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Mixed Martial Arts

Folayang out to give Ting toughest test of his life

Since winning the most prestigious mixed martial arts crown in the eastern hemisphere, ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang (17-5) and his lifestyle has become more fast-paced. From various media appearances to being a father to a healthy baby girl, the proud son of Baguio had to learn a lot of things off the cage on the fly.

“Isa sa mga pinakamahirap na ginawa ko sa training, magpalit ng diaper ni baby [Yeshwa Reigns],” the 32-year old quipped.

After slaying Japanese legend Shinya Aoki last November, Folayang is in the process of learning something new — defending the crown. On Friday, the product of Team Lakay is set to face Malaysian young gun Ev Ting (13-3) in the main event of ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

But with fight night just three days away, Folayang looks as confident as ever. A former PE teacher in Baguio, he plans to teach the 26-year old Malaysian-Kiwi the lesson of his lifetime.

“Yung ituturo ko sa kanya, hindi madali maging champion.

“Mahirap at marami kang pagdadaanan. Kailangan mo makapasa sa test na ibibigay bago mo masabi na champion ka. Kailangan niya muna pumasa sa exam na ibibigay ko,” shared Folayang, who is the promotion’s third lightweight kingpin.

Ting, who was gracious the entire time, relayed that he has done his homework on Folayang. Admittedly, he does not see any flaws he could expose as of the moment.

“Watching his last fight, there wasn’t much to study. He had a perfect performance.

“He defended everything and showed superiority in striking and wrestling. No flaws I could bring up, so it’s a matter of believing in myself that I could do more and better him come fight night,” Ting, who has beaten five Filipino fighters — including two fighters from Team Lakay, shared.

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The man known as the Landslide did not divulge his game plan, only giving “E.T.” a warning: be ready.

“Be prepared for five rounds,” a serious Folayang turned.

“Talagang naghanda siya. Sa akin, tinitignan ko lang kung paano ko ma-capitalize ang pagkakamali niya.”

And on Friday, class will definitely be in session.

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