Eduard Folayang is a name that commands respect and admiration in the world of mixed martial arts.
A proud native of Baguio City, Benguet, who has had an inspiring journey to the global stage, he has etched his indelible legacy as a two-time ONE lightweight titleholder and a true ambassador for the sport.
But as he approaches the twilight of his prizefighting career, “Landslide” is using his platform to give back to the industry that catapulted him to superstardom, establishing Lions Nation MMA alongside longtime teammates and fellow former ONE world champions Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, and Joshua Pacio.
Regarded by many as the “Face of Philippine MMA,” Folayang firmly believes that his role as the scene’s torchbearer extends far beyond the cage.
“As someone who has been christened as the ‘Face of Philippine MMA,’ there’s such a heavy responsibility that comes with it that I don’t take lightly. I hope my legacy inspires more athletes to work harder and share their talents with the rest of the world. That is really important to me,” he told Tiebreaker Times.
Coinciding with the formal introduction of Lions Nation MMA over the weekend, Folayang also inaugurated the Landslide Martial Arts Training Center, which will serve as the newly established stable’s base of operations.
This new venture has brought him immense joy and a sense of fulfillment beyond his wildest dreams.
“It is critical for my personal transition to have my own gym. It provides a regular location where we can train and a place where I can pass down my knowledge to our new and younger athletes. That is the team’s true vision: to inspire other martial artists,” he said.
“We want to see them succeed in the fight game and help them find their own ways.”
Though Lions Nation MMA boasts a prominent core group that also includes Jeremy Pacatiw and Edward Kelly, they will be responsible for mentoring an ensemble of local prospects such as Estrada Donga-as, Denver Songaben, Aaron Posawen, and Jahn Serbo.
As Folayang gears up for the inevitable phase of being a mixed martial artist, he exudes unwavering confidence in his ability to guide Lions Nation MMA.
“Our vision here at Lions Nation MMA is to transform martial artists into leaders and agents of change,” he mentioned.
“Our hope is that no one in this group will do anything that will harm them, and I feel that everyone in our group is a leader in their own right since we all have different abilities and areas where we can exercise our leadership skills.”