Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

Mixed Martial Arts

Folayang to use previous experience vs Aoki in trilogy bout

Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang hopes that his experience in competing against Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki will be enough for him to take the win when they put a lid on their rivalry this week.

Folayang and Aoki will battle for the third time, this time on the lead card of “ONE on TNT IV”, which airs live this Thursday morning in the Philippines on 29 April at 8:30 a.m. on One Sports.

The 36-year-old was initially preparing for Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama. Unfortunately, though, the Japanese judoka sustained an injury during training camp, leaving Folayang with no opponent.

Coincidentally, Aoki’s opponent for the same event in “Super” Sage Northcutt also had to pull out. That left the two legends to face one another.

“To be honest the adjustment is tough. For the longest time, we’ve had our eyes set on Akiyama. And all of a sudden we have to focus on Aoki’s expertise, which is very different from what Akiyama brings to the table,” Folayang said.

“In Akiyama, we were expecting someone with a judo base who is willing to stand and trade with you. That all changes with Aoki, who’s a pure grappler in every sense of the way. It’s a really big shift for us, but we’re doing well so far.”

While the shift is certainly big, it’s not like Folayang is taking on an unfamiliar opponent.

“Landslide” and “Tobikan Judan” have competed in two high-profile main event matches in the past. Both men have taken one bout apiece from each other.

#ReadMore  Edward Kelly earns Knockout of the Night honor

Folayang rose to international prominence when he stopped Aoki in his tracks in 2016 to win the ONE Lightweight World Title for the first time of his career.

Aoki evened the score two years later when he submitted Folayang in the first round and became a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion.

With that in mind, these two guys are very familiar with each other leading into this third bout.

“We’re already preparing for what Shinya plans to do, and knowing him, he plans to get the fight to the ground as early as possible. Now we’re working double-time to prevent a battle on the ground, and we’re also working on what to do just in case we’re there,” Folayang said.

“On our part, we’re looking for ways to strike Shinya when the match remains standing. As much as possible, if there’s an opening for the finish, make no mistake that we’re going for that.”

For Folayang, as long as he doesn’t become too emotional — and as long as he has learned from his second match against Aoki — he will have a good position to end this rivalry on top. It could even put him on course for one more run at a World Title.

ONE-A-New-Era-Shinya-Aoki-def-Eduard-Folayang-1 Folayang to use previous experience vs Aoki in trilogy bout Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

“Before that match, I already saw that he won via arm triangle against Ev Ting, but I became too confident that I can defend that,” he said. “I overlooked just how good Shinya is when he gets the opportunity. The moment he gets his hands locked together, you’re done. That’s one thing I truly overlooked.

“I also got too casual with my kicks, and that’s what Shinya capitalized on to get me to the ground. Against him, you don’t want to be on the mat. But that’s what happened and that’s what we want to avoid.”

Catch “ONE on TNT IV” on ONE Sports or ONE Sports+ at 8:30 a.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT) on Thursday, April 29.

Both ONE Sports and ONE Sports+ will have an encore showing at 8:30 p.m. PHT on Friday, April 30.

Also, there will be an encore showing on TV5 at 12 a.m. PHT on Sunday, May 2.

Read More From ONE Championship: 

#ReadMore  How Bernard Chong's passion led to BREN Esports
Written By

Tiebreaker Times Logo

You May Also Like

Mixed Martial Arts

Jeremy Pacatiw said that his signing is perfect timing as he is the latest Team Lakay upstart to join ONE Championship. “I know this...

Mixed Martial Arts

Another Team Lakay standout has chosen ONE Championship as his home. Jeremy Pacatiw has signed a multi-fight deal with the Home of Martial Arts....


Only two of the 16 global candidates remain — and in the finale of “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition”, the world will find out...

Mixed Martial Arts

Last man standing is Joshua “The Passion” Pacio as he remains the only Filipino champion in ONE Championship. But rather than be weighed down...

Mixed Martial Arts

Looking back, Jhanlo Sangiao could only smile after seeing how far he has come. “Nung nag-start pa lang ako, ako ‘yung laging nagta-tap, ako...

Mixed Martial Arts

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao might just be the proudest person in the world right now after his son, Jhanlo, signed with ONE...

Mixed Martial Arts

Mark Sangiao’s son is ready to step into the ONE circle. Eighteen-year-old Jhanlo Sangiao has signed with ONE Championship after an impressive stint in...

Mixed Martial Arts

Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly was just too tough for the highly-touted Ahmed “The Prince” Faress to crack in the latter’s debut. Kelly took on...