June 24, 2024

They know better.
People close to former two-time ONE Championship lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang are the first to fend off retirement talks after the Filipino mixed martial arts fighter’s defeat at ONE: Battleground 2 in Singapore on Aug. 13.
Instead of joining the clamor of some quarters for Folayang to consider hanging up his gloves, fellow Team Lakay fighters claimed there are more fights ahead of the 37-year-old fighter, who is undisputedly the face of MMA in the Philippines.
“People will talk. They will talk unhealthy but we ran a good fight. Eduard Folayang will still and always be Eduard, the face of Philippine MMA, the legend, and the warrior with a withstanding spirit and a cosmic faith,” said Team Lakay Chair Mark Sangiao.
“We keep our chin up, we bow our heads, say our deep gratitude, and place everything up high,” Sangiao added.
Loyal fans also claimed that Folayang remains in good shape and he will continue to represent the country in the international stage, as they noted there are older fighters than him, who are still active in various MMA promotions such as ONE.
Inspired by the support he is getting from fans here and overseas, Folayang said he will train harder for future fights and not consider retiring yet, even if some people see it differently.
“The best thing I can do is to focus and set a positive mindset for myself, that whatever happens, it won’t define me – never give up, just keep floating and get closer to where you really want to be,” said Folayang in a post-fight social media post.
Once the most dominant fighter in the lightweight division, if not in the entire ONE Championship, Folayang suffered four back-to-back losses following the unanimous decision win by Lipeng Zhang on Aug. 13.
“This is not the performance that I wanted to show. It’s really tough,” Folayang said after the fight with Zhang.
But Folayang made it clear to MMA fans and followers he is not done yet.
“It’s been a decade, and yet, I’m still here,” he said, anticipating the renewed call for him to retire.
“I know it’s not yet over. There is still a lot left to be showcased,” said Folayang, who has been into professional MMA since 2007. – Harley F. Palangchao