ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang reflects on rocky 2019

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 18, 2019 05:54 PM
ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang reflects on rocky 2019
“We can’t change what happened already. Although I would have wanted to perform better than I did, I can’t discount the fact that my opponents were no walks in the park. I had lapses that led to unfavorable outcomes, but I’m still happy that my career is far from over,” - Eduard Folayang (Photo: Richard Esguerra)

On the scorecards, it was not exactly a year to remember for former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang – but it was a year of learning.

The 36-year-old started 2019 with submission losses to Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki and Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez

Folayang did bounce back with a technical decision win over Amarsanaa “Spear” Tsogookhuu at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE to end the year on a high note, and it was that night where the Team Lakay star showed he still has a lot left in his gas tank.  

“We can’t change what happened already. Although I would have wanted to perform better than I did, I can’t discount the fact that my opponents were no walks in the park. I had lapses that led to unfavorable outcomes, but I’m still happy that my career is far from over,” Folayang said. 

“I would have a lot of regrets if I was already retired, and I would no longer have the opportunity to improve on my lapses. I’m still thankful that I was able to close out the year well.”  

“Whatever happened in the past year becomes part of my reflection to prepare for the next fight.”

In his losses to Aoki and Alvarez, Folayang looked like a fish out of the water the moment the matches hit the canvas. 

Though not a bad grappler, the Baguio City native admitted to losing his concentration in both instances and it resulted in disastrous endings. 

But he was able to switch things up against Tsoogokhuu, and it is something he will continue to do moving forward. 

“I learned a lot. Calmness is one of them – as much as possible, to be calm even if you are overwhelmed,” Folayang said.

“Another thing is to be relentless and persistent in how I play to my strengths, and to execute my game plan in a better way. These are the two most important things I learned in the past year.”

Folayang will have the chance to make it two in a row when he takes on Ahmed “Wolverine” Mujtaba of Pakistan at ONE: FIRE & FURY on 31 January at the Mall Of Asia Arena in the Philippines. 

Expect nothing but the best from the face of Philippines mixed martial arts. 

“I’m so excited for this match. I won the last time in Manila, and I hope to build on that energy,” Folayang said. 

“Right now I can confidently say that I am in good shape, with seven weeks to go before the fight. I never stop training, regardless if it’s the holiday season or not. That’s how serious I am in getting the win and showing that I am still a contender in this division.”

In the meantime, The Home Of Martial Arts returns to action on 10 January for ONE: A NEW TOMORROW at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. 

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