MANILA, Philippines – The ONE lightweight world championship won’t be vacant for long after all.
The Philippines’ Eduard Folayang and Singapore’s Amir Khan will lock horns for the world lightweight title days after it was announced that former champ Martin Nguyen was forced to relinquish the belt.
ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong revealed the development on Facebook, saying that the two powerhouse names will clash at ONE: Conquest of Champions on November 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“The stakes could not be any higher for both warriors in what will be the biggest fight of their careers,” Sityodtong said.
Folayang, 33, is coming off back-to-back unanimous decision victories over undefeated Russian grapplers Aziz Pahrudinov and Kharun Atlangeriev.
The Team Lakay star first captured the title with a third-round TKO victory over Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in Singapore back in 2016 but lost it to Nguyen in November 2017.
He will attempt to wrest the belt again in front of a partisan Filipino crowd.
“Eduard wants to reclaim his title and go down as the greatest Filipino martial artist in history,” Sityodtong said.
Standing opposite Folayang will be Khan, a 23-year-old knockout artist from the famed EVOLVE MMA stable in Singapore.
Khan has emerged victorious in 8 of his last 9 contests and is coming off a magnificent first-round submission win over fellow top lightweight contender and Folayang’s Team Lakay stablemate Honorio Banario, in September.
This will be Khan’s first shot at a world championship, and presents an opportunity to be known as Singapore’s first homegrown world champion.
“Amir wants to become Singapore’s first homegrown world champion in history and stamp his legacy as the greatest Singaporean martial artist the world has ever seen,” Sityodtong said.
Sityodtong also announced that the winner will have a challenger already waiting.
Top contenders Shinya Aoki and Ev Ting will duke it out in a title-eliminator bout at the ONE: Kingdom of Heroes on Saturday, October 6, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Barring any injuries or unforeseen circumstances, I fully expect the winner between Ev and Shinya to face the winner between Eduard and Amir in Tokyo,” Sityodtong said. – Rappler.com
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