ONE: Folayang in must win for chance at another title shot
At 35 years old with a lot of mileage under his belt, Eduard Folayang is at the stage of his career where world title opportunities won’t come along as often as they used to be.
Folayang on Friday faces Pieter Buist of the Netherlands in the penultimate bout of ONE: Fire & Fury at Mall of Asia Arena in a fight the Team Lakay legend finds himself in a make or break for what could likely be his final run to regain his world champion status.
“Of course [this is a must-win fight for me]. This fight is really important because I don’t want to veer away from my journey towards a championship,” Folayang told reporters Tuesday during an open workout at One Esplanade in Pasay City.
“This is important because if I win this I’ll get closer to another title shot and that’s what I want to happen.”
The Baguio City pride lost his lightweight belt for the second time last year when he was taken to sleep by Shinya Aoki in their rematch before suffering another opening round stoppage to Eddie Alvarez in the Lightweight World Grand Prix five months later.
Folayang got back on the winning track after being awarded with a technical decision win over Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu after he got cut due to an accidental head butt two months ago in Masters of Fate in Manila.
But Folayang knows he would need a convincing victory over Buist, a Muay Thai specialist, before to put himself back into the title picture.
“I have to perform at a higher level this time and I’m more motivated heading into this fight,” said Folayang, who was originally slated to take on Ahmed Mujtaba.
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