo,” the Filipino continued.

“Like what I said, the crowd is a double-edged blade for him — it can be an advantage or an added pressure. Turns out, my prediction was right [regarding the crowd reaction], but not on our side.”

While Folayang will not be coming home to the Philippines with the belt around his waist, he remains in high spirits.

Now, he is on the comeback trail — just like he was last year.

"It is just a matter of learning,” he offered. “That’s life.”

 

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