EDUARD Folayang is one of the pioneers of ONE Championship. He’s been there since the organization’s first event in 2011 and at one time was the best lightweight fighter in the ONE Championship. He’s no doubt one of the best fighters to come out of Southeast Asia and is truly a legend in the Philippines.
Tony Caruso, an up-and-comer in the sport, wants to be called the best lightweight in the organization and to do that, he must beat Folayang on Oct. 30 in “ONE: Inside the Matrix” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
“I want to achieve everything Eduard has achieved. He’s a legend in this division, he’s a legend of this sport, and he’s a legend of his country. That’s exactly what I want to do. To do that, you have to beat a legend. And I’m coming on the 30th to become a legend just like he is. Make way for a new challenger in the lightweight division,” said the 29-year-old Caruso.
Caruso suffered his first career defeat in 2019. He lost by unanimous decision to Pieter Buist.
Caruso is eager to bounce back. He firmly believes that he can beat the 35-year-old Folayang.
“Of course, a quick fight is a good fight. The quicker we can get in and out, the better, but at the end of the day, we’d have to go in there. Eduard’s a tough guy. He’s a legend for a reason. He’s been around a long time for a reason. I’d like to take him out as quickly as possible, but at the same time, I’m ready to go the full distance with him,” said Caruso.
Though some suggest that Folayang is in the twilight of his career, the Team Lakay star feels that he still has a lot left in him.
“Every athlete I face at this level is well-prepared. I’m getting ready for the best Antonio Caruso. During the lockdown, I got to spend a lot of time with my family, with my kids, training with them in the house. I feel re-energized and now I’m ready. We have a saying in the Philippines that ‘only carabaos get old.’ So you know, I think, it’s just like a fish swimming in water. If you take the fish out, it will die. I’m already in this sport and I’m enjoying it. I believe I’m still fresh,” he said.
Folayang, the former ONE lightweight champion, is 22-9, while Caruso is 7-1. (EKA)