Folayang: ‘A lot of adjustments’ for third bout vs Aoki
MANILA, Philippines — Despite facing a familiar foe, Eduard Folayang still had to make a lot of changes in his preparations ahead of his third bout against Shinya Aoki.
After all, Folayang was originally slated to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama, who isn’t cut from the same cloth as Aoki.
“Shinya and Akiyama have their different style of fighting. So when they told me I’ll be facing Shinya, it’s really a lot of adjustments to do,” Folayang said during his media availability Tuesday.
“Shinya has been finishing his opponents so I really need to shift my focus on the way I will be handling him.”
Taking on a world-class grappler, Folayang’s plan is to make it a striking game, which is also his biggest advantage.
“I want the fight to be on my strong side as much as possible. But anything can happen in MMA so I need to be prepared in all aspects,” he said.
Folayang failed to do just that in their second meeting in 2019 where Aoki quickly took the fight to the ground and won via first-round submission.
Learning from experience, Folayang hopes to rediscover the formula he used in their first encounter where he pulled off the upset in the third round via TKO to win the lightweight title.
“I’m really motivated coming into this fight,” said Folayang, 37, who is in dire need of a win after dropping four of his last five fights.
Folayang is also embracing his underdog status against Aoki, who is heading into the clash having won three in a row.
The two rivals meet again in ONE on TNT IV on April 29 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
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