Top fighters face off ahead of ONE: Dawn of Heroes featuring Folayang-Alvarez
MANILA, Philippines—Some of ONE Championship’s top fighters faced off at ONE: Dawn of Heroes press conference on Tuesday, three days before the star-studded fight night at Mall of Asia Arena.
With five members of Team Lakay scheduled to fight on Friday, there will be no shortage of action in one of ONE’s biggest cards this year that also features two massive world title bouts.
“This is without a doubt the greatest event in Philippine martial arts history. If you are a Filipino anywhere in the world, you do not want to miss Friday night,” said ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong at the press event at City of Dreams Manila.
In the main event, Martin Nguyen stakes his ONE featherweight strap against Japanese challenger Koyomi Matsushima while Jonathan Haggerty and Rodtang Jitmuangnon clash for the ONE flyweight Muay Thai title.
But all eyes will be on the ONE lightweight world Grand Prix semifinals matchup between Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang, undoubtedly the face of mixed martial arts in the country, and lightweight great Eddie Alvarez.
“I am so excited for Eduard Folayang versus Eddie Alvarez, genuinely two of the greatest martial artists on the planet, two incredible legends with storied careers, and such incredible human beings,” said Sityodtong.
Packed house. pic.twitter.com/jVjXuL2u9K
— MG (@MarkGiongcoINQ) July 30, 2019
With both fighters looking to bounce back from losses in Japan last March, Alvarez and Folayang are expected to go all out in front of the Filipino fans.
“In the movies, heroes always prevail. The nemesis loses, he goes home and everybody’s happy. Unfortunately, that’s not the story here. You picked the wrong guy at the wrong time. I love you Manila. I respect you Eduard. Let’s have some fun,” Alvarez said.
Folayang, meanwhile, is unfazed by the fact that he’s facing one of the fighters he’s always looked up to.
“He’s one of those athletes that I spent a lot of time watching before,” said Folayang. “He says this isn’t the right time, but I believe it’s God’s time. It’s a huge honor for me to be able to test my skills against him.”
In the other events, flyweight world champion Demetrious Johnson faces a tough Tatsumitsu Wada in the ONE flyweight world Grand Prix semis bout, opposite Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad showdown against Reece McLaren.
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