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Folayang makes triumphant return; ‘Gravity’ flattens ‘Vampire’



Team Lakay invaded Kuala Lumpur in a big way as an upstart made a statement while an elder stateman made a triumphant return Friday evening during ONE Championship’s Clash of Heroes event at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Folayang makes triumphant return

After suffering one of the worst knockouts in ONE Championship history, Eduard ‘The Landslide’ Folayang had to go back to the drawing board and regroup.

The elder statesman in the Team Lakay camp trained extensively all throughout his year-long layoff. The fruits of his labor was in full display Friday night as Folayang dominated the former ZST Welterweight Champion Tetsuya “MMA Fantasista” Yamada for 15 minutes en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Folayang tried to keep distance with low-lying kicks to open the match. Trying to pick up steam, the Japanese lightweight closed in on his opponent and tried to take him down. As the two were broken up, “Landslide” landed a huge one-two combination followed by a huge jab at the 4:20 mark that knocked down Yamada. The latter punch also resulted to a gash on the left eye of the Japanese champion. Yamada though was able to trip Folayang for a takedown to close out the round.

In the second stanza, a powerful leg kick by “Landslide” knocked down Yamada to open the round. Even if Folayang displayed great takedown defense all throughout the match, Yamada was able to sneak in a few takedowns that were quickly shrugged of by the Filipino. The former ZST Champion was able to land his only clean shot in the match in the closing seconds of the second round but Folayang was quickly able to recover and end the round with soccer kicks on a prone Yamada.
Tiebreaker Times Folayang makes triumphant return; ‘Gravity’ flattens ‘Vampire’
Sensing that Folayang’s stand-up was a plane higher than his, Yamada dragged Folayang down for his last takedown of the fight with three minutes remaining in the match. However, the Japanese fighter just layed-and-prayed for a good two minutes before the official stood the two fighters up. Folayang was able to land a huge knee to the body to close out a dominant performance before time expired.

At the end of the match, Folayang soaked in the cheers of the crowd as everyone in attendance knew that the Filipino was ahead in the scorecards even before the announcement. As Anthony Suntay announced Folayang’s name as the victor, the 35 year old tried to fight back tears as a full year of preparation and hard work finally bore fruit.

With the win, Folayang snaps a two-fight losing streak and is now 15-5 in his career, 5-4 in ONE Championship. On the other end, “MMA Fantasista” falls to 13-6-2.

Eustaquio flattens Merican

Tiebreaker Times Folayang makes triumphant return; ‘Gravity’ flattens ‘Vampire’
After a delay in his return to the ONE cage due a fortuitous event, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio wasted no time in demolishing his opponent in enemy territory.

The Wushu practitioner displayed great patience before knocking out one of Malaysia’s top Muay Thai practitioners Saiful Merican in under two minutes.

Merican, in a bizarre antic, tried to go for open hand slaps in the opening moments of the contest. “The Vampire” tried to combine the move with leg kicks to try to keep distance from Eustaquio. However, as Merican tried to go for another slap the 25 year old fighter from Baguio quickly countered it with a huge left hook that dropped the Malaysian face first to the canvas. “Gravity” then landed a huge soccer kick for good measure to secure his seventh victory in 11 professional fights.

“Everything pays off!,” Eustaquio declared after the fight. The Filipino though quickly apologized to the Malaysian crowd in saying, “I’m happy but I’m also sorry for knocking down your national athlete. Still, thank you so much for watching this show.”

Looking back on the fight, the Baguio-native knew that his opponent was about to throw a shot. “I knew he will come back with that left cross so I struck with that left hook. With God’s grace he went down,” he shared.

Eustaquio though is leaving the decision of when and where his next fight is to the hands of the ONE officials. “My destiny is in the hands of ONE Championship and Matt Hume,” he said. “If you want me to prove more, I’m willing to show more and train more”

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