ALL roads lead to the Mall of Asia Arena Friday, April 21, as ONE Championship brings another world class MMA promotions top billed by lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang defending his title against Malaysian Ev Ting.
Headlining the ONE Championship event dubbed Kings of Destiny for the first time, Folayang of the famed Team Lakay is set to give the finest performance of his MMA career spanning at least 10 years.
“It’s my first time to be in the main event of ONE Championship’s card in the Philippines. I know that it’s a big responsibility, but I am humbled and privileged to be in this position,” the unpretentious wushu specialist said.
Folayang will be joined by teammates former featherweight world champion Honorio Banario, former title contender Kevin Belingon, Danny Kingad and Gina Iniong who will debut in Asia’s largest MMA promotions.
Two other Filipinos will be in the undercard that includes striking specialist Eugene Toquero and Robin Catalan.
Folayang dethroned Aoki for the gold-plated belt by way of third-round technical knockout, driving a hard knee to the head before unleashing a barrage of punches to coerce the referee to wave it off.
As impressive as his win was against the former champion, Folayang remains focused as he stakes the belt against Malaysia-Kiwi Ting who is as sensational as the Filipino.
“I know the stakes. I know what’s riding on this fight. Ev Ting is coming for my belt. He’s coming to take what I’ve worked so hard for my entire career. There is no way I’m just going to let him take it. It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure,” Folayang, who has a professional card of 17 wins (six via TKO and two through submissions) against five losses with no draw shared.
With Ting (13-3-0) recently making the move up from featherweight to lightweight, Folayang believes that his extra experience in the weight class will give him the advantage.
Catalan will open the fight card featuring nine other exciting bouts against Jeremy Miado while Toquero takes on unbeaten Stefer Rahaedian.
Iniong meanwhile seeks win number five as she takes on Natalie Gonzales Hills in the women's atom weight contest while Kingad tries to improve his clean 4-0 record as he squares off against Muhammad Aiman.
Banario on the other hand takes on replacement fighter Jaroslav Jartim with Belingon tangling with Toni Tauro before the Folayang-Ting title match. (Roderick Osis)
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on April 21, 2017.
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