Martin Nguyen has Nothing but Brotherly Love for Eduard Folayang
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.
“The Silencer” Seeks to Cement Claim to Title Opportunity
ONE Championship was six months old when Kevin Belingon first stepped inside its cage in 2012. That makes him one of the OG’s of Asia’s largest MMA promotion.
His journey is a series of ups and downs, facing a who’s who of ONE’s bantamweight division. To date, the highest point he’s reached was a championship bout against Bibiano Fernandes in January 2016, which unfortunately ended with a first round submission loss.
While “The Silencer” may have faltered against the champ, Belingon bounced back with three straight victories, including two KO wins over former title challengers in Toni Tauru and Reece McLaren.
The Lakay KO artist has long established that he belongs to the upper tier of ONE’s 135-lbs division, and when he finished McLaren in last August’s ONE: Quest for Greatness, a rematch with Fernandes seemed to be the next logical scenario.
Folayang Defends while Kingad Ascends Divisional Summit
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.