September 29, 2023

Former two-time ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang is seeking an immediate rematch with Edson Marques of Brazil following his controversial technical knockout loss due to an early stoppage at ONE 164 at the Mall of Asia Arena on Dec. 3.

Referee Olivier Coste immediately stopped the fight when Folayang hit the canvas head first after he was hit by Marques midway through the second round. The Filipino stood quickly and was ready to engage anew, but not fast enough to stop the referee from calling the fight over.

The referee’s call has left the crowd and Team Lakay corner dumbfounded.

It was the biggest victory for Marques in his mixed martial arts career, as he was even awarded the $50,000 performance bonus that night.

The fight started with both men exchanging leg kicks and jab crosses, but with each fighter coming from a striking background, most of the early exchanges were stuck in a gridlock.

Recognizing that Folayang began to blend his trademark kicks with heavy artillery upstairs.

The Brazilian, on the other hand, was forced to play a counterattack and peppered the Team Lakay star with jabs, straight rights, and head kicks.

The Filipino le-gend’s output grew as the match progressed, and that made it hard for Marques to land something significant at the beginning of the second round. Folayang connected with four-punch combinations, spinning backfists, and teeps, one of which even pushed Marques onto the circle wall.

Midway through the second round, the Brazilian clipped Folayang with a short right hook. Folayang instantly dropped to the canvas, forcing the referee to wave off the contest at the 2:53 mark of the se-cond round. – Harley F. Palangchao