October 1, 2023

Two-time ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang wants to prove doubters he still has gas tank left, as he is ready to fight any of the top contenders in the division.
The 37-year-old Folayang is in the midst of a skid, but after a long and successful mixed martial arts career, he wants to continue evolving and learning so he can get back on the winning track.
“I’m not done shooting for my goals. Other people may see it differently, but as for me, it’s far from over. I’m just taking everything in to fuel me and motivate me to have a better outing in my next performance,” Folayang said.
“I’m on a tough losing streak, but I don’t think it should be the basis for me being a gatekeeper now, considering that we’ve won world titles before where I’ve had to go through the same adversity and rise up from it,” he added.
The Team Lakay superstar has been up against the leading talents in his division. In most cases, the competitive battles showed that just a few improvements could swing the judges in his favor.
But when he faced long-time rival Shinya Aoki in April, Folayang fell to the grappling wizard’s submission acumen. Instead of seeing this as a fatal flaw, Folayang viewed it as more impetus to learn so that he can get back on an upward trajectory.
With a full camp in the bag for Yoshihiro Akiyama already, the Filipino would like to see how his skills match up against the Korean-Japanese legend.
“If I was given the chance to face him, of course, I’d want to test him. I haven’t faced him before and I want to see how I fare against him,” Folayang said.
Still, Folayang’s goals are mostly oriented toward climbing back up the rankings to try and recapture the gold. The lightweight division is not short on talent, and he knows it won’t be an easy ascent, but that’s what keeps him grinding.
When Folayang sees a former young prodigy in Christian Lee with the belt around his waist, he is both inspired and excited because the Singaporean-American has shown how much progress can be made in a short amount of time.
No longer a rising star, Lee is the bona fide lightweight king, and he has added to his skill set with every outing. As one of the few remaining athletes from ONE’s early days, Folayang wants to prove that the old guard can still test the new generation – but also test himself. – ONE release