Representing Team Lakay of Baguio City, Philippines, Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang, 34, reigned as the champion of ONE Championship’s lightweight division from November 2016 to November 2017. After losing the title, he has earned one victory and he aims to earn more wins to reclaim the title.
According to Folayang, lightweight is one of the deepest divisions in ONE Championship and the division has many great fighters all wanting to get to the top. He said, “I have to keep winning so I can stay in the mix.”
Folayang went on a hiatus after losing the ONE Lightweight World Champion belt to Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam. The Baguio City native returned to the cage on May 18, 2018 and broke the undefeated record of Kharun “Predator” Atlangeriev, 25, of Dagestan, Russia.
On July 27, 2018, Folayang will face yet another undefeated Russian opponent. With a professional MMA record of 20 wins and 0 loss, Dagestani fighter Aziz Pahrudinov, 29, will face the Team Lakay fighter in the lightweight division at “ONE: Reign of Kings” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
“Every victory brings me closer to the title again,” Folayang shared. “This time is no different. I will defeat Aziz Pahrudinov and make my way back to the top.”
While reigning as the ONE Lightweight World Champion, Nguyen is also the reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion. In the main event of “ONE: Reign of Kings,” he will compete for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship against Folayang’s Team Lakay teammate Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon.
“The ONE lightweight division is incredibly deep and with lots of talent,” Folayang noted. “Getting to the top is very hard, but once you are there, it’s a great feeling. I am determined to get back to the top.”
It seems like ONE Championship is not making it easy for Folayang to get to the top again by giving him undefeated opponents. But the Team Lakay fighter is unfazed.
“I can face every opponent whether they are undefeated or not,” Folayang said. “I am willing to go in there and go to work. I am working very hard on improving all aspects of my game with my teammates at Team Lakay.”
Here are Folayang and Pahrudinov at the “ONE: Reign of Kings” press conference: