SINGAPORE – Eduard Folayang will have his first step on his quest of claiming back his lightweight throne when he faces undefeated Russian prospect Kharun Atlangeriev on the undercard of ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this coming May 18.
This will be Folayang’s first fight after losing his title six months ago in the main event of ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD to current two-division World Champion Martin Nguyen.
Folayang, who holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 18-6 admits, that his heartbreaking setback on the hands of Nguyen tested his mental toughness and helped him to evaluate more the flaws of his game that he needs to work on.
Despite his eagerness to bounce back quickly from his loss to Nguyen, Folayang believes that giving himself more time to reassess with the help of his team, was a better option as they’re trying to maximize anything that they can learn from his previous fight.
“It was a tough loss, but seeing that there still a lot of people who believes in me after that loss, is one of my motivations to continue and to succeed more in this sport,” he shared.
“I miscalculated the use of my strengths inside the cage, which cost me my title, and thats one of the things that we have worked on for the past six months. Execution,” the former champion revealed.
“We also focused working on our ground game, by visiting gyms outside Baguio that will help me and my teammates at team Lakay to learn and improve more,” Folayang added.
the 34-year-old Baguio City native also believes that he is now 100% prepared both mentally and physically, and he can’t wait to showcase the things they trained for months inside the gym on Friday night.
Originally schedulled to fight at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in front of his hometown fans last month, the ONE Championship matchmakers decided to move Folayang’s much-awaited comeback a month more, in one of the undercards of ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS in Singapore this Friday night, which the Filipino former champion sees as a blessing in disguise.
“I have a lot of good memories here in Singapore, the country has been very good to me. I won majority of my fights here and displayed good performances,” Folayang said. “Here is also where I won the title,” he added.
Folayang admits that climbing back to the top of the stacked ONE Lightweight division won’t be easy, but he is very optimistic that solid performances in all of his upcoming fights is the key on getting another crack to the title.
Trying to block the road to redemption of the former ONE Lightweight champion is the undefeated Russian prospect Kharun Atlangeriev.
The 25-year-old native of Dagestan, Russia who is set to make his promotional debut under the ONE Championship banner on Friday holds an immaculate record of 11-0 with ten of his 11 wins didn’t reach the final bell.
“He loves to bring the fight to the ground, and pound just what most of the Russians nowadays loves to do,and we have prepared for it,” Folayang stated. “I know he’s a hungry to showcase his talent especially that this is his debut with ONE, but I’m hungrier to put that belt again around my waist. I’ll do what ever it takes. I’m 100% ready,” the former ONE Lightweight champion concluded.