The card that hasn’t been named yet is beginning to take shape with the announcement of lighweight champion Eduard Folayang’s first title defense on April 21. Ben Askren will also defend his welterweight belt here in Manila.
On the night of November 11, 2016 Eduard Folayang ended Shinya Aoki’s ONE lightweight championship reign. Aoki, who won the belt following his victory over Kotetsu Boku in 2013, lost in his third title defense in Singapore against our very own Eduard Folayang.
MMA has been a real journey for Eduard Folayang like no other. From competing and doing enough to earn a shot at the title to taking the championship belt. This just goes to show that working hard and pursuing what you love helps you reach your goals. I said it before and always will that no one deserves it more than this guy. Without God and support from Team Lakay and fans, none of these are possible.
Eduard Folayang does look like he is enjoying being the champion. He is taking the love and respect pretty much from his countrymen. He is still center stage not only lifting his gold belt but recognitions for sports contribution. The champion stays busy also on motivational speaking and studio appearances for TV and radio shows. The Igorot warrior keeps on inspiring the Filipinos by his humbleness, being down to earth, approachable and his warm treatment to all despite being a ONE lightweight king.
We will see a better version of “Landslide”. He has been training non-stop and in great shape at the same time. The ONE Championship Fighter of the Year is ready to fight!
Let’s write another page of history,
Photos were posted by Eduard Folayang
on his Facebook page
With a first title defense for Folayang but the challenger still to be officially announced, expect to be waiting some time until we hear the fight card. Until then, who do you think “The Landslide” should face?
Here are the two challengers who we heard could take on the The Igorot warrior for April 21:
Kamal Shalorus, who has been inactive in the past two years, is targeting a rematch against the Champion. A submission loss to Shinya Aoki in 2014 was his last fight.
Shalorus and Folayang first fought in 2013. Shalorus earned a unanimous decision victory in that battle and Folayang rebounded by winning five of his last six fights- including the one over Shinya Aoki in November- to capture the lightweight crown.
It has been a grind for Ev Ting. The tremendous amount of hard work he put into gets him so close to have a shot at the title. “E.T.” has won three straight by complete domination. He is ready to put up one of his best performances on Feb 10 to cement the number ONE contender spot. Ev Ting and Jamal Shalorus to headline ONE: Throne of Tigers in Kuala Lumpur.
ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang is ready to continue dominating in his division and bringing a world title fight to Manila. Stay tuned for further updates regarding the event. What fights would you like to see added to the ONE Championship Manila card?