Eduard Folayang has nothing more to prove in the sport of mixed martial arts. Still, the Filipino superstar feels that he has a couple of boxes to tick off on his personal list of goals.
That is why he plans to make the most out of his opportunity on Saturday, December 3rd. He will square off against Brazilian opponent Edson Marques on the undercard of ONE on Prime Video 5, which emanates from the 20,000-capacity SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.
The first order of business for Folayang, who just turned 39 years old last November 22, is to enter the Top Five of the promotion’s lightweight division.
“The Landslide” truly believes that Marques is the perfect opponent to help his case.
Marques, a lightweight convert who has won six of his ten career victories by way of knockout, has thrown a total of 255 strikes with a 58-percent landing rate in his first three bouts under the ONE Championship banner.
“The goal here is to secure a spot in the rankings, and I think Edson Marques is the right guy who can help me achieve that. I noticed that he likes to strike in his fights, and I’m a striker. It’s favorable to me, and at the same time, we can give fans an exciting fight,” Folayang told Tiebreaker Times.
The 77.1-kilogram weight class has experienced tremors as of late with the head-turning arrivals of Saygid Izagakhmaev and Halil Amir, who are currently ranked No. 3 and No. 4 respectively.
Folayang feels that he could be up for consideration with his own highlight-reel performance.
The confidence coming from Folayang is quite understandable as he is fresh from a resounding unanimous decision win over Australian kickboxing icon John Wayne Parr in a legend vs. legend Muay Thai clash this past March.
For Folayang, facing Parr was more than a gamble with a huge payoff as the conquest allowed him to rediscover the fierceness and tenacity that he was once known for.
“My win last time gave me a lot of confidence, knowing that my next opponent will also be a striker,” he stated.
“In the fight against a legend like ‘JWP,’ I managed to prove that my level of striking is at par with the elite strikers in the world. To me, that’s an accomplishment.”
Indeed, Folayang turned back the clock versus Parr as the Australian had no answer to his signature spinning backfist and a plethora of thudding sidekicks to the midsection.
As he returns to the sport that catapulted him to greater heights this coming weekend, the two-time ONE lightweight champion is looking to pick up where he left off.
In fact, Folayang is on the verge of shaping up his 2022 as a “Year of Redemption’ of sorts as he could go 2-0 in his campaign this year.
Positioned to close out the lead card of ONE on Prime Video 4, he plans to steal the show before the broadcast transitions to the affair’s main offering on pay-per-view.
Folayang hasn’t finished an opponent since November 2016 when he dethroned Shinya Aoki via third-round technical knockout for the coveted lightweight title.
Reading between the lines, the Baguio City native seems keen on breaking the drought at ONE on Prime Video 5.
“I still have a lot to accomplish in this sport. I’ll get the chance to demonstrate that on Saturday. You won’t want to miss it, I can promise you that,” Folayang vowed.