By Ernest Hernandez
One Championship lightweight champion Eduard Folayang will be defending his title in front of a roaring hometown crowd at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Nov. 10, for “ONE Championship: Legends of the World.”
“Landslide” will face a unique opponent who is aiming to become a two-division champion in featherweight title-holder, Martin Nguyen.
Living in Australia with Vietnamese decent, Nguyen is undefeated in his last five contests. This included avenging his only professional loss at the hands of Marat Gafurov back in August at Malaysia.
Out of his 10 professional bouts, six ended in the first round while six came from knockouts. Based on the scorecards and by watching Nguyen’s previous fights, Folayang is aware that he is up against an opponent looking to end the fight quickly.
“Laging maikli result ng mga laban niya. I think this will be a good fight. Kung saan siya malakas, doon din ako malakas,” said Folayang.
He adds, “Honestly, we are both strikers and tignan natin kung paano ang preparation ng bawa’t isa sa amin. Of course, we have our own prediction but at the end of the day, it will be inside the cage that we can attest on how we can give those predictions.”
Folayang was at ringside to witness Nguyen’s devastating knockout of Marat Gafurov. He knows that his opponent is not just a good striker but an accurate one.
“Tingin ko sa kanya, tuma-timing siya. Magaling yung timing niya. Noong tinitignan ko last fight niya with Marat, kaya niya i-deliver yun. ‘Yun yung kailangan ma-check ko kung ano gusto niya gawin so I can be able to prepare para ma-counter.”
Folayang will relish the opportunity to trade blows with Nguyen but knows that all his attacks should be well-timed.
“It’s a mind game. Parang chess, talagang kailangan Makita mo ang gusto niyang gawin at paano siya mag-a-adjust sa laban.”
This will be Folayang’s second title defense for 2017.