ONE: Eduard Folayang says Parr victory ‘very good’ confidence booster
MANILA, Philippines–Filipino fighter Eduard Folayang had been having a tough stretch in ONE Championship, losing bout after bout the last two years.
Needless to say his victory on Saturday, his first since November 2019, is a nothing but a welcome development for the Team Lakay star even though it may not have been in his usual stomping ground of mixed martial arts.
“It was pretty good,” Folayang said when asked about his initial assessment of his performance at Singapore Indoor Stadium, the same venue where he headlined his first ONE Championship card in 2011. “A very good [confidence booster].”
Folayang, a former ONE lightweight champion, had dropped his last four matches in the ONE Championship, the last being a unanimous loss to Lipeng Zhang in August last year.
While his latest win does not count toward his MMA record, the Team Lakay fighter still conquered John Wayne Parr, a legend in Muay Thai, at his own game.
“We’ve been preparing well for this fight. I know he has the name,” said Folayang. “In life sometimes you need to pass the baton, and I’m so happy I was the one who was able to catch it. I’m so thankful to my team and my God that I was be able to make it this time.”
“You that’s the essence of martial arts, you really need to get out of your comfort zone. You face a lot of challenges. I know a lot of people would have criticized me if I had lost especially that I had a very tough year. I have a losing streak,” added Folayang.
“But we are martial artists, we are warriors in the mountains, we take challenges [no matter] how big it is. If we’re able to conquer it, we take pride it in.”
Folayang denied Parr, who was retiring at the end of the match, of his 100th victory by dominating the Australian icon from start to finish in the match that was part of the main event of ONE Championship’s 10th anniversary card.
But that’s not to say Parr didn’t have his moments. The 10-time world champion was able to tag Folayang with a flying knee to the face in a last burst of energy in the third round, though it wasn’t enough to swing the victory to his favor.
“I know he’s been hunting me, he was coming from pressure. It’s a mental game. You either crumble or find a way to get back. I was able to find a way, I was able to remain calm and put up with the pressure,” Folayang said of that sequence.
Folayang, who was a wushu expert before focusing on MMA, said it felt good to go back to his roots.
“I’m so thankful I was able to execute my being me, Eduard Folayang. I was a striker, ever since I met coach. We are kickboxers in Team Lakay,” he said.
“In MMA, you need to focus in a lot of aspects especially to figure out the game plan of your opponents but this time I need to focus on the striking department, and that’s the bread and butter of Team Lakay and I was thankful I was able to execute whatever skills I have in the past.”
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