Eduard Folayang notched a well-deserved win, a perfect way to commemorate his 25th bout and 12th year in ONE Championship.
The Filipino superstar thwarted Amir Khan’s attempt to seek revenge in their rematch, which took place on the undercard of ONE Fight Night 14, right in front of Khan’s fellow countrymen at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday, September 30.
Despite a five-year gap since their last encounter in the Circle, their familiarity with each other remained unchanged.
The bout began with intense but calculated action, as the former ONE lightweight champion banked on his striking pedigree, backing up Khan with a series of heavy blows in the opening round.
Khan, in turn, tried to match the intensity, landing razor-sharp jabs to disrupt the Filipino’s offensive rhythm. However, Folayang’s wushu sanda instincts kicked, tripping the Singaporean twice in the frame.
Business picked up in the dying seconds when Folayang advanced and twirled to land a sequence of tornado kicks to end the first five minutes of the proceeding.
Although Khan still kept peppering his jabs and maintained a safe distance for the majority of the second canto, “Landside” relentlessly pursued his opponent to deploy hard combinations.
Though a headbutt seemed to rock Folayang in the closing moments of round two, Folayang recuperated for the third and final period to mount a momentum-altering assault.
The 39-year-old native of Baguio City threw everything in his repertoire at Khan during their exchanges on the feet.
With each passing minute, the Lions Nation MMA representative became more and more comfortable unloading his combinations. He unleashed blistering kicks from the outside, while Khan was stuck trying to predict what would come at him next.
Folayang caught Khan along the Circle fence with a left hook, sending the Singaporean to the canvas flat on his back. He then teed off with two more punches on the ground, compelling referee Herb Dean to step in and call a halt to the contest at the 1:57 mark of round three.
The impressive victory allowed Folayang to arrest his five-fight losing streak in MMA, improving to a professional record to 23-13.
In addition, this is Folayang’s first stoppage win since November 2016 when he scored an upset against Shinya Aoki to win the lightweight crown.
On the other hand, Khan downgraded to 14-10 with the loss to Folayang.