Part I of MMA Philippines’ Exclusive Interview with 6th Dan Judoka and BJJ Black Belt John Baylon
Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang shocked the world when he defeated long-time ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki in a dazzling display of aggressive striking and submission defense. Everyone knew Folayang could strike; what surprised most of us was how well he defended against Aoki – the most feared grappling specialist this side of the planet – even though Shinya was in back control for most of the first round.
To explain our collective cognitive dissonance, some may have speculated that Aoki’s abilities are waning, or more grievously pass it off as sheer luck on Folayang’s part. But Clube De Jiu Jitsu Filipinas head coach John Baylon clarifies that it is neither: Eduard Folayang trained his ass off to defeat Shinya Aoki.
“I’ve known Eduard and Mark Eddiva since our days in the national team. Ever since, they wanted to train with us despite their busy schedule up in Baguio. Eventually, we were able to create a timetable that was suitable,” shared Coach John of how two of Team Lakay’s top fighters came to work with Academia John Baylon. “Initially, Eduard trained with the normal class, but when the fight with Aoki was finalized, he trained with us twice a day for two weeks straight, where Eduard would be the practice opponent and all he did was defend submission attempts in all positions.”
Those two weeks paid off, as the outcome was clear as day. “He was able to use [his submission defense] against Aoki, especially in defending his back, which we drilled over and over. It felt like second nature to him.” Coach John believes that the reason the two-week grappling camp worked for Folayang is his predisposition towards learning. “Eduard is very good with picking up techniques and adding them to his existing skill set as a high-level athlete. Moreover, he was very interested and had a great attitude to learn, and it showed in his fight with Aoki who was clearly surprised at Eduard’s skill level in defending his submission attempts.” (more…)
Eduard Folayang vs. Ev Ting Headlines April 21 Stacked Card
Ahead of their championship clash at ONE: Kings of Destiny on April 21 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, ONE lightweight world champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and No.1 contender Ev “ET” Ting met with members of the press to discuss their preparations for the fight.
While both fighters are respectful of their opponent during the media scrum, Ev Ting is known for getting to this position at the expense of four Filipino fighters. Will his role as the bane of Filipino fighters continue, or will “Landslide” put a stop to Ting’s streak and secure his first title defense with the whole nation behind him? (more…)
Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is the NEW ONE Championship World Champion!
Just a few months ago, Eduard Folayang was at the crossroads of his fighting career.
His previous contract with ONE Championship ended last March, while the UFC announced its second Manila event as early as June. If Folayang wanted to test himself inside the Octagon, that was his opportunity.
But, as luck – or fate – would have it, the UFC never called, and in July, Folayang signed a new two-year deal with Asia’s largest MMA promotion. By August, Folayang fought and won a title eliminator against Adrian Pang. Soon after, the title fight between him and Shinya Aoki – unbeaten since 2012 – was announced.
To many, even to us Filipinos, defeating Shinya Aoki was a tall order, a gargantuan task for Folayang and Baguio-based Team Lakay. After all, the last person to defeat the Japanese grappling genius is currently sitting atop the UFC’s lightweight division and set to fight Conor McGregor this Sunday. Unfazed, Folayang, Coach Mark Sangiao, and the rest of his team prepared hard and well for what Aoki and Evolve MMA had in store for them.
All the hard work, all the preparation, led to tonight’s masterful performance.
In the first round, Aoki immediately closed the distance, cornering Folayang for a clinch. The difference maker was Aoki’s judo. Once on his back, Folayang had no other choice but to defend Aoki’s vicious submission attempts. But here’s the thing: “The Landslide” was able to defend. He was successful in defending the submission master’s attempts! Something all of Tobikan Judan’s opponents have failed to do in the past! As the bell rang, the viewing Filipino collective was able to let out a sigh of relief as our homegrown hero survived to fight another round. (more…)