Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang has taken the necessary second step to reclaim the gold.
After toppling the unbeaten Russian juggernaut Kharun “Predator” Atlangeriev in May, the Filipino hero welcomed yet another undefeated Russian to ONE Championship on Friday, 27 July.
Just like in his last bout, the Team Lakay veteran ruined his adversary’s perfect record.
Folayang took apart Sambo World Champion Aziz Pahrudinov with laser-like precision to earn a unanimous decision victory at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS, which emanated from the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Opening up the first stanza, Folayang made his game plan known by throwing a plethora of outside leg kicks to Pahrudinov’s lead leg. As a result of the Filipino’s relentless leg kicks, his rival appeared hesitant to engage.
Looking to take matters to the ground, the Russian then circled “Landslide” until he found an opening to shoot for the single-leg takedown.
With Folayang’s back against the cage, Pahrudinov lifted the former lightweight titleholder over his head and put him on the canvas.
In the second round, Folayang once again came out aggressively and worked his Russian adversary’s base to no end.
Although Pahrudinov tried to take the contest to the mat again, the Filipino defended well, and he kept the bout upright.
On the feet, “Landslide” was untouchable, as he connected on a torrent of leg kicks that left the Russian limping by the end of the round.
As the bout wore on, Folayang became more comfortable unleashing his patented offense, which featured the spinning back-kicks and side-kicks he is famous for.
Sensing he was behind on the judges’ scorecards, Pahrudinov swung for the fences in the third and final round.
After shooting for the takedown with a single leg, he also drove Folayang to the canvas, and seemingly-looked to score some last-minute points in the hopes of swaying the judges’ favor.
“Landslide” proved to be much too powerful for the Russian stalwart, however, as he kicked off his rival, and made it back to his feet to close out the match.
Ultimately, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Folayang, which sent the crowd inside the Mall Of Asia Arena into a frenzy.
With the victory, the local hero takes another step closer to the lightweight throne. He earned his 20th professional victory, which put him on a two-bout win streak, and handed Pahrudinov the first loss of his career.