Former two-time ONE lightweight world champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang wants a better result when he finally makes his way back to the ONE circle in Singapore on Oct. 30.
The 35-year-old mixed martial arts veteran is set to see action against rising lightweight star Antonio Caruso of Australia in a three-round contest at ONE: Inside the Matrix in a venue which has yet to be officially announced by ONE.
Folayang said he and his brothers at the famed Team Lakay have wisely spent their time in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic by continuing to hone their skills to stay ready for any opportunity to compete again.
“I’m so excited to be back in action, especially since we have to wait for so long in lockdown. We’ve been eagerly anticipating to return to competition, and I am glad that moment has finally arrived. We’re absolutely pumped and training hard right now to put on a good show,” Folayang said.
“The past few months have been difficult for all of us. Everyone in the world has been affected by the Covid-19, especially here in the Philippines. It posed a few challenges for our training early on as we had to stay at home and practice social distancing,” he added.
Folayang has struggled in 2019, going a dismal 1-2 record. He started off by surrendering his ONE lightweight world title to Japanese rival Shinya Aoki at ONE’s first show in Tokyo, and then succumbing to former UFC Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez shortly after at home in Manila.
Although Folayang came back with an impressive decision victory over Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu later on in the year, “Landslide” suffered another setback January this year, dropping a close split decision to third-ranked lightweight Pieter Buist.
Needless to say, Folayang believed his next performance is crucial to his career moving forward, and that he’s working on putting himself in the best position to win.
Against Caruso, Folayang faces a former boxer and competitive grappling champion. Caruso honed his skills under legendary trainer Henri Hooft alongside top-level training partners, including ONE world champions Aung La N Sang and Martin Nguyen.
He currently brandishes a stellar 7-1 professional record to start his career, and looks to improve on that by taking down Folayang.
Conversely, the Filipino stalwart is wise to take the challenge Caruso poses seriously. – Harley F. Palangchao