Despite being past his prime, former ONE Championship lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang is expected to draw thousands of fans when the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in Asia returns to Manila on Dec. 3.
ONE announced earlier that Folayang has been added in the stacked ONE Fight Night 5 card set at the Mall of Asia Arena, with Edson Marques from Brazil challenging the Filipino MMA legend.
Fans around the world will be tuned in online, as the whole fight card will be livestreamed and aired through Amazon Prime Video.
“Of course, I’m happy. I feel honored being put on the forefront of a card that will air live in U.S. prime time through Prime Video, being one of the few Filipinos in that card,” said the 38-year-old Folayang.
“It’s such a huge motivating factor for me because our trajectory is heading west, and I’d love to entertain our fans over there and make new ones.”
Folayang, who has 22 wins and 12 losses, has long been one of the pillars of the promotion, as he headlined the very first show of ONE in September 2011. Since then, he’s won the ONE lightweight world title three times, establishing himself as the face of local MMA in the process.
Since he joined professional MMA 11 years ago, Folayang remains one of the most recognizable figures in the sport both in the country and outside of it, so it’s no surprise to see him be included in the Amazon card.
Leading the cast of Filipino fighters on Dec. 3 is reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio who is defending his belt against American Jarred Brooks.
Jenelyn Olsim will face Chinese star Meng Bo while Jeremy Pacatiw will take on Myanmar’s Tial Thang in the lead card of the event.
Former two-time ONE flyweight world champion Geje Eustaquio will try to get his third straight win when he squares up against China’s Hu Yong.
Jhanlo Mark Sangiao, son of famed Team Lakay chairman Mark, has been added to the fight card and will face the undefeated prospect Matias Farnelli of Argentina, who has four wins. – Harley F. Palangchao