February 3, 2023

Former two-time ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang dispelled rumors of retirement regardless of the result of his fight against Antonio Caruso of Australia in Singapore.

The 36-year-old Folayang and 29-year-old Caruso were fighting in the undercard of ONE: Inside the Matrix as of press time Friday.

Earlier, supposed veteran sports journalists have suggested that Folayang should consider hanging up his gloves if the former champion suffers defeat in the hands of an unranked lightweight contender in Caruso.

But Folayang has responded to talks of retirement with a display of confidence, and is coming into his next bout with positivity. The Filipino icon also wanted to show fans how much he’s gotten better, even at his age.

“I know there are a lot of people who think I should retire, especially if I lose this fight against Caruso. That’s understandable. But the word retirement is not yet in my vocabulary. I believe there is still a lot of potential to be unleashed,” Folayang said.

“I am a true martial artist, and I’m constantly learning even at this age. We have a saying in Team Lakay, ‘you win or you learn.’ This means I am constantly getting better with every fight,” Folayang added.

Folayang, meanwhile, is content at how ONE Championship has been able to implement strict health and safety protocols to make fighters and crew safe from the Covid-19 virus.

“There are a lot of rules that need to be followed and everything is strictly controlled. But that’s a good thing. ONE Championship has really done an amazing job working with the Singapore government, and everything has been great so far,” Folayang said.

“There are a lot of documents required, constant swab testing, personal detail and escort going to and from the hotel, temperature checks at every juncture, and of course, room quarantine. We’re still able to train, move around and do our thing, but what happens is we’re isolated with only a certain group of people. This limits our exposure,” he added. – Harley F. Palangchao