By Jun Ray Navarres
Filipino MMA Icon Eduard Folayang surely will not miss ONE Championship’s biggest installment in front of the home crowd in Mall of Asia Arena.
The Team Lakay mainstay has long been carrying the Philippine flag behind his back as he competed and brought glory to the country in the international stage.
This time, Folayang was added to the stacked ONE Fight Night 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin to face off against Edson “Panico” Marques at ONE’s return to the Manila scene on December 3.
“Of course, I’m happy. I feel honored being put on the forefront of a card that will air live in US prime time through Prime Video, being one of the few Filipinos in that card,” said Folayang.
“It’s such a huge motivating factor for me because our trajectory is heading west, and I’d love to entertain our fans over there and make new ones.”
Landslide, as many know him, was one of the pillars of ONE Championship, winning the ONE Lightweight belt three times, establishing himself as the face of MMA in the country.
Despite being not on the same card with other Team Lakays fighters who will be competing in the second installment of the day at ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks, Folayang is still grateful to be included in ONE’s comeback to the country after almost three years.
“All I wanted to do is compete again and join this card. It doesn’t matter who I face. Actually, I was waiting for [Yoshihiro] Akiyama but I think he turned down the offer in fighting me,” he said.
“Nonetheless, I’m grateful because I was included, and since the event will be in the Philippines for the first time in three years, I’m super excited. I’m looking forward to performing in front of my home crowd.”
Folayang joins the stacked morning show bannered by the clash between two titans when the unbeaten two-division World Champion Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder defends his ONE Light Heavyweight World Title against Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin.
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