While Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is currently targeting a rematch with “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez, another superstar is interested in facing him – reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee.
“I would love to share the ONE Circle with Eduard Folayang,” Lee says. “I have a lot of respect for all that he’s accomplished in his career, and I think that we could put on a great show for the fans.”
Indeed, “Landslide” has accomplished a lot in his 13-year mixed martial arts career.
Following his professional debut in June 2007, when he defeated Allan Co via first-round TKO to claim the Universal Reality Combat Championship Welterweight Title, Folayang went on a tear.
The wushu stylist won eight of his next nine bouts and then joined ONE Championship in September 2011.
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The Filipino experienced some adversity during his first couple of years with the promotion, but his dedication and consistent improvement eventually paid dividends.
In November 2016, he reached the pinnacle of the sport by defeating Japanese martial arts icon Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki via third-round TKO to capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship in Singapore.
Though Folayang lost that belt a year later, he regained the vacant crown in November 2018 by dominating Singaporean knockout artist Amir Khan en route to a unanimous decision. What made that moment extra special was achieving the feat in front of his home fans in Manila, Philippines.
“Landslide” later lost the gold to Aoki, but he remains a dangerous competitor and is always one spinning kick away from earning another opportunity at the title.
This is something Lee understands, which is why he has a tremendous amount of respect for the Baguio City native’s accomplishments and skill set.
“Eduard is a very good striker and is now rounding out his wrestling and jiu-jitsu,” the 22-year-old prodigy says.
“However, I feel that his main strengths are his heart and his killer instinct. He’s the two-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion, so he doesn’t have many weaknesses. I think he’s a great fighter.”
For his part, Lee has solidified his status as the best fighter in the division.
“The Warrior” further cemented his position by defeating Turkish juggernaut Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev via unanimous decision to earn the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship.
The Singaporean-American is now focused on retaining his belt and building his legacy in The Home Of Martial Arts. Beating a modern-day legend like Folayang would certainly help his cause.
Meanwhile, “Landslide” would love a shot at the divisional king – even though he knows it will take some time to work his way up ONE’s Athlete Rankings.
“It’s going to be a very challenging match if I face Christian Lee. I know I am still far from a World Title match, but in the future, I am looking forward to facing him,” Folayang says.
“I was very impressed with his improvement. I saw his growth as an athlete. It’s a big challenge for me if we face each other. I want to face him, and I hope he remains the champ by then.”