ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang will try to keep his belt wrapped around his waist as he takes on Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen in the ONE: Legends of the World at 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena starting at 7 p.m. today.
Going by the nickname “Landslide,” Folayang knows his foe won’t be a pushover, but he said he’s up to the challenge
“It is going to be tough, but I have my people to support me. I want to make everyone proud. I want to show the fans that Filipino athletes are world-class,” said the Team Lakay top fighter.
“Representing the Philippines and showcasing my skills is an honor for me. Filipinos are truly world-class. We have the ability to hang with the best, no matter what the field. That is why I accepted this challenge in front of me. Join me as I continue my journey this coming Friday. Winning this bout is my top priority, to keep this belt on my shoulder,” Folayang added.
That will be easier said than done, though, especially against the ONE featherweight world champion.
Nguyen won his title by defeating a tough foe like Marat “Cobra” Gafurov in August, but now he is moving up a weight class and looking to acquire a second world title.
“I like Eduard [Folayang]. I said to myself I did not want to compete against someone I like and take away their glory, but opportunities like this do not come around too often. And, if I refused to do this, someone else was going to compete against him and take his glory. So it is strictly business,” said the 28-year-old Vietnamese-Australian.
Nguyen added that fighting a certified MMA star in Folayang is a dream come true.
“Following my title win, I took a one-month vacation. But in my mind, I really wanted to compete. I was so eager to return to the cage once more before the conclusion of 2017. My wish came true in the form of this dream match against Eduard Folayang,” said Nguyen.
“Eduard’s striking is pretty legit. A bit wild, but it works for him. Everyone who gets tagged by Eduard, they walk into every single one of his strikes and put pressure on him. But Eduard is the counter striker, and everyone who comes forward gets hit with a spinning attack, a big right hand, or big kicks,” Nguyen explained.
He added: “You have to keep moving against someone like Eduard. If you do not move, then you are a standing punching bag. With my style, I am always moving. If I am going backwards, sideways, or forward, I want to make it hard for him to hit me, and I want to make every bit of my wrestling count.” Folayang’s Lakay teammate Danny Kingad will shoot for the ONE Flyweight title when he faces Brazil’s Adriano Moraes, while Kevin Belingon, also of Lakay, takes on Kevin Chung of South Korea in the one of the main undercards.
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