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Folayang is one of the ONE fighters who has experienced roller coaster ups and downs throughout his career.
The 37-year old Team Lakay veteran tasted becoming a two-time ONE lightweight champion to suffering devastating losses, most recently dropping three bouts in a row for the first time in his storied career.
His latest losing skid has led to many fans and observers calling him on to retire.
He, however, is not ready to hang up his gloves despite these setbacks to Pieter Buist, Antonio Caruso, and Japanese rival Shinya Aoki. He still believes he has a lot left in the tank and wants to prove doubters wrong.
“I’m focused on my goals. I still have a lot to offer this sport. I want to achieve things that others haven’t. As a martial artist, I want to unleash my full potential because I know I haven’t yet,” Folayang said.
Folayang truly believes he’s a much better fighter now than he was a year ago. He felt the stung of his losses but taught him valuable lessons that he plans to apply to his career moving forward.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned during this stretch is just to persevere. I needed to understand that the best comes to those who don’t give up on their dreams. I believe in myself. I believe in what I can do, and I wouldn’t be here now if I didn’t. I think every experience I’ve been through over the past few years has really helped me to evolve as a fighter. I’ve been through a lot of adversity, and it has molded me into a more capable martial artist, and a better person. I honestly believe I’m a better fighter now,” Folayang said.
His next opponent, promotional newcomer “The Warrior” Zhang Lipeng in the main event of ONE: BATTLEGROUND II, a tape delayed event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore which airs on Friday, 13 August, is a legitimate threat and posses danger of extending the awful streak.
Against Zhang, Folayang faces the former The Ultimate Fighter: China winner and a grizzled veteran with just as much big-fight experience as he has. Zhang is also a KLF Champion and has been in the game as long as Folayang.
“This will be a good test for the both of us,” Folayang said. “We’re both veterans of this sport. We’ve seen it all. For sure, it will be a good fight. We have a lot of similarities in terms of our background. So this fight could come down to a matter of will. Whoever wants it more will win.
“Uncertainty is the beauty of MMA. Anything can happen in that cage, so let’s see what we can do.”, he ended.
By Armando M. Bolislis