■ Harley F. Palangchao
Two-time ONE lightweight world champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang has silenced his critics and doubters when he knocked out Amir Khan in the undercard of ONE Fight Night 14 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sept. 30.
Folayang, 39, caught the much younger and taller Khan, 28, with a left hook that sent the Singaporean fighter to the canvas before the Filipino fighter unleashed two more punches on the ground.
Referee Herb Dean came to Khan’s rescue by stopping the fight at 1:57 of the third round.
Folayang was fighting back tears as he raised his hands to acknowledge the cheering crowd, as he also ended his five-fight losing streak that started in January 2020.
It took time before Folayang could get his range, as Khan has been effective in eluding most of his signature leg kicks.
While the crowd was expecting Folayang to display his improved ground game, the Filipino fighter has opted to engage the Singaporean in a stand-up, fighting from the opening to the third canto.
Khan, on the other hand, has connected some razor-sharp jabs that disrupted Folayang from getting into close range, especially when the latter was obviously rocked by a head butt at the closing moments of second round.
The Filipino fighter expressed his gratitude to the fans for their continued support and to the ONE Championship family for believing in him since he graced the main event of the promotional fight of Asia’s biggest martial arts promotion in September 2011.
Many MMA fans claimed that Folayang deserves to be awarded the performance bonus, which is usually given by ONE top honcho Chatri Sityod-tong to fighters who display exceptional performance inside the circle.
With the win, Folayang improved his record to 23 wins against 13 losses while Khan dropped to 14 wins and 10 losses.