At 35-years of age, Filipino martial arts icon Eduard “Landslide” Folayang has shown absolutely no signs of slowing down whatsoever heading into the first defense of his second reign as ONE Lightweight World Champion.
The Team Lakay pioneer is scheduled to face rival Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in the main event of ONE: A NEW ERA, which takes place at the iconic Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 31 March.
Now on the 12th year of his illustrious career thus far, Folayang looks back at the experiences that has led him to this moment of his life, and how much he has martial arts to thank for.
“The greatest thing about being a martial artist is the discipline that it brings into your life,” Folayang said.
“It brings order and balance. It definitely gave me a good life. Everything I have now is because of martial arts. I owe my life to it. There is also a certain prestige associated with being a martial artist that you can’t deny, especially here in Asia where martial arts is honorable. This is why I strive to be the best and put it all out on the line whenever I’m in the cage.”
Now one of the most well-respected veterans in mixed martial arts, Folayang is in the prime of his career. As he lays it all out on the line this March, the Baguio City native explains what keeps him going.
Whereas before, success is what drove the Filipino competitor, today, it’s the people closest to him who he draws strength from.
“Knowing that I have a family waiting for me at home at the end of the day, however, I am careful in everything I do inside and outside the cage,” Folayang said.
“I don’t want them to worry about me, and at the same time, I also don’t want them to be disappointed with me.”
Needless to say, Folayang is willing to make all the necessary sacrifices to emerge victorious and keep his ONE Lightweight World Title on March 31st. Despite acknowledging the fact that the assignment is one of his most challenging ever, “Landslide” knows what’s at stake and is looking forward to returning home with the belt still wrapped firmly around his waist.
“Being a fighter, who has to train constantly and then go overseas a lot to compete, it’s a tough job,” Folayang concluded.
“I have to spend a lot of time away from my family. It’s part of the game. Before leaving the house, I always tell them to pray for me and the team. I tell them I love them, and then off I go.”