Folayang ready to defend title vs Malaysian foe

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All eyes will be on Eduard Folayang as he defends his ONE lightweight world championship belt against Malaysia’s Kiwi Ev “E.T.” Ting in ONE: Kings of Destiny tonight at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The former wushu sanshou gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games steps into the spotlight of ONE Championship in front of his countrymen.

“It’s my first time to be in the main event of ONE Championship’s card in the Philippines. I know that it’s a big responsibility but I am humbled and privileged to be in this position,” said the 33-year old Folayang.

Eduard Folayang (center) CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

This will be Folayang’s first title defense after stealing the belt from Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki in a sensational victory.

The Baguio City native said that he needs to bring his best game to be able to retain the title against the dangerous Ting, who previously fought in the featherweight division.

“I know the stakes. I know what’s riding on this fight. Ev Ting is coming for my belt. He’s coming to take what I’ve worked so hard for my entire career. There is no way I’m just going to let him take it,” added Folayang.

Folayang has a win-loss record of 17-5 while Ting has 13-3 card.

In the co-main event, another Team Lakay bet Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon takes on grappling specialist Toni “Dynamite” Tauru.

Known to be a fierce competitor, Belingon will use his variety of methods to finish off his opponent. He holds a 14-5 record while Tauru owns an 11-4 slate.

Meanwhile, unbeaten flyweight contender Danny Kingad tries to show why he is a true warrior from the mountains of the Cordilleras when he takes on Malaysia’s Muhammad Aiman.

Team Lakay lightweight veteran Honorio “The Rock” Banario tests his mettle against Jaroslav Jartim of Czech Republic as original opponent Rob Lisita has pulled out of the bout because of personal reasons.

In addition, top featherweight prospect Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Singapore faces Wan Jian Ping of China after Lee’s original opponent Keanu Subba suffered an injury during training camp.

Other Filipinos who will see action in the event are flyweight standout Eugene Toquero, Gina “Conviction” Iniong, half-Filipino Natalie Gonzales Hills, Robin Catalan and Jeremy Miado.

Toquero meets Indonesian prospect Stefer Rahardian while Iniong squares off with Filipino-British fighter Gonzales Hills. Catalan battles compatriot Miado.

The other featured bouts are Chan Rothana of Camboadia versus Xie Bin of China and Michelle Nicolini versus Russian Irina Mazepa.

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