Foremost Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Eduard “Landslide” Folayang successfully defended his lightweight world title by scoring a unanimous decision win against Malaysian-Kiwi challenger Ev “E.T.” Ting in ONE: Kings of Destiny at the Mall of Asia Arena late Friday night.
The 33-year old pride of Baguio City had a one-sided five-round affair with Ting to the relish of the hometown crowd.
“I’ve been very careful during the whole match because I know this is really big title defense for all of us. I really appreciate the fans that came here to witness the growth of martial arts and showcase how much we have prepared for a long time,” said Folayang in a postgame interview.
Folayang craftily controlled the distance unleashing punches and kicks at the right moment to counter Ting’s offensive.
Folayang, a former wushu sanshou gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games, said his countrymen inspired him to bounce back from a devastating loss to Timofey Nastyukhin by way of knock out in December 2014.
“This fight means a lot. A lot of you were discouraged the last time I was here, I slept on that mat. I rose up from my circumstances. It’s hard for me to rise up again but I did because I am martial artist, who needs to face and conquer and rise up from any circumstances,” added Folayang.
Folayang is now on a four-fight winning streak with a win-loss card of 18-5 while Ting’s dropped to 13-4.
The vanquished Ting had nothing but respect to the top Filipino fighter.
“The champion played the right game. He did everything possible and necessary to win the fight. Filipinos should be proud of the champion. My respect,” said Ting after the match.
It was a good night for Team Lakay with its other bets dominating the four other undercard matches.
Bantamweight Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon beat kickboxing sensation Toni “Dynamite” Tauru of Finland via verbal submission at 2:27 mark of Round 1.
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario stretched his winning streak to four after stopping Jaroslav Jartim by way of knockout with a solid left hook at 1:31 minute mark of Round 2.
Team Lakay top flyweight prospect Danny “The King” Kingad scored a unanimous decision victory against Malaysian opponent Muhammad Aiman.
Lakay’s female fighter Gina “Conviction” Iniong made her ONE Championship debut by beating half-Filipino Natalie “The Kilapino” Gonzales Hills via unanimous decision.
“Our athletes did their assignments that’s why they performed well and earn a 5-0 sweep,” said Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao.
On the other hand, Filipino striker Eugene Toquero suffered his third straight defeat after losing to Indonesian standout Stefer Rahardian via unanimous decision.
Another Filipino fighter, strawweight Robin Catalan emerged victorious against Jeremy Miado via split decision.
In the other matches, Singaporean Christian “The Warrior” Lee bested Chinese featherweight “The Werewolf” Wan Jian Ping via referee stoppage in Round 1.
Chinese bantamweight “The Stalker” Xie Bin defeated Cambodian Khun Khmer specialist Chan Rothana via D’Arce choke in Round 2 while 8-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Michelle Nicolini trounced formerly unbeaten Russian fighter Irina Mazepa via arm bar at the 2:11 mark of Round 1.