Eduard Folayang is preparing for a rematch against Singapore’s Amir Khan at ONE Fight Night 14, scheduled for September 30.
While the initial encounter between these two warriors in November 2018 resulted in a dominant victory for Folayang, the Filipino mixed martial arts legend is determined not to overlook Khan as they prepare to face off once again.
“At first, I was a bit surprised. I wasn’t really expecting to face Amir Khan again. But for me, it’s good that I get to face him again. I want to see my improvements and the new things that I can bring out in the fight itself,” he told Tiebreaker Times.
“So yeah, there’s excitement and surprise. Honestly, I didn’t think that we’d be facing each other again five years later, but it’s a fight for me to take, and I’m very happy to compete again.”
In their first matchup, Folayang displayed a masterful performance, dominating Khan over the course of five rounds to secure a lopsided unanimous decision win.
This triumph earned “Landslide” the vacant ONE lightweight championship, marking his second reign as the division’s kingpin.
However, the 39-year-old proud son of Baguio City is not the type of individual to rest on his laurels. He acknowledges the passage of time and the transformative journey that both he and Khan have undertaken.
“I believe that he’s certainly changed a lot since that fight. There are some factors that I’ll have to consider in the rematch,” Folayang stated.
“This is the sport that we’re competing in, and we can’t really say that we can stay the same.”
Since defeating Khan for the gold-plated strap, it has been a turbulent ride for Folayang, who has lost seven of his last eight outings.
The same can be said for Khan, as the Singaporean standout has dropped five of his next eight matches, including a first-round knockout defeat at the hands of Keanu Subba in August 2022.
With redemption in mind, Folayang is entering the three-round duel with the same intensity and focus as if he were facing Khan for the first time.
“As a striker, of course, I need to work on the things that I’m lacking, particularly on the ground and in wrestling. So, it will be an exciting match for me because it’s a chance for me to showcase my development after nine months away from the Circle,” he shared.
Despite decisively winning the initial installment of his rivalry with Khan on the scorecards, his inability to secure the finish left a lingering sense of unfinished business.
This time around, Folayang is fueled by the desire to not only secure victory but to do so emphatically.
“That’s what we want to happen, especially with the bonuses coming from finishes. Right now, it’s all about sending a statement that we can still hang with the best fighters,” he declared.
ONE Fight Night 14 is set to take place at the 12,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium.