Eduard Folayang Not Looking Past Amir Khan for Showdown in Tokyo

Folayang defended his lightweight title in a five-round war against Ev Ting.

“The Landslide” is Ready to Reclaim His Lightweight Belt

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ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong announced last Monday that Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will vie for the vacant ONE lightweight world title against Amir Khan on November 23 in Manila. The announcement came about after former title holder Martin Nguyen relinquished his belt due to injury and a desire to focus on defending his featherweight title.

An October 6 bout between long-time lightweight kingpin Shinya Aoki and Ev Ting was being considered to be upgraded to a title fight. However due to the event being so close and the fact that the competitors have been preparing for a three-round fight in their respective camps, the ONE Championship brass decided against it. (Ev Ting however replied that he was more than willing to engage Shinya Aoki in a five-rounder.)

Folayang shocked the MMA world when he dethroned Shinya Aoki via TKO.

Folayang shocked the MMA world when he dethroned Shinya Aoki via TKO.

Khan is 2-1 in 2018. He is riding a two-fight win streak after his loss to Timofey Nastyukhin last February. His record does not boast of a murderers’ row as Eduard Folayang or Shinya Aoki. Nonetheless, “The Landslide” is not taking his co-challenger lightly. “Every opponent is dangerous for me,” says Folayang in a brief interview. “Amir had been hungry to become a champion ever since. For sure it will be an explosive fight for both of us.”

Asked if there is some sort of revenge arc to the fight as Khan’s last victim was Honorio Banario less than one month ago, Folayang maintains that every fight for Team Lakay is a learning experience and its outcome is not taken personally. “[Amir] was just better in implementing his game plan against Honorio that time. I learn from my teammate’s mistake, and [the result] will be different this time.”

Folayang is also reserved in his prediction for Aoki vs. Ting – both of whom he has faced in the past. For him, both fighters are cerebral in their approach, which makes the upcoming fight an exciting one to watch. “The one who can implement his game plan well will win it,” believes Folayang. “I am excited to do my best [against Khan] given the chance that whoever wins between the two of us can face the winner of that bout.”

Folayang defended his lightweight title in a five-round war against Ev Ting.

Folayang successfully defended his lightweight title in a five-round war against Ev Ting.

Ultimately, the consummate martial artist that is Eduard Folayang seeks to constantly improve his vicious craft, and reclaim his title as the best lightweight in ONE. “I will give everything that I’ve been working for since I lost that title. That will be expected on the 23rd of November.”

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John Hudson Go is the Editor-in-Chief of MMA Philippines.

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