ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang assures fans he's staying put
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 14, 2020 03:25 PM
“Retirement is not yet in our vocabulary because we’re still here. You cannot tell a fish to stop swimming. I am in the world of martial arts and if ever I retire, I am still going to be here." - Eduard Folayang (Photo: Richard Esguerra)
Eduard "Landslide" Folayang’s last match left more questions than answers about the career of the three-time ONE Lightweight World Champion.
But when it comes to the question of retirement, Folayang has a definitive answer – he is not going anywhere.
“Landslide” dropped his third match in four outings against Pieter "The Archangel" Buist at ONE: FIRE & FURY on 31 January at the Mall Of Asia Arena. However, it is not the end for the Team Lakay representative.
“I’ll return. I’ll definitely return. I think there’s more to unleash,” Folayang said.
“It’s not like I was trashed in the Circle. I gave it my all and the difference between us wasn’t far. It was not a definitive loss at all.”
The 36-year-old even gave himself a passing mark after the match, noting that he was in the contest before the Dutchman stole the match in the third round.
Folayang does have a point.
Buist’s seven-inch height advantage over the Filipino was evident the moment they stood face-to-face in the Circle, but the Filipino legend was not intimidated.
For two rounds, Folayang bravely cut Buist down to size, mixing in his deadly striking with well-timed takedowns to frustrate “The Archangel.”
Things went south in the third round, but “Landslide” believes the final canto was not a representation of his overall performance.
“I think I would give myself a seven. I thought I adjusted well in the first two rounds. It was only in the third round when I struggled,” Folayang said.
“I wasn’t expecting the head kick, I could have evaded it. I wish I had more time to spar against bigger opponents.”
Things will not get easier for the pride of the highlands. To get to the reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion, Christian “The Warrior” Lee, Folayang has to go through big names such as Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev, Timofey Nastyukhin, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, and Iuri Lapicus – all of whom are hungry for gold.
It is a journey “Landslide” plans to take as he believes retirement – though a natural transition for athletes – will just have to wait.
“Retirement is not yet in our vocabulary because we’re still here. You cannot tell a fish to stop swimming. I am in the world of martial arts and if ever I retire, I am still going to be here,” Folayang said.
“But my mind is still in the competitive stage. I am not in the point where I want to focus on being a coach or a trainer. I know I’ll be headed there somewhere, so why rush?