ONE: Folayang eyes double celebration vs Khan in Manila
Eduard Folayang couldn’t think of a better gift for his birthday than being a world champion again.
The Filipino MMA star eyes to regain the ONE lightweight title against Singaporean standout Amir Khan on November 23, a day after his 35th birthday, as one of the anticipated bouts in the Conquest of Champions card.
Folayang will also shoot for the crown before his home crowd at Mall of Asia Arena, the same place where he also yielded his belt in a stunning knockout loss to Martin Nguyen last year.
“There’s no greater gift I can receive on my 35th birthday other than winning the ONE Lightweight Word Title back,’’ he said. “And there’s no better place to do it but in front of my countrymen.”
The Baguio City native is coming off a pair of unanimous decision victories over Kharun Atlangeriev last May in Singapore and Aziz Pahrudinov three months ago in Manila.
Folayang hopes to sustain his resurgence against the dangerous Khan.
“There were some who doubted my decision to continue fighting after the knockout loss to Martin Nguyen nearly a year ago. After two wins in ONE Championship, I am back in the title picture,” Folayang said.
“I feel very fulfilled because I made the right decision to compete again. Also, my hard work has paid off. It will be a great birthday present for me to bring home the belt again. It’s an added motivation going into the bout against Amir Khan on November 23.”
Folayang is wary of Khan, who just beat Filipino Honorio Banario with a first-round submission last month.
“He is young and talented. I am also sure that he is hungry. There is no room for complacency in this match. I started the year with a win. I followed it up with another big win. The timing speaks for itself,” he said.
“It has been a very good year to me. After November 23, I’m confident that the Philippines and Team Lakay will have another new world champion in the sport.”
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