Folayang’s first foray as Lions Nation MMA a success

SO FAR SO GOOD. The Landslide Eduard Folayang was successful in his first foray in the biggest MMA stage as a Lion’s Nation by beating Amir Khan last Saturday in the ONE Fight Night 14 at the Singapore Indoor Arena. Here, Folayang during an interview last July. PML

Eduard Folayang carried the hope of the Lion’s Nation MMA and winning may just be a portent of the good things that will come the newly formed squad’s way.

This will be put to the acid test this Saturday when Joshua Pacio faces Mansur Malachiev at ONE Fight Night 15.

“I feel like this victory is truly a blessing from the Lord. People will always be looking for our mistakes, waiting for your failure. But having a victory like this, it only pushes us further, and now we’re looking forward to a great performance from Joshua (Pacio) next week,” Folayang was quoted in national papers as saying.

He added: “I’m happy that I was able to set the tone to inspire them to dream, believe, and have the confidence that we can do it.”

It was the prime reason Folayang was at his best last Saturday as he knew his whole team is under the eyes of many after splitting with long time ally Mark Sangiao and Team Lakay earlier this year.

And he did not leave things to the judges and scored the third round win over Amir Khan who he beat for the second time.

“If it went to the judges, I know it really will hang in a balance,” he said after winning at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“My mentality was, if it does go to the judges, there has to be something convincing that I did to get the nod, because after the first two rounds, I feel like we’re just even.”

With that in mind, Folayang came to the third round with the determination to end the match before the bell rings. So he became more aggressive and pushed Khan to the fence.

He rained more punches, not just a single blow which he has been doing in the previous two rounds, in his mind, the fight as even. He worked on his combination and floored Khan in the middle of the third round and followed it up with a ground and pound that forced the referee to stop the game.

“I noticed that when I was hitting him twice, he was only moving back once. Entering the third, I knew that I had to let go of more combinations, probably a four punch combo [that would] connect,” Folayang further said.

He added: “I felt like everything connected during that time, a one-two, then a third one, and then finally I got him good and got him down. The moment he hit the ground, I made sure to follow it up.”

It was the first victory of Lion’s Nation and was one of two during the team’s inaugural ONE fight with Jenelyn Olsim falling in her maiden fight.

Next week, Lion’s MMA hopes for the best for his fellow former ONE champion, Joshua Pacio, who lost his crown to Jared Brooks also in December 3 last year.

Even his former Team Lakay teammates beamed at Folayang’s success that ended a five MMA fight losing streak. Former ONE flyweight champion Geje Eustaquio posted on his Facebook wall ”Congratulations manong champ Eduard Landslide Folayang! Yahoo.” Pigeon Lobien



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