Folayang ready to get back up after toughest loss of his career
It was a loss as heart-wrenching as any other.
When Eduard Folayang fell to the floor out cold after Martin Nguyen’s perfect overhand right, aproverbial dark cloud immediately hovered above Mall of Asia Arena as if telling the painful ending of a fallen hero.
Folayang needed just one day to complete his first year anniversary as ONE World lightweight, after defeating Shinya Aoki on Nov. 10, 2016, but Nguyen’s punch took that away the Team Lakay legend.
And it has been five months since Folayang got into the ONE Championship ring, a break that the 34-year-old used in earnest to reflect and look back at the things that went wrong.
“I had a good break and it was more mental than anything else,” said Folayang. “I just really needed to take a step back and take it all in, see where I went wrong and what I could have done to prevent it.”
“The loss to Martin Nguyen was the toughest in my career, and I think I am a much better martial artist because of it.”
And Folayang (18-6) is now ready to put the disappointment behind him as he sets to get back on the winning track when he faces undefeated Russian Kharun Atlangeriev (11-0) on May 18 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Folayang, who is nine years the senior of Atlangeriev, plans to use this fight as his stepping stone to get back into the title scene and prove that he is still one of the best lightweights in the world.
“It’s been a while and I’m ready to take my career back to the top, I know it won’t be easy but I’m prepared to do what it takes to climb back up,” said Folayang. “There are so many great lightweight competitors in this organization but I feel like I’m still considered one of the best in this division.”
“This match in Singapore is important because I want to show fans that I can still become champion.”