ONE Championship has stacked its third show at the SM Mall of Asia Arena this year, as Reign of Kings will feature a deep card that will include the return of former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang.
Reign of Kings will take place on Friday, July 27.
The card is headlined by a main event featuring Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon taking on two-division champion Martin Nguyen for the Interim ONE Batamweight World Championship.
Also on the card are the Philippine debuts of living legends Shinya Aoki and Renzo Gracie. Aoki takes on Shannon Wiratchai in a lightweight showdown, while Gracie steps into the cage for one last time, facing 103-fight veteran Yuki Kondo.
Folayang, on the other hand, looks to continue his redemption tour as he faces undefeated Russian Aziz Pahrudinov.
Folayang of Baguio City, Philippines is an alumni of the Philippine Wushu Team, having won 11 medals, including three golds at the SEA Games to become a national hero.
Not long after his amateur martial arts career, the Team Lakay veteran took up mixed martial arts and became a professional athlete under the guidance of Filipino martial arts pioneer Mark Sangiao.
Folayang captured the URCCWelterweight Championship in his 2007 debut, and helped ONE Championship kick off its inaugural show in 2011. Five years later, he took on then-lightweight titleholder Shinya Aoki, shocking the Japanese legend with a third round knockout to capture the title.
Folayang’s childhood hero Manny Pacquiao called him “one of the legends of mixed martial arts in the Philippines,” elevating the Filipino to superstar status.
He returns to action at home in Manila to take on Aziz Pahrudinov.
Pahrudinov is an undefeated professional mixed martial artist who hails from Buynaksk, Russia.
The 29-year-old – who represents the K-Dojo Warrior Tribe – is an exciting lightweight proponent who has now joined ONE Championship’s elite lightweight ranks. An extremely high-level grappler and explosive striker, Pahrudinov has built a reputation as a bonafide finisher, featuring close to a 95 percent finishing rate in competition, whether by submission or by knockout.
Now on the biggest global stage of martial arts competition, Pahrudinov is looking to test his skills against the world’s best.
Folayang’s stablemate Joshua Pacio also looks to bounce back.
The former ONE Strawweight World Title challenger of Baguio City, Philippines was inspired to take up martial arts when he was 12 years old.
After an undefeated amateur career, Pacio soon made his professional debut, where he went 6-0 before making it to the global stage of ONE Championship. He is inspired by former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, with whom he trains every day at Team Lakay.
In 2016, he got his chance against reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, falling just short of victory. Despite the setback, Pacio continues to chase his dream of becoming a world champion and has put together three solid victories in his last four outings.
Next up, Pacio takes on surging Thai superstar Pongsiri Mitsatit.
Another Filipino looks to continue the roll he is on as Rene Catalan takes on Indonesian flyweight Stefer Rahardian.
Completing the card are a lightweight showdown between Garry Tonon and Rahul Raju, a catchweight kickboxing bout between Armen Petrosyan and Chris Ngimbi, a bantamweight Muay Thai match that pits Panicos Yusuf and Han Zi Hao, and a featherweight tilt that will feature Sor Sey and Xie Bin.