Team Lakay living legend Eduard “Landslide” Folayang once again finds his career at a crossroads heading to the ONE Championship on TNT on April 29.
After losing 4 of his last 5 fights, the 36-year-old Folayang (22-10) hopes to turn his fortunes around one more time against a fellow veteran, 45-year-old Yoshihiro Akiyama (15-7, 2 no contest).
But more than just for the sake of winning, the Baguio-born star is also fighting for the sake of his legacy, to find out where he stands among his younger peers.
“Pinakaimportante sa akin ‘yung purpose ko, kung bakit nandito pa ako at naglalaro,” he said in an online press conference last Tuesday, March 30.
(What’s most important for me is my purpose, and why I’m still here fighting.)
“Siyempre, ‘di mo na maiiwasan na maraming magsasabi na matanda na kaya hindi naging maganda ‘yung performance. What’s important for me is I know na mas kilala ko ang sarili ko than sa sasabihin ng ibang tao.”
(Of course, you can’t avoid the naysayers saying I’m old and am having bad performances. What’s important for me is that I know myself despite what others say about me.)
One of ONE Championship’s pioneering fighters, Folayang has fought through ups and downs in his 14-year long professional career. Although he has nothing left to prove, he claims he is in excellent shape, and ready to beat Japan’s “Sexyama” at his own game.
“Ngayon pa lang, mas sexy na ako. Mahirap pag tatalunin mo na, aagawin mo pa ‘yung pagka-sexy niya. Aim ko na lang na manalo,” Folayang joked.
(I’m sexier than him. But kidding aside, I only aim to win.)
“I think it will be a career booster. Siyempre si Sexyama, mabigat ‘yung pangalan niya. Getting a win over him, malalaman ng taga-Korea at Japan na mas sexy ang tiga-Pilipinas.”
(I think it will be a career booster. Of course, Sexyama is a big name. By getting a win over him, those from Korea and Japan will know that the people from the Philippines are sexier.)
Banter aside, Folayang is aiming to diversify his tactics and try not to get caught by a fighter with 7 submission finishes to his record. It is worth noting that Folayang got choked out in consecutive bouts against MMA legends Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez.
“As much as possible, we have to focus on our fight holes in the past. My approach is holistic this time,” he said.
“Kung pwede ko siyang madala sa ground and mabalik ang dating signature na ground and pound, it will be good. Kung makuha ko siya sa standup area, it will be better. Hindi magiging one-sided ang approach ko this time.”
(If I can take him to the ground for the signature ground and pound, it will be good. If I can get him standing up, it will be better. I won’t have a one-sided approach this time.)
Folayang is one of 3 Lakay stalwarts fighting in different ONE on TNT cards, with the other two being Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang and Stephen “Sniper” Loman. – Rappler.com
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