June 21, 2024

Former two-time ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang will be back in action inside the circle on April 28 against a veteran Japanese fighter.
ONE has announced the 37-year-old Folayang has been matched against Yoshihiro Akiyama of Japan, who is a mixed martial artist and judoka who won the gold medal at the 2001 Asian Championships for South Korea and for Japan at the 2002 Asian Games.
A fourth-generation Japanese of Korean descent, the 45-year-old Akiyama has acquired Japanese nationality in 2001.
Between the two fighters, Folayang is more hungry for a crucial win to make his presence felt in the deep lightweight division after he suffered back-to-back defeats last year.
Folayang was defeated by Pieter Buist via decision in January and by Antonio Caruso during their match in October last year.
Folayang, who has 22 wins against 10 losses, has to step up his training, as Akiyama has a height and reach advantage and also a natural welterweight, which means he is heavier than Folayang.
Akiyama has 15 wins against seven losses and has made seven appearances in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the worldwide leader in MMA promotion.
The Japanese fighter is originally set to fight Mohammad Karaki at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on April 21 but the match was cancelled for still unknown reasons.
Akiyama made his ONE debut in June 2019 losing to Agilan Thani via decision then bounced back with a unanimous decision victory against Sherif Mohamed in February 2020.
The match bet-ween Folayang and Akiyama will be aired on U.S. primetime television. – Harley F. Palangchao