ONE: Folayang needs to ‘keep winning’ as he eyes another title shot
Eduard Folayang once ruled ONE Championship’s lightweight division for nearly a year until one pinpoint strike from Martin Nguyen ended that 364-day reign in 2017.
Less than a year has passed since Folayang relinquished the belt to Nguyen, who is the current featherweight champion, but the old lion once again attempts to sit on the throne he once sat on.
Folayang has since won his comeback fight back in May of 2018 against Kharun Atlangeriev, and he hopes that another win could catapult him to the title picture.
Team Lakay’s 34-year-old senior member will go up against undefeated Russian Aziz Pahrudinov, five years his junior, on July 27 and Folayang knows a win will help him stay in pace for his quest to the title.
“Lightweight is one of the deepest divisions in the organization, and there are so many great guys all wanting to get to the top,” said Folayang. “I have to keep winning so I can stay in the mix.”
Standing in Folayang’s way is the undefeated Pahrudinov who owns a 20-0 record and has only one fight that went the distance.
Pahrudinov has 13 submissions and six knockouts to his name, but Folayang is ready for whatever the Russia will throw at him.
“He has great wrestling and solid striking, excellent all-around skills,” said Folayang (19-6). “It’s hard to face these kinds of fighters because you have to be on your toes the entire bout. Get too close, and there’s the threat of the takedown. I will be prepared to face this style once again.”
“I will do my best to keep every advantage and win. He doesn’t have many weaknesses, but I would like to test his striking. Let’s see if he can keep up with me on the feet.”
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