March 31, 2023

The Chinese opponent of former ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang in the main event of ONE: Battleground 2 in Singapore is confident he will emerge victorious against the Filipino warrior.
The fight card is ongoing as of press time.
Prior to the bout, Folayang’s opponent, Zhang Lipeng, said he is ready to put the ONE Championship lightweight roster on notice.
“This debut fight is critical for me because we Chinese like to get off to a flying start,” Zhang said.
“If I beat the former world champion Folayang in my debut at ONE Championship, it will be my declaration to all the other lightweights that Chinese fighter Zhang Lipeng is coming,” he added.
Zhang sports a professional record of 30 wins, 11 losses, and two draws and has lost twice in his last 24 fights.
Along the way, the GP Mixed Martial Arts representative has emerged as one of the leading talents from his home nation.
But Zhang’s first test in ONE will come against an icon of the promotion.
Folayang has competed in ONE’s first ever event, enjoyed two reigns as the lightweight titleholder, and has been a stalwart in the division for almost a decade.
The 37-year-old wushu specialist has also consistently gone up against elite opponents while becoming a hero for Filipino fans.
“I think Folayang is a fighter with excellent stand-up techniques. Because he used to practice wushu sanda, every punch and every kick he throws is hefty. To fight him, I have to be ready at all times,” Zhang said.
“Folayang’s stand-up skills are very good. I saw he knocked out many people when I watched his competitions. But he also has ground skills. After someone took him down, he could get up very fast. He also did an outstanding job on some of the ground control movements.”
But while Zhang believed his foe is well-rounded, he also thinks the weakest link in the chain is the Filipino’s grappling.
It’s an element the Chinese athlete has emphasized while preparing to face the Team Lakay star.
“I think Folayang’s weakness is his ground skill, such as his Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which is not so outstanding compared to his other skills,” Zhang said. – Harley F. Palangchao