Newly-minted ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang predicts that a tough test awaits compatriot Jomary Torres when she takes on Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi of Japan on Friday, 7 December.
“The Zamboanginian Fighter” is slated to square off with the former ONE World Title challenger at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS, which takes place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Torres is most remembered for her exciting finishes of the division’s biggest names such as Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige and Folayang’s teammate April Osenio.
However, she suffered the first defeat of her young professional career when she met Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES in Jakarta, Indonesia last September.
Expectations were high for Torres, given her past performances, but the Filipina was outplayed at every turn by Gaol, yielding to the Indonesian hometown hero by unanimous decision.
Folayang believes that Torres has the advantage in power against Yamaguchi, but when it comes to skill and technique, the celebrated Filipino superstar gives his nod to the Japanese veteran.
“Jomary Torres is very strong physically, but lacks the technical skills. Yamaguchi has the advantage when it comes to skills. Yamaguchi has fought high-level fighters such as Angela Lee. She can also negate the power of her opponents,” he assessed.
“Power goes to Torres, but skill set goes to Yamaguchi. In Torres’ bout against Lumban Gaol, she was pacified in striking and on the ground. Torres has to improve her overall game if she wants to win this fight.”
Folayang stressed that he is certainly rooting for Torres to win in the bout, but he knows that it will not be a walk in the park for the Filipina breakout star since Yamaguchi is a battle-tested martial artist.
“Skill-wise, ground and striking, I think Yamaguchi has the advantage. Mei has an overwhelming advantage on the ground. Her level in grappling is very high,” he said.
“I think she can even get a submission if she wants to. If Torres can overpower Mei, then she could win this bout. We’ll see what happens.”
He suggested that a stoppage win in favor of Yamaguchi is not far from reality, explaining that the difference in experience will play a pivotal role in the upcoming three-round atomweight showdown.
“Mei can get that knockout, and that’s possible. We want Torres to win, but she’s truly the underdog in this bout,” Folayang stated. “Mei is far ahead when it comes to experience. Torres, on the other hand, has youth on her side.”
While Folayang concedes that Torres is the underdog in the cage encounter against Yamaguchi, he warned the Japanese athlete that she cannot afford to commit mistakes in the match on Friday.
“Yamaguchi can win using her skills, but she cannot afford to make a mistake against someone like Torres,” he cautioned. “She is very dangerous, and if she sees a finish, I know she will not think twice to get it.”