ONE Championship: Mark Sangiao lauds Eduard Folayang's mental toughness after recent win

Santino Honasan on Nov 21, 2019 05:04 PM
Sangiao lauds Folayang's mental toughness after recent win
“Nung pumunta na sa gilid, hilo na siya, pero siya, napaka-lakas pa nung isip niya, sabi niya 'Okay pa ako.' pero yung paa niya, wobbly na. Dun mo makikita kung gaano kalakas yung isip ni Eduard. He's really a champion.” - Mark Sangiao (Photo: Richard Esguerra)

Team Lakay pulled off a 3-0 sweep at ONE: Masters of Fate in Manila last November 8th, with ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio successfully defending his title against fellow Pinoy Rene Catalan in the main event, and former champs Eduard Folayang and Geje Eustaquio both getting big wins as well. 

It was a good way to close out the year for Team Lakay, who had absorbed quite a number of consecutive setbacks prior to ONE’s final card in Manila for 2019. 

Pacio was dominant in his title defense, while Eustaquio successfully avenged a 2016 loss to Finland’s Toni Tauru with a spectacular third-round body-kick KO. 

Folayang’s win however, didn’t come in the way that they would have hoped, earning a Technical Decision win after being ruled unable to continue due to a cut caused by an accidental headbutt from Mongolian opponent Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu. 

Folayang was dominating the opening round with his superior striking, and was well on his way to doing the same in the second round, right before the accidental clash of heads which opened up a nasty gash on the former lightweight king’s right cheek. 

With the cut too big to allow Folayang to continue, the match went to the judges’ scorecards, giving the Filipino MMA hero the decision win. 

While it was the result they wanted, it was definitely not how they would have wanted to get there. 

“Oo siyempre, kasi dino-dominate na niya eh, pero ang lakas nung impact nung sumalubong yung headbutt, pero knowing Eduard kasi, kahit sabihin mong nahilo yun, 'Hindi' ang sasabihin niya pa din,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. “Kilala ko na 'yan, ever since nung bata pa 'yan, nakita ko yung mental toughness nun, kaya sinabi kong hindi na pwede 'yan.”

“Mabuti nakita nung doctor. Magaling yung doctor ng ONE, nakita naman nila na talagang hindi pwede, so inistop nila,” Sangiao continued. 

The Team Lakay mentor states that he agrees with the decision to stop the fight because the former champion was clearly rocked from the accidental headbutt. 

“Agree, kasi nakita ko na rin na nahilo si Eduard,” Sangiao explained. “Nung pumunta na sa gilid, hilo na siya, pero siya, napaka-lakas pa nung isip niya, sabi niya 'Okay pa ako.' pero yung paa niya, wobbly na. Dun mo makikita kung gaano kalakas yung isip ni Eduard. He's really a champion.”

Sangiao believes that if it were up to Folayang, the fight would have continued on. 

“Yung sa kanya, gusto pa niya eh, pero sabi ko no. Buti si Kevin [Belingon] andun din, pina-upo siya, kasi nakikita niya na wobbly na yung paa niya,” he explained. 

Perhaps what exacerbated the situation was that the official didn’t immediately see that it was indeed an accidental headbutt that stunned Folayang. As a result, Tsogookhuu was able to pounce on Folayang and land a few more punches before being halted. 

Sanguiao says that he understands the situation, given that the official did not have the perfect vantage point to make a call at the moment. 

“Professional naman yung referee, nakita kasi sa video na nasa blind side siya. Nung nakita niya lang yun, doon lang niya sinabi, tapos sinisigaw namin, tapos nung brineak niya, sabi niya sa akin, sinenyas niya na headbutt. Doon niya na-realize siguro.”

“Bakit ang laki ng cut? Hindi naman ma-ccut ng ganun kung sa suntok, sobrang laki nung cut,” Sangiao added. 

Folayang’s drive to continue fighting, Sangiao explained, comes from a sense of urgency in that, coming off back-to-back losses, a third straight loss would have been a serious setback to his dreams of regaining his spot atop the division. 

“Alam na niya yun, at alam ko rin na kapag natalo pa siya dito, bababa yung career niya, I mean lalayo siya sa title shot,” Sangiao detailed. “Siya na mismo, sabi niya, kaya doon sa mga interviews niya, very hungry siya para bumalik. Kaya nga kanina, isa yun, yung isang motivation niya kaya kanina, kahit nag-wowobble na yung paa niya, hindi pa raw siya hilo."

“Ako na yung nagsabi na upo ka muna, mag-rest ka, kasi kita mo, pero yung isip niya, ang lakas,” Sangiao concluded. 

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