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Tiebreaker Times

Mixed Martial Arts

Folayang retains the crown

In front a sold-out SM Mall of Asia Arena, ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang gave his crowd a show. Displaying an array of strikes from all angles, the Landslide was able to succeed in his first title defense as he outpointed Malaysian young gun Ev Ting on Friday night.

“We delivered a good show and that’s what we have done. It feels good to still be the king of this division,” the lightweight kingpin said after the grueling fight.

The win was Folayang’s fourth straight victory; the fighter suffered his last loss back in 2014 — to Timofey Nastyukhin, at the very same venue.

“It means a lot. I know a lot of you guys were discouraged the last time I was here. I slept on the mat and I needed to rise up. I had a chip on my shoulder when I went here,” Folayang reflected.

Wanting to show his challenger that this was his turf, the proud son of Baguio city imposed his pace on his opponent by connecting on crisp combinations and countering the New Zealand-born fighter’s strikes. Ting gladly exchanged for the duration of the opening salvo.

Knowing that Folayang had the advantage on the stand-up, Ting went for the clinch whenever it was possible in the middle rounds. However, a wild exchange to open the third round made him a mouse under the champion’s right eye.

Wanting to finish the fight, the 33-year-old Wushu practitioner turned up the aggression in the fourth round. He was able to secure a takedown before finishing the round with a roundhouse kick.

Folayang then showed poise in the final round, exchanging with Ting when needed and countering his challenger if an opening was seen.

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At the end of it all, even if a finish did not come by, Folayang’s performance proved to be an entertaining one.

The Team Lakay standout now sports an 18-5 slate, while Ting drops to 13-4.

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