ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang eager to test himself against Eddie Alvarez
Santino Honasan on Aug 01, 2019 10:58 AM
“Sa akin, siguro more na excited ako kasi nakita mo yung resume niya, coming from that kind of backround, alam mo na mate-test ko yung sarili ko, kung paano ako mag-aadapt or mag-aadjust sa ganung taas ng level." - Eduard Folayang (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
When American mixed martial arts legend Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez signed with ONE Championship back in late-2018, one of the athletes most excited about the news was Filipino MMA icon Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.
Alvarez was one of the Singapore-based martial arts promotion’s biggest signings to date and was an exciting addition to the already-deep ONE lightweight roster.
Folayang, being a perennial contender in the division, knew that one way or another, he would share the cage with the former UFC and Bellator titleholder.
Fast-forward to mid-2019, and true enough, Folayang and Alvarez are set to compete in a highly-anticipated feature bout at ONE: Dawn of Heroes on Friday, August 2nd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Already a main event-caliber matchup, the Folayang versus Alvarez bout will have even more at stake, as it was elevated to a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-finals matchup following an injury that forced Russian Timofey Nastyukhin to withdraw from the card.
Now, aside from bragging rights, Folayang and Alvarez will fight for a spot in the lightweight tournament final opposite Turkish knockout artist Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev at ONE: Century in Tokyo this coming October.
For Folayang however, this test against Alvarez - probably the toughest of his career - is more than just moving a step closer to a third run at the ONE Lightweight World Championship, but it’s also a chance to test himself against a man who has won two world titles in two major organizations.
“Siyempre, si Eddie Alvarez, nakita din naman natin na legit na champion si Eddie sa dalawang malalaking MMA organization, so hindi ko tine-take for granted itong laban na ito,” Folayang told ABS-CBN Sports.
Making the matchup even more potentially explosive is that both fighters are coming off devastating losses at ONE: A New Era back in March, and both of them are hungry to get back on track.
“We are both coming from losses so talagang yun pa yung nagpapa-init ng desire naming dalawa na bumawi for this important fight. Kailangan talaga mag-handa ng maayos kasi ayun nga, yung desire, yung willingness mo talaga makabalik dun sa title picture, yun talaga yung mga factors na tinitignan naming dalawa,” Folayang said.
“Sa akin, siguro more na excited ako kasi nakita mo yung resume niya, coming from that kind of backround, alam mo na mate-test ko yung sarili ko, kung paano ako mag-aadapt or mag-aadjust sa ganung taas ng level. I am grateful na dumating yung opportunity for me to test him and to test myself,” he continued.
It’s also a chance for Folayang to solidify his place even more as a world-class mixed martial arts talent.
“People will be convinced kapag nakikita nila yung mga resulta, na talagang nakikita nila yung mga pinag-daanan mo. It’s one of those ways na ma-solidify ko pa yung naging, at pagiging world champion ko.”
A win for Folayang on Friday night sets him up for possibly another run at the lightweight title.
To get there, however, he will first have to take out “The Underground King”.
Catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, August 2 LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestream will be available on the ABS-CBN Facebook Page and on iWant