Two-Division ONE Champion Martin Nguyen to Eduard Folayang: “I Hope You Come Back from This Stronger”

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Martin Nguyen has Nothing but Brotherly Love for Eduard Folayang

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With just 2 minutes and 20 seconds remaining in the second round, Martin Nguyen found the opening he was anticipating for six weeks. Coming his way was a strike synonymous to his opponent, Eduard Folayang – the spinning wheel kick.

Unlike other fighters who simulate bad blood to draw more publicity, Folayang and Nguyen weren’t shy in professing their friendship. “Eduard’s not only a very good fighter. What inspires me about Eduard is that he inspires the younger generation,” Nguyen said about Folayang several days before the fight.

However, a fight is still a fight, and the only way to come out on the winning end is by inflicting damage to the person opposite you. Once fighters enter the cage, whatever relationship they have developed is put on hold. In those few minutes, they go to war.

Asked about the motivation to challenge for his buddy’s title, Nguyen replied, “In terms of why I’m fighting [Folayang], the aim is to make history in ONE Championship. It’s very rare that these opportunities come.”

And make history he did. Nguyen landed a perfect right overhand counter to the jaw of the Filipino hero right when Folayang was completing another spinning attack. Unfortunately for the Team Lakay leader, his challenger did his homework.

“You know what; I timed that perfectly with that right hand. It was supposed to be a takedown, but I threw a right hand out of instinct.” And just like that, Eduard Folayang lived and died by his signature move.
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The Stakes are High for Eduard Folayang and Danny Kingad at ONE: Legends of the World

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Folayang Defends while Kingad Ascends Divisional Summit

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A scenario where three Filipinos fighters are ONE Championship titleholders is possible come November 10, as Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang and Danny Kingad are set to defend home soil for ONE: Legends of the World at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

However, the two fighters from Baguio will be coming into their respective fights under opposite circumstances. The 22-year-old Kingad will be looking to reach the flyweight division’s apex, while Folayang, reigning lightweight champ, will try to remain on top of the mountain.

The King’s Conquest

Perfect record vs title – This will be the theme of the co-main event as the undefeated Kingad, 5-0, will try to dethrone Brazilian flyweight champ Adriano Moraes who has been on a winning streak of own, finishing two out of his last three fights by way of submission.

The challenger arguably has the greater momentum coming into the bout, as he has yet to taste defeat in the course of his young career.

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#AndStill: Eduard Folayang Defends Title, Team Lakay Sweeps at ONE Kings of Destiny

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“You’re not the champion until you defend the belt.”

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Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang just satisfied UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes’ requirement to be a true champion. The Filipino MMA hero claimed victory against a very intense foe in Kiwi-Malaysian Ev Ting in a five-round war of attrition at ONE: Kings of Destiny. Making the night sweeter is Lakay teammates Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, Danny Kingad, and Gina Iniong’s wins, leading to a 5-0 sweep for the mythical Baguio-based team.

We saw a familiar “Landslide” last night, unafraid to throw kicks and back fists against an opponent who similarly enjoys trading shots. “E.T.” was a bit gun shy at first, but things picked up within the round, eventually culminating in a five-round classic.

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Eduard Folayang was bloodied by Round 3, but continued to pour it against Ev Ting for five rounds.

Folayang essentially relied on his striking and improved grappling to establish three layers of offense against the taller Ting. From the get go, he looked to keep his  distance with straight side, roundhouse, and spinning wheel kicks. In contrast to Ev’s headhunting tendencies, Folayang tried to play an endurance game with leg and body kicks that typically pay dividends at the latter rounds. They are also more efficient in terms of output: Head kicks take more energy to execute, more so against a taller opponent.

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A straight side kick from Folayang.

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A spinning wheel kick towards Ev Ting’s midsection.


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