February 3, 2023

Former two-time champion Eduard Folayang has accepted the challenge to share the ONE circle with reigning ONE lightweight world champion Christian Lee of Singapore.
The younger Lee said a battle with Folayang will definitely excite mixed martial arts fans worldwide, as both fighters can definitely put on a great show for the fans.
“I would love to share the ONE circle with Eduard Folayang. I have a lot of respect for all that he has accomplished in his career,” said the 22-year-old Lee.
Lee has captured the ONE lightweight world belt following a technical knockout of former champion Shinya Aoki in May 2019. He also won the ONE lightweight world Grand Prix belt against former top contender Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev via unanimous decision in October of the same year.
The Singaporean-American is now focused on retaining his belt and building his legacy in ONE Championship, and beating a modern-day legend like Folayang would certainly help his cause.
While Folayang wanted a rematch with title contender Eddie Alvarez, who defeated him via rear-naked choke last year, the Igorot fighter said facing Lee would be a tough challenge for him.
“It’s going to be a challenging match if I face Christian Lee. I know I am still far from a world title match, but in the future, I am looking forward to facing him,” Folayang said.
After many years of being in the top five lightweight fighters in the ONE athletes’ ranking, Folayang, along with former ONE flyweight world champion Geje Eustaquio, was not included in the top five fighters in their respective weight classes this year.
While Folayang is out of the list, the 35-year-old fighter remains a dangerous competitor and is always one spinning kick away from earning another opportunity at the title.
This is something Lee understands, which is why he has a tremendous amount of respect for the Baguio City native’s accomplishments and skill set.
“Eduard is a very good striker and is now rounding out his wrestling and jiu-jitsu,” Lee said.
“However, I feel that his main strengths are his heart and his killer instinct. He’s the two-time former ONE lightweight world champion, so he doesn’t have many weaknesses. I think he’s a great fighter,” Lee added.
Folayang has reciprocated by saying Lee has improved a lot in his all-around game and has defeated some of the toughest fighters in the featherweight and lightweight divisions.
“I was very impressed with his improvement. I saw his growth as an athlete. It’s a big challenge for me if we face each other. I want to face him, and I hope he remains the champ by then,” Folayang said. – Harley F. Palangchao