The former ONE Lightweight World Champion used his deadly wushu striking to outpoint Parr and score a unanimous decision win in the Australian’s explosive retirement bout at ONE X: Grand Finale on Saturday, 26 March.
It was a dream start for the 38-year-old Filipino, who was making his professional Muay Thai debut after his own storied career in MMA.
He tagged the 45-year-old with a left hand early and then followed up with various combinations of body punches, spinning attacks, and leg kicks.
Parr finally landed his first clean shot with a left straight, but Folayang ended the round with a variety of combinations and kicks.
The second frame opened with both men exchanging kicks before “Landslide” timed a counter left hook just as Parr was throwing a leg kick.
Nonetheless, “The Gunslinger” continued to attack the legs while the Filipino icon went headhunting with dizzying spinning attacks.
None of those landed cleanly, but an overhand right from Folayang scored the first knockdown of the night – going over the top as the Australian looked for a leg kick.
On the restart, “Landslide” stayed aggressive, rocking Parr with wushu side kicks and a straight right.
The Australian did connect with a clean straight right of his own, but the Team Lakay star surprised him with a spinning head kick that was barely blocked.
Parr, however, wouldn’t allow himself to go out without a fight. He started the third stanza aggressively with a Superman punch that set the tone, while Folayang was content to wait and counter.
Next, a huge flying knee from Parr midway through the round rocked Folayang, and for a moment, it looked like a fairy-tale ending was still possible. “The Gunslinger” swarmed the stunned Filipino, throwing wild hooks as he looked for a finish, but the Baguio City native was tough as nails.
Folayang managed to recover and connected with a straight right inside the final minute, while Parr – looking to pull out one last trick – went for an acrobatic kick that missed as time expired.
After three rounds, it was clear to the judges that Folayang deserved the unanimous decision nod, but Parr undoubtedly captured the hearts of fans around the world with a courageous third frame that will be replayed over and over.