Eduard “Landslide” Folayang knows how important the next bout of his ONE Championship career is.
The former ONE Lightweight World Champion battles Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX on 30 October at the Singapore Indoor Stadium – and the Filipino must win.
“I can say the results of these next few fights are very important to us, as we haven’t gotten the results we wanted recently. So now, we are really aiming for the best results possible,” Folayang said.
“We are completely focused on doing whatever it takes to claim victory right now. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re ready to give it our best. We want to go in there with confidence.”
Folayang definitely needs the confidence. He dropped back-to-back matches against the biggest names of the division in Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki and Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez in 2019.
He did end last year the right way, beating Amarsanaa “Spear” Tsogookhuu, but that was before losing to the third-ranked Pieter “The Archangel” Buist at the start of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic then delayed the Team Lakay star’s comeback plans as the sporting world stopped for months—but now given the greenlight to compete again, “Landslide” promises to deliver.
“I’m so excited to be back in action again, especially since I’ve had to wait so long in lockdown. We’ve been eagerly anticipating when we will be able to return to competition, and I’m glad that moment has finally arrived. We’re absolutely pumped and training very hard right now to put on a good show,” Folayang said.
“The past few months have been very difficult for all of us. Everyone in the world has been affected by COVID-19, especially here in the Philippines. It posed a few challenges for our training early on as we had to stay at home and practice social distancing. Even in isolation, the work never stopped, and we used our time to sharpen our tools and skills.”
Against Caruso, Folayang takes on a no-nonsense athlete who is known for his work rate and seemingly limitless cardio.
And like Folayang, the 29-year-old from Adelaide also has a solid team to prepare him for this match as he trains at Sanford MMA Gym under the legendary Henri Hooft and with ONE World Champions Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang and Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.
With that in mind, Folayang cannot take Caruso lightly.
“Antonio Caruso is a strong fighter. I’ve seen his previous fights. I don’t think he’s a guy you can really take lightly,” Folayang said.
“Of course, I’m doing everything I can to prepare for his style. As usual, it’s going to be about dictating the pace and making him fight my fight. You can’t underestimate anyone in this game, so I’m not about to start with him.”
Though side-lined over the last nine months, Folayang has kept in shape despite the uncertainty that the pandemic presented.
With that said, one thing’s for certain —he will enter the ONE Circle more than ready.
“I’ve been training for a very long time now, even if I didn’t know who my opponent was going to be. I just wanted to get myself ready physically, and I just feel so strong right now. Mentally, I’m focused, and getting right to where I need to be,” he said.
ONE Championship returns to action with four World Title matches at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX on October 30 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Catch all the action by downloading the ONE Super App for free.
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