There is no mixed martial artist who has inspired the people of the Philippines like Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.
Whether his back was against the wall or he was roared on by his passionate home fans in Manila’s Mall Of Asia Arena, the Team Lakay Superstar has found a way to create some of the most memorable moments in ONE Championship history.
When the former ONE Lightweight World Champion faces Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, it is a safe bet that you can expect more fireworks as two of the division’s greatest athletes from East and West go head-to-head.
Ahead of that battle next Friday, 2 August at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES, take a look back at Folayang’s best bouts.
#5 Folayang Vs. Aziz Pahrudinov – ONE: REIGN OF KINGS
True grit was on display by the man from Baguio City as he did everything in his power to fend off the relentless grappling attack of Aziz Pahrudinov and break him down over three rounds.
When “Landslide” was on his feet, he was untouchable, as he connected on a torrent of leg kicks that left the Russian limping by the second round. That opened up the door for him to unleash his trademark spinning strikes to cement victory by unanimous decision in the final five minutes.
#4 Folayang Vs. Pang – ONE: HEROES OF THE WORLD
Wushu striking at its finest as Folayang tagged his rival with his full arsenal of techniques over three relentless rounds to earn scorecards from all three judges in August 2016.
Adrian “The Hunter” Pang is notoriously one of The Home Of Martial Arts’ toughest competitors, and he never stopped coming forward, but he was dropped multiple times by the Filipino hero’s powerful blows.
#3 Folayng Vs. Ting – ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY
A true World Champion’s performance in front of his home crowd. “Landslide’s” first defense of his first World Title reign saw him control the action for five rounds against Ev “E.T.” Ting.
The Malaysian challenger was caught every time he came forward, and absorbed several barrages of knees in the clinch. When he went all-out for the finish in round five, Folayang was ready to take his best shots and return fire to seal a unanimous decision.
#2 Folayang Vs. Khan – ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS
Up against the most prolific knockout artist in ONE history with the chance to win the World Championship for the second time, you might have expected Team Lakay’s leading light to play it safe, but there was no chance of that.
Just a day after his 35th birthday last November, he met Amir Khan in the center of the cage and outclassed him in every aspect of mixed martial arts for 25 minutes.
The Singaporean was beaten to the punch, damaged by kicks, rocked by spinning elbows, and put down by powerful slams as the Manila crowd celebrated the return to the top of its favorite son.
#1 Folayang Vs. Aoki I – ONE: DEFENDING HONOR
Folayang was a fan-favorite before this iconic match-up in November 2016, but this win against an all-time great made him a legend.
Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki came in as the overwhelming favorite to defend the belt, and many predicted he would do so with a submission stoppage. However, “Landslide” grappling defense was honed to perfection as he resisted all of the Japanese athlete’s offense as he waited for the perfect opportunity to strike.
That moment came at the start of round three as he countered Aoki’s forward charge with a flying knee, turned him over, and then pounded away until the referee stepped in to signal the coronation of a new ONE Lightweight World Champion.
Manila | 2 August | 7PM | DAWN OF HEROES | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes19