ONE Championship

Folayang eyes Akiyama, Aoki fights anew amid retirement pleas

JR Isaga
Folayang eyes Akiyama, Aoki fights anew amid retirement pleas

NO QUIT. Eduard Folayang (left) believes there’s more fight left in him even after submitting to Shinya Aoki.


Over the years, Eduard Folayang has made it clear that he will only go out on his own terms

No amount of losing can keep a great warrior down, and Eduard Folayang is certainly one of the greatest to ever do it in Philippine mixed martial arts.

Despite an ever-growing clamor to hang up his gloves for good after yet another first-round submission loss to fellow veteran Shinya Aoki (47-9), the 37-year-old Team Lakay legend is still hungry for more action.

I think hanggang nandito pa kami, magmi-meet kami along the way. Baka game 5. Kalma lang guys, baka we can be able to get back again,” Folayang said after falling to a 22-11 record on Thursday, April 29.

Yung pagre-retire andiyan lang, but still, marami akong natutunan ulit. Ganoon talaga ang buhay. Minsan nakahanda tayo pero may major changes. ‘Di yun ang magpapa-stop sa atin,” he continued.

(I think as long as we’re still here, we will meet again along the way. Let’s calm down, maybe we can get back again. Retirement is just there, but I learned new things again. That’s life. Sometimes, major changes come when we’ve already prepared. That’s not what will stop us.)

Folayang, who has now lost 5 of his last 6 bouts, was referring to a last-minute change in the fight card after his original foe Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama (15-7) begged off due to an injury, and was then replaced by arguably a way tougher Aoki.

And the contrast of styles between the striker Akiyama, and the submission specialist Aoki was evident on fight night, as Folayang again got lured at the 4:20 mark of Round 1 to a submission finish, Team Lakay’s evident Achilles’ heel in recent history.

Because he never saw the fruits of his original training, Folayang is also still looking to fight the 45-year-old Akiyama sometime in the future once he is healthy and ready.

“We never back down. Whoever the opponent is set before us, we have that spirit to face him. Maybe it’s not the time, but someday if it happens, I’d be willing,” he said.

Over the years, Folayang has made it clear that he will only go out on his own terms, and right now, it seems that the “Landslide” will still continue to roll on, and cause havoc whenever he can. –