Eduard Folayang successfully defended his ONE Lightweight Championship against Ev Ting at ONE: Kings of Destiny on Friday.
In front of a packed crowd at Mall of Asia Arena, the 32-year-old delivered a show for his compatriots with his improved striking through five rounds, fending off his younger foe via unanimous decision to retain his title.
“We delivered a good show and that’s what we’ve done,” said Folayang.
Taking the fight to his challenger, the champion came out firing as he dictated the tempo with his strikes in round one.
Ting attempted to take down Folayang several times in the second round but failed and a miscalculated left hook allowed the Baguio native to momentarily him lock in a rear-naked choke. The champion finished the round strong with knee strikes to the midsection which took some air off of the Kiwi-Malaysian contender.
An early exchange in the third round left a cut on Folayang’s right cheek, allowing Ting to take control and be on the offensive against the champion.
Sensing blood, Folayang was the aggressor anew in the fourth round. He capitalized on Ting’s single-leg takedown attempt and turned it to his favor before finishing the round with a solid roundhouse kick to the midsection.
Folayang would then exhibit his poise late, stopping Ting’s spinning back fist and turning it to a takedown midway through the fifth round and unleashing a pair of his own spinning back fists and a spinning back elbow to rock the challenger as the crowd chanted his name to close the fight.
Folayang improved to 18-5 for his MMA career, while snapping Ting’s run of four straight victories and dropping him to 13-4.
It was a triumphant return for Folayang to the same venue where he suffered his worst defeat at the hands of Timofey Nastyukhin back in 2014.
This time, the three-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist for wushu replicated his moment in Singapore in November, where he knocked out Shinya Aoki to become Team Lakay’s second world champion.
“It means a lot to me. A lot were discouraged the last time I was here. I slipped on the mat and a lot of you felt sorry for me, but I knew I had to rise up from my circumstances and this was it,” Folayang said.
Team Lakay completed a clean sweep for the night, with Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, Danny Kingad, and Gina Iniong all emerging victorious in the card.
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