Folayang, Nguyen set friendship aside for ONE lightweight title bout
There’s not going to be a lot of action outside the ring but Filipino bet Eduard Folayang and Martin Nguyen expect fireworks when they step inside it.
The two fighters are setting their friendship aside as they prepare for the main event of the ONE: Legends of the World on November 10 at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We’re friends. There’s no trash talk. There’s no pushing or shoving,” Nguyen told the media on Tuesday during their first face off at City Garden Grand Hotel.
While the respect will remain, that doesn’t mean they are going to take each other lightly in the cross-divisional showdown with the lightweight title on the line.
“I want to teach him that it’s my kingdom in the lightweight division,” said the soft-spoken Baguio native. “I want my division to be respected so I will do my best to defend the lightweight belt.”
The Vietnamese-Australian challenger didn’t think twice about moving up weight for the fight against Folayang, saying “opportunities like these they don’t come too often.”
Nguyen, who earned the ONE featherweight belt in August, said that when he first got the offered the fight, the first thing he did was reach out to Folayang.
“We both came to an agreement that we will set our friendship aside and it will be strictly business. We want to put on an entertaining fight.”
Also calling his upcoming foe a friend, Folayang said he admired how Nguyen blemished Marat Gafurov’s record via a stunning knockout to win the title in Macao.
But he’s going to make sure that doesn’t happen here.
“I respect him as martial artist. You saw how he got his belt against a highly-respect champion. But we need to do our part not only as a martial artist but also as champions.”
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