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A former foe who defeated Edauard Folayang thinks the “Landslide” succumbed to pressure when he faced Antonio Caruso during ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX held in Singapore last October 30.
Third-ranked ONE lightweight contender Pieter “The Archangel” Buist of The Netherlands, who was the last to give Folayang one of his last four defeats last January of this year, is familiar with the Filipino’s game and the kinds of threats he poses.
“It looked like Eduard was missing some batteries. Against me he was more aggressive, more outgoing. And now he was hesitating. I think he buckled under the pressure of ‘yeah he has to win this fight, because if he doesn’t win, he must stop’,” Buist explained his observation in a recent ONE interview.
Buist also explained how important a role mindset plays in every fight.
“You know, for a fighter, a lot of people don’t understand, especially those who don’t fight. It’s around 85 to 90 percent mental. The rest is physical. So if mentally, you’re not there, you will lose.”
Against Caruso, Folayang certainly did not appear like his true self, or at the very least, was unable to show what he was truly capable of in the Circle. The Filipino veteran appeared a step behind Caruso for the duration of the contest, noticeably lagging behind his younger foe in both striking and grappling exchanges.
Having also fought and defeated Caruso just last year, Buist could see the specific difficulties Folayang had against his Australian foe. Buist is convinced that Folayang’s mental state greatly affected the former lightweight king’s output.
“No matter how strong physically you are, for all the fighters, it’s the same. It’s mental warfare always. It begins with mental warfare and ends with mental warfare,” said Buist.
“The physical part is punching, beating, choking, you know. I think mentally, he wasn’t there. But Caruso is a good fighter. I fought him also. He’s a true warrior. He comes to fight. For him, it was the same thing. I think Caruso was, mentally, better prepared than Eduard.”
Folayang dropped a unanimous decision to Caruso. Prior to the bout, many fans and analysts wondered if “Landslide” would consider riding off into the sunset and calling it a career if he suffered another setback.
Folayang, who has now dropped four of his last five, made it clear he is not done yet.
Buist returns to action this Friday night at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, a previously-recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore scheduled for air on November 6.
“The Archangel” takes on fourth-ranked lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin in what is expected to be an action-packed affair.
The headline bout features reigning ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov of Kyrgyzstan defending his title against undefeated American James Nakashima.
The evcnt can be seen this Friday, November 6, on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT.
By Armando M. Bolislis