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Mixed Martial Arts

Pioneer Eduard Folayang embraces undercard role with grace

Prizefighters often find themselves navigating the highs and lows of their careers, and Eduard Folayang is no exception.

As he prepares for his upcoming rematch against Amir Khan at ONE Fight Night 14 on Saturday, September 30, Folayang shares his perspective on his placement on the card and what it means to him.

The Filipino superstar would be part of the event’s supporting cast, a position that some might view as a demotion for a mixed martial artist of his caliber.

“Landslide” has commanded admiration since his captivating debut on the world stage in September 2011 as the main attraction of the promotion’s inaugural show. There, he went head-to-head with A-Sol Kwon and emerged victorious by unanimous decision.

That defining moment marked the beginning of a remarkable odyssey.

Over the past 12 years, Folayang has become a mainstay in ONE Championship, making 23 more appearances under the organization’s banner.

During his tenure, he has achieved the pinnacle of success, winning the coveted ONE lightweight title twice.

As the lone pioneer on the roster, Folayang doesn’t lament his shift to the undercard.ONE-Inside-the-Matrix-Eduard-Folayang Pioneer Eduard Folayang embraces undercard role with grace Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

“I can’t call it a demotion. I’ve learned a lot in 12 years, and I’ve also done a lot in 12 years. Being on the undercard now doesn’t define me; I’m not looking at it as I’m less of a fighter now,” he told Tiebreaker Times.

The 39-year-old Baguio City native recognizes that staying relevant in such a fiercely competitive sport for over a decade is an achievement in itself.

“What’s important to me is my longevity. Throughout the years, we’ve been able to show what we can do, and we’re still here and we can still put on great fights,” he said.

“That’s the challenge for me. I want to prove that I can still go after 12 years.”

As he returns to the Singapore Indoor Stadium, a venue that has played host to some of his memorable bouts, it comes with a unique set of pressure and expectations.

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Folayang understands the weight of representing a new team in Lions Nation MMA and the desire to bounce back from a streak of losses.

However, true to his resilient nature, he is ready to face the challenge head-on.

“I always take it as a positive thing. We all know that as the years go by, we learn, and sometimes we make mistakes. But the important thing is that we don’t stop and we keep pushing forward,” Folayang stated.

“Now, it’s all about adding excitement to the card in whatever way I can.”

Written By

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times,,, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.

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