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Mixed Martial Arts

Folayang says shift from Akiyama to Aoki affected his camp

Eduard Folayang offered no excuses for his loss against Shinya Aoki, Thursday morning during ONE on TNT IV.

The 37-year-old native of Baguio City — who had just suffered his fifth defeat in six bouts — had nothing but praise for his Japanese arch-rival. Aoki again proved that he is still one of the world’s best lightweights.

“Shinya deserved the win,” remarked Folayang, who lost via an armbar — his second first round submission loss to Aoki.

ONE-On-TNT-IV-Aoki-def-Folayang-armbar Folayang says shift from Akiyama to Aoki affected his camp Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

But just three weeks ago, Folayang had a different opponent slated to face him.

Originally, the former ONE Lightweight World Champion was supposed to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama. The latter had to pull out of the bout, though, due to a complete bicep tear he sustained in camp.

Akiyama and Aoki are two completely different fighters.

Akiyama, though a renowned judoka, is a fighter who likes to slug it out — a complete contract from Aoki, who is a submission wizard.

Folayang admitted that the unexpected change affected them since his entire camp had to suddenly switch styles.

ONE-on-TNT-Eduard-Folayang-vs-Yoshihiro-Akiyama Folayang says shift from Akiyama to Aoki affected his camp Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

“There’s a lot of changes.

“It was one of the factors that affected my performance because I was preparing for a striker, and then I shifted to one of the best submission specialists in this sport. The adjustment was not enough for me,” he explained.

Retirement is not on Folayang’s mind, though. And he hopes to face Akiyama down the road.

“We never back down. Whoever the opponent is set before us, we have that spirit to face him. Maybe it’s not the time now but someday if it happens, I’d be willing.”

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