Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang is very motivated to defend his title in front of his compatriots a year after he captured the ONE world lightweight belt.
The Team Lakay standout is set to defend his belt in a cross-divisional showdown against newly crowned ONE featherweight world champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen in ONE: Legends of the World on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“My victory last year in Singapore served as a motivation for me because I think of myself then as an underdog. Almost 90 percent of the MMA enthusiasts did not expect me to win. So, it as a motivation every time I enter the cage,” said the 33-year old Folayang during the news conference on Tuesday at the City of Dreams in Parañaque City.
The veteran fighter captured his ONE lightweight belt after a third-round technical knockout victory against Japanese legend Shinya Aoki last year.
After nearly a decade of competing, the Baguio native has accumulated an impressive 18-5 win-loss record and is riding the momentum of a four-bout winning streak.
It will be Folayang’s second title defense after stopping top challenger Ev Ting last April.
“It is always a joy to represent my country and now that I will be defending it in front of my fellow Filipinos, I vow to go all out on Friday,” added Folayang.
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Sydney, Australia, is known as a crafty finisher and among the most talented featherweight fighters in Asian MMA.
Nguyen stepped into the ONE Championship cage last August, scoring the biggest victory of his career when he stopped former undefeated featherweight champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov in Kuala Lumpur for the ONE Featherweight World Championship.
“There will be fireworks when both of us step inside the ONE cage. He has my respect but I am off to give the performance of a lifetime,” said Nguyen, who owns a 9-1 slate.
In other match-ups, Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes will face Filipino Danny “The King” Kingad in the flyweight division while Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon takes another tough foe in Kevin Chung of South Korea.