By Rafael Bandayrel
Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will fight fire with fire when he collides with ONE Championship’s resident knockout artist Amir Khan in the co-main event of next Friday’s ONE: Conquest of Champions for the vacant lightweight world title.
Folayang said he is out to silence his doubters by reclaiming the lightweight division’s top spot.
“I want to prove to the world that I am not done yet in this sport, and that I can still be world champion,” the Baguio City native said.
Folayang can put the exclamation point to Team Lakay’s successful 2018 by bringing a fourth title to the Baguio City-based stable. But to do that, Folayang must overcome the younger yet equally talented striker Khan.
“Amir is a great young martial artist, the 34-year-old said. “He has shown tremendous growth since his very first ONE Championship bout. I cannot underestimate him because he is younger than I am.”
Folayang described his 2017 knockout loss to Martin Nguyen as a “very painful feeling.” However, the Team Lakay star believes he’s only gotten better because of the setback.
“In defeat, I have discovered my weaknesses and made efforts to improve certain parts of my game. Now I am ready to showcase my championship form once again,” said the Martial Arts Hero of the Year awardee.
Since dropping the title last November, Folayang bounced back by acing back-to-back decisions over previously-unbeaten Russian foes Kharun Atlangeriev and Aziz Pahrudinov.
Competing in his hometown has always been a “special” experience for Folayang. But this time, he’ll be trying to erase a bitter memory.
“[Fighting in Manila] represents a chance for me to redeem myself, because this is the same place I lost the title one year ago.”