Arguably the Greatest Filipino Mixed Martial Artist of All-Time is set to make his return to the ONE Championship Circle.
Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will be having his first bout this year, one month from now against former UFC veteran and Korean-Japanese MMA superstar Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama.
The two MMA legends are set to collide at the ONE on TNT IV event on April 29, 2021 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
The 37-year-old Pinoy fighter has been on a slump lately, losing four of his last five fights. He had a horrible 2020, losing two fights at the hands of Pietr “The Archangel” Buist in January of last year and Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso last October.
Because of his slump, fans were already doubting the ability of Folayang with some even saying that he should finally hang up his gloves and walk away from the fighting game.
However, it seems that it only adds more fuel to the legendary fighter from Baguio City as he’s excited to prove that he’s far from done by beating a high-caliber fighter like Akiyama.
“This is a very important battle for me. I didn’t get the results that I wanted in my previous fights, and I wasn’t able to perform the way I wanted. The key to this fight is going to be the preparation. We’re coming up with a solid game plan. He’s not going to be an easy opponent. But at the same time, I’m confident in my skills. This time, I will aim for a steadfast victory,” he stated.
This is not the first time that the former ONE Lightweight World Champion has faced a legend of the sport.
In the past, the 22-10 Folayang has faced the likes of former UFC Champion Eddie Alvarez, Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki and ONE’s first-ever two-division world champion Martin Nguyen.
“It is always an honor to share the Circle with legends. It gives me added motivation. Yoshihiro Akiyama is a legend and a veteran of the cage. His name is known throughout the world. This fight excites me because I know I’m going up against a great fighter. I’m working hard to come into the Circle well-conditioned with my mind and body,” said Folayang.
Folayang will once again have his hands full as he will take on Akiyama.
The 45-year-old veteran is a seven-fight UFC veteran that faced the likes of Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort and Jake Shields.
Akiyama is coming off an impressive win over Sherif Mohamed in the ONE: King of the Jungle event February of last year, where he showcased his one punch power.
Folayang recognizes this bout as an important fight of his career as this will not only snap his slump but this will boost his chances into becoming a world champion once again.
“This will be a great fight for me. I’m working hard with the team right now, and I’m definitely up for the challenge. Everyone is gearing up,” said Folayang.
“Our victories in the first half of the year have boosted our morale. I, myself, have been inspired by my team’s victories. With our hard work, and discipline, and by the grace of God, 2021 will be a good year for Team Lakay.”
What do you think about Folayang’s upcoming return? Do you think he’ll grab a big win in his first fight this year? Sound off below in the comment section!