ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang endured one of the toughest roads to greatness. Born in Baguio, he was raised under tragically impoverished circumstances, with five of his siblings passing away due to illness. Wanting a better life for their family, his illiterate parents understood the value of education, and made sure their surviving children all went to school. To help lessen their burden, the Igorot warrior used martial arts as a way to help pay his own way. Little did he know it would unlock even greater opportunities.
He received a scholarship to the University of the Cordilleras, joined the Philippines Wushu Team, and won several gold medals to become a national hero. “Landslide” then transitioned to mixed martial arts under the instruction of Mark Sangiao at Team Lakay, and captured a Filipino Welterweight Championship in his June 2007 debut. Folayang’s star then rose in Singaporean promotion Martial Combat, which led to a main event spot at ONE Championship’s inaugural show in September 2011.
Five years later, he returned to Singapore to headline ONE: DEFENDING HONOR against reigning champion Shinya Aoki, and knocked out the icon to claim the ONE Lightweight World Title. After successfully defending his belt against Ev Ting, Folayang’s childhood hero Manny Pacquiao called him “one of the legends of mixed martial arts in the Philippines,” and confirmed the Filipino’s superstar status. Though he lost the belt to Martin Nguyen in 2017, “Landslide” stormed back with three straight wins over top contenders to once again capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship in front of a roaring Manila crowd at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS.