September 23, 2023

It has been a challenging year for two-time ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang, but the veteran and his Team Lakay stablemates ended it with a lot of promise.
The 36-year-old lost his belt to his old rival, Shinya Aoki, at ONE: A New Era in Tokyo, Japan in March 2019, and fell to Eddie Alvarez at ONE: Dawn of Heroes in Manila in August.
However, things eventually started to turn around for him.
Folayang defeated Mongolian hard-hitter Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu via technical decision at ONE: Masters of Fate also in Manila in November.
This year, the “Landslide” will try to build off that enormous momentum when he faces Pakistani grappler Ahmen Mujtabaat ONE: Fire & Fury, live from the Mall Of Asia Arena on Jan. 31.
As 2019 just ended, the Filipino icon reflects on his challenging year, talks about the exciting past few weeks he has experienced, and lists his personal and professional goals for the new year.
ONE Championship: 2019 has been an interesting year for you, Eduard. You had some tough bouts with two legends, but closed 2019 with a huge win. Are you happy with how the year turned out for you?
Eduard Folayang: We can’t change what happened already. Although I would have wanted to perform better than I did, I can’t discount the fact that my opponents were no walks in the park. I had lapses that led to unfavorable outcomes, but I’m still happy that my career is far from over.
I would have a lot of regrets if I was already retired, and I would no longer have the opportunity to improve on my lapses. I’m still thankful that I was able to close out the year well. Whatever happened in the past year becomes part of my reflection to prepare for the next fight I’ll be going into.
ONE: What are the most important things you learned from those lapses?
EF: I learned a lot. Calmness is one of them – as much as possible, to be calm even if you are overwhelmed.
Another thing is to be relentless and persistent in how I play to my strengths, and execute my game plan in a better way. These are the two most important things I learned in the past year. – ONE release