ONE: Eddie Alvarez says he’s ‘better fighter by far’ than Eduard Folayang
MANILA, Philippines—Eddie Alvarez had nothing but praise for Eduard Folayang.
Alvarez described Folayang as strong, explosive and a skilled striker in a way as if the Filipino superstar possesses the same qualities as him.
“I’m the better fighter by far,” said Alvarez when told about Folayang’s coach Mark Sangiao’s comments that his ward is a more complete fighter than the American strongman.
Alvarez, who’s won world titles in the UFC and Bellator, has high regard for Folayang’s abilities inside the cage but he also knows the Team Lakay icon has holes in his game.
And he plans to exploit those weaknesses in their lightweight clash in ONE: Dawn of Heroes on Friday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Eduard throws a lot of surprise attacks. Ideally, you take him down and none of that works. Take him to the ground and nothing he’s done for his whole life works. We’ve seen what happened with Aoki, he was lost on the ground. That’s an option,” said Alvarez, citing Folayang’s first-round loss to Shinya Aoki last March in Tokyo, Japan where he yielded the lightweight strap.
“Also an option is to use my boxing. I feel like I have better boxing. He’s got great kicks, great spins, good surprise attacks but I’m a better boxer, a better wrestler. I’m a better all-around mixed martial artist.”
The 35-year-old Alvarez may indeed be better than Folayang in terms of their overall career, but the man called “The Underground King” doesn’t seem to be the same fighter he once was.
He has only won once in his last five fights since stopping Rafael dos Anjos in July of 2016 when he won the UFC lightweight belt. His ONE debut didn’t go as planned as he lost to Timofey Nastyukhin via second-round TKO.
Still, Alvarez is not to be messed with and he’s determined to prove he’s far from done.
“Eduard is very strong, very tricky, explodes into his combinations so yeah. I’m not a wushu fighter and if we made this a wushu fight, Eduard would probably win,” he said.
“But this is not a wushu fight, this is MMA. We can go to the ground, stand up, wrestle, box–this is everything. And I have been doing MMA longer than anyone in this whole card.”
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