MANILA, Philippines – Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang doesn’t expect Zhang Lipeng to pull off the same victorious game plan he had in their previous meeting when the Chinese returns to action this week.
Folayang previously lost to Zhang after a hard-fought ground battle. However, Folayang doesn’t see Zhang’s next match going that way because he believes Izagakhmaev has the necessary tools to avoid the Chinese athlete’s wrestling.
“When I fought Zhang, he scored on me through takedowns and [then] held me there,” Folayang said.
“I don’t think I was in trouble, and there wasn’t much to defend with. He just really utilized his time to hold me down; it’s something that he won’t be able to do against Saygid.”
The victor in the upcoming match could fly up the lightweight rankings. After all, Zhang is looking to break into the top five while Izagakhmaev is targeting a date with current ONE lightweight world champion Christian Lee.
The only way that Folayang sees Zhang winning this match is if he manages to turn this into a kickboxing fight and make things difficult for the protege of MMA great Khabib Nurmagomedov.
While that’s possible, the Filipino believes that it’s going to be Izagakhmaev’s match to lose at the end of the day.
“He has to make sure they stay standing, but I still believe Saygid’s got a better chance of winning,” Folayang said.
“He’s such an excellent wrestler and he’s a bigger man. He dominated a former Welterweight World Title contender (James Nakashima), he made him look like a kid.”
Meanwhile, the newest hit reality TV show “ONE Warrior Series Philippines” continues every Sunday night on GTV, the ONE Super App, and watch.onefc.com. Weekly replays also air on Tap Go, ONE Championship Philippines Facebook, and ONE Championship’s official YouTube channel. – Rappler.com