Ali Heydarabadi, the Iranian wrestling coach commissioned to train Team Lakay wushu fighters Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang and former One FC featherweight champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario commended his wards for their huge improvements.
“Wrestling is very important in MMA [mixed martial arts]because it’s the basic foundation to become the best fighter around. The rest of Team Lakay fighters like Folayang and Banario are all fast learners. It’s not hard to teach them,” Heydarabadi, 44, a European wrestling champion and an Olympian told FIGHT Times in an interview.
Armed with new grappling skills, Heydarabadi believes that Folayang and Banario will never be the same again when they battle their respective opponents on December 6 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Banario will have his rematch against Japanese Koji Oishi for the featherweight crown. Oishi scored a second round technical knockout against Banario in May to snatch the title.
Folayang, who will battle a still unnamed foe, was beaten by Iranian wrestler Kamal Shalorus via unanimous decision also in May.
“I felt so heavy during the fight although I knew that I have the power to beat him, but he overpowered me,” said Folayang. “I’m confident that after training with our Iranian wrestling coach, I will be in a good direction comes fight night.”
“So far, Filipino fighters particularly in Team Lakay have a great stamina and endurance. All they need is to improve their wrestling skills. So far, I’m satisfied that everyday they are all improving and learning different techniques,” added Heydarabadi.