Amir Khan Vows To Knock Out Eduard Folayang In ‘Very Important’ Return At ONE Fight Night 14
The rematch is set for ONE Fight Night 14: Stamp vs. Ham on Prime Video on Friday, September 29, and Khan is hoping to get revenge after losing their ONE Lightweight MMA World Title clash back in November 2018.
Although there’s no gold on the line this time, the second encounter at Singapore Indoor Stadium will mean just as much to Khan, who aims to showcase his development against the division’s former king.
The Evolve MMA representative spoke to onefc.com ahead of his return in U.S. primetime:
“I will treat this match the same as how I would approach a World Title match. I know he’s been on a skid, but he’s still a legend of the sport.
“I feel that this win is very important for my career. So I’m really focused and doing everything that I can to make sure that I get the W.”
A lot has changed since Folayang began his second World Title stint with the decision win over Khan at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS. The 39-year-old Filipino lost the gold in a rematch with Shinya Aoki, and he’s struggled to find his form ever since.
For his part, Khan has interchanged wins and losses over the past several years. But at just 28, the Singaporean feels like he has plenty of time to find his stride again – time that his older rival might not have.
He said of Folayang’s newfound confidence:
“From what I see in his interviews, it’s like this is a given for him [to win this rematch], like he already beat me once, so it’s easy to just get a win again and restart his career. But if he takes this fight in this manner and not in a serious manner, then I feel like things will not go his way.
“Mentally and from a strategic point of view, he might be better because as you get more experience, you get to improve your skill set, but if you talk about physical attributes, definitely he’s past his prime.”
Amir Khan: ‘I Want To Showcase My Ground Dominance’
Amir Khan burst onto the scene with a devastating striking game that led to eight knockouts in his first 11 victories – eventually earning him a shot at ONE gold against Eduard Folayang.
While there have been glimpses of his grappling skills inside the Circle, the Evolve MMA star thinks that area has improved the most in his recent years of training.
And now that he’s elevated his all-around MMA arsenal behind closed doors, Khan wants to display it in front of a home crowd in Singapore later this month.
“I think I’ve developed a more well-rounded understanding of the game, and how to utilize my tools really well. I’ve always trained with the [BJJ] black belts at Evolve, and I feel like I have a good grappling game, but I didn’t have the confidence to do it in the cage.
“[Using my striking] is always the first choice. But now I want to showcase my ground dominance and grappling control, being able to willingly control an opponent.”
Moreso than anything else, Khan is looking to show that he’s still a feared competitor who can put the fans on the edge of their seats.
To do this, a victory over Folayang isn’t enough – he needs to do it in style.
“At this point, I have to prove that I can get back to my finishing ways. I have to prove to myself that I belong at a really high level, and I want to show my dominance. That’s what’s important.
“I’ve been neither here nor there – win, lose, win, lose – not really being able to show to the fans, my family, and the people around me that I’m dominant in my expertise.
“I feel I will get a finish by the second round. I feel he will slow down by then. It will either be on our feet or if it’s on the floor, it will be coming mostly from my elbows with the ground-and-pound.”