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Mixed Martial Arts

Folayang brushes off retirement talks: ‘I still have two to three years’

Concerned has been the mixed martial arts community after Eduard Folayang suffered another setback on ONE on TNT IV.

In a one-sided affair that lasted for four minutes and 20 seconds, Folayang bowed to arch-rival Shinya Aoki by way of a first round submission. It was his fifth loss in his last six matches inside the ONE Circle.

“We’re still positive.

“It’s just that we weren’t able to stop the takedown. We tried a lot of times and yet Shinya really didn’t want the fight to go on the feet so when he had the advantage to put the game to the ground, he didn’t waste the chance to get it,” recalled Folayang during the post-event press conference.

Folayang had a few seconds of taking on Aoki in a stand-up war. But once Aoki got into a clinch, it was all him.

A takedown by the Japanese legend led to him gaining full mount. The grappling whiz softened the Filipino pioneer with a bevy of short punches and elbows that opened him up for the armbar attempt.

Once the armbar was locked, he had no other recourse but to tap.

With if, Aoki now has a 2-1 advantage over Folayang with both wins coming via first round submissions.

The loss dropped the former ONE Lightweight World Champion’s record to 22-11.

With the defeat, calls for him to retire have grown louder and louder. The 37-year-old native of Baguio City hears all of it.

Still, he remains defiant in saying that he still has two to three years left in him.

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“Yung pagre-retire nandiyan lang ‘yan but still marami pa akong natutunan. Ganoon talaga ang buhay — minsan nakahanda tayo pero kailangan ng major changes,” he said.

“Di ‘yun ang magpapa-stop sa atin kasi hindi Lang maganda yung past performances natin. This time I know prepared ako sa kalaban napunta talaga sa mundo ni Shinya.”

If he had the choice, the Team Lakay stalwart would want another crack at Aoki and turn the rivalry into a five-part saga.

“I think hanggang nandito pa kami magmi-meet pa kami along the way. Baka nga game five pa. Kalma lang guys, baka we can be able to get back again,” he opined.

“I think it will be round five for as long as we’re still here. Our paths will cross again. This time, I need to keep learning and growing in this sport.”

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