Roller coaster career ni Folayang, puputulin

January 15, 2020

 

Kumpiyansa si Filipino martial arts veteran at two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang na sapat pa ang kanyang lakas upang muling makasabak pa sa isang title fight ngayong 2020. 


Naunang isinuko ng Team Lakay stalwart ang kanyang sinturon sa lightweight sa Tokyo noong unang bahagi ng 2019 nang matalo sa karibal na si Shinya Aoki via first-round submission sa ONE: A New Era. Masaklap ang pagkatalo na iyon, pero hindi nasira ang fighting spirit ni  Folayang. 


Ngayong taon, nangako si Folayang na magbabalik nang mas matibay at malakas kontra kalaban at ipakikita sa fans na taglay niya ang karakter ng isang pagiging kampeon.


“2019 has been an absolute roller coaster ride for me,” ani Folayang.  “I started the year off as champion but fell short of victory against Shinya Aoki in Tokyo. That’s a loss that I learned a lot from and it was a very tough experience to deal with. I can honestly say however that I am a much better martial artist because of it.”


Bukod sa pakikipagbakbakan kay legendary Aoki, nagkaroon din ng tsansa si Folayang na hamunin ang multiple-time lightweight champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, kilala sa isang pinakamalaking pangalan sa mixed martial arts ecosphere. 


Sa kabila ng pagdomina niya kay Alvarez sa unang mga rounds, nakaresbak si Alvarez at umiskor ng come-from-behind victory sa bisa ng husay niya sa wrestling at submission skills. Isang rear-naked choke ang pinalasap ng American sa first round,  kung kaya nakuha niya ang spot sa  ONE Lightweight Grand Prix Championship Final, na kanya namang isinuko dahil sa injury. 


Bagamat masakit ang kanyang naging pagkatalo, na-realize ni  Folayang ang halaga ng pakikiharap sa American icon. “After facing Eddie Alvarez of course, it was another learning experience for me,” aniya.

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