Eduard Folayang’s non-appearance in the first ONE rankings was no surprise as he is mired by a skid but a surprise thrown his way could led to another crack at the title he once held.
While the “Landslide” is currently fixing his eyes on a rematch with Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee expressed interest in facing the former two-time holder of same belt.
“I would love to share the ONE Circle with Eduard Folayang,” Lee was quoted by ONE. “I have a lot of respect for all that he’s accomplished in his career, and I think that we could put on a great show for the fans.”
Indeed, they could. In May 2019, Lee, brother ONE Women Attomweight champion Angela, is a Singaporean-American who is arguably the most prolific finisher in ONE history.
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In May, 2019, Lee made history by knocking out Japanese legend Shinya Aoki to become the youngest-ever male MMA world champion. Combined with his sister, they form the only sibling mixed martial arts world champions in history.
“The Warrior” also stepped up on short notice to defeat Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev and become the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Champion last October, 2019.
He campaigned as a featherweight early in his career and moved up a weight class to attain the success he currently enjoys.
“I feel that [Folayang’s] main strengths are his heart and his killer instinct, …he doesn’t have many weaknesses. I think he’s a great fighter.” Said the 22-year-old prodigy to ONE.
He once tested the mettles of Cordilleran fighters by facing Edward Kelly twice. He seemingly had the upper hand in the first fight held on September, 2018 but executed a faulty suplex in Round 1 which disqualified him and handed Kelly the victory.
He reversed the outcome in the rematch held on January, 2019 by finishing the match in abbreviated fashion, finishing it by ground and pound in the first round.
The win set a new record for the most finishes in ONE history at 11 and tied Kevin Belingon, Folayang, and Amir Khan’s record for most victories in ONE, also at 11, at that time.
His record now stands at 13-3 and is on a four-bout winning streak. His other two losses came courtesy of Martin Nguyen, who seemingly got his number.
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Meanwhile, Folayang admitted to ONE it’s going to be a very challenging match in facing Lee. He knows he is still far from a title match but looks forward to facing him in the future, hoping he is still a champion by then.
Other reports, however, reported Folayang to seemingly taking interest in the 22-year-old champion’s comments. He was quoted to have said he has lots of respect for the young man and it is his honor to face Lee if it happens.
According to ONE, an Alvarez redemption is on top of Folayang’s wish list.
At any rate, a Lee or Alvarez match would no doubt treat fans an explosive cage spectacle once this coronavirus induce lull is finally dealt with.
By: Armando M. Bolislis
Photo by ONE Championship
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