Long-reigning URCC welterweight champion Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang (11-1) will take on Ole “Iron Fist” Laursen (5-3) in a lightweight match-up at “ONE FC: War of the Lions” Saturday night in Singapore. Folayang was originally supposed to make his ONE FC debut against Laursen last September at “One FC: Champion vs. Champion” but the bout fell through after Laursen suffered a knee injury in training.
Instead, Folayang ended up fighting a more experienced, and arguably a tougher opponent, A Sol Kwon (17-7), a Korean Top Team veteran who came into the fight on a six-fight win streak. The bout went the distance with Folayang winning via unanimous decision.
Folayang has fought once since then, successfully defending his URCC welterweight title with a 56-second submission-due-to-elbow-strikes win over Wadson Teixeira (2-3) in January. With the victory Folayang improved his win streak to six. ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) Asian correspondent Wesley De Souza spoke with Folayang this past week about returning to ONE FC to take care of some unfinished business against Laursen.
It’s been close to five months since we spoke to you and that was just after the first ONE FC event which you were in the main event. How has life changed for you since then? Are you an even bigger celebrity now back in the Philippines?
EF: Well, everything is still the same but more people are getting to know MMA here in the Philippines. I actually don’t feel that I’m a celebrity! LOL! I just live my life in the way that is pleasing to God.
You’re going to face the man that you were supposed to face at ONE FC’s first show in September last year. Do you think it’s better to face Ole Laursen now as compared to back then especially since it seems much more high profile now?
EF: Honestly, I don’t really like fighting Ole but as a fighter it is my job to give the fans a good fight. A good fight that they are anticipating for.
How’s your fight camp at Team Lakay, which is highly regarded as the best gym in the Philippines, going for the fight? Are you ready for it?
EF: Preparation at the Team Lakay Camp is going great and we’re ready for this.
What’s a usual fight camp at Team Lakay like?
EF: Everything is simple bro, train your body and perfect your skill.
You’ve seen Ole Laursen’s last performance against Felipe Enomoto and it’s quite obvious there was some “cage rust”. Do you think that the Ole you’ll be facing next week will be a better Ole Laursen? What are the biggest threats do you see him possessing?
EF: I really believe that Ole will be a better fighter in this fight because He learned a lot in his last fight. The biggest threat that he possesses right now is his determination to win this fight.
In the latest trailer for ONE FC you said that Ole might see you as a stepping stone. Ole replied saying that it would be “a step down the ladder”. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think that Ole might be underestimating you?
EF: Well,he wants to redeem himself for that last fight so he will do his part to make sure he wins this one. I don’t think he is underestimating me.
It looked like Ole’s strategy going into the Felipe fight was to knock him out fast. Will you stand and trade with Ole knowing that he is a world class striker? How do you see this fight turning out?
EF: Even though my striking is not like Ole’s, I do have confidence in my striking abilities. I have trained hard for this and I know God will answer my prayers
As we all know, ONE FC has a partnership with DREAM and many of their fighters will be fighting on this card. Would you be interested in future match ups with anyone of these fighters from DREAM?
EF: Yes, I would love to fight one of their fighters someday, if its God’s will!
Any parting words for your fans and our readers?
EF: I would like to invite everyone to come and watch One Fighting Championship: War of the Lions on March 31st in Singapore. It will be an exciting show, so mark your calendar and be there! Thanks to all the people who will be there to support us in whatever way they can. Thanks to coach Mark Sangiao, my team mates in Team Lakay, my family, friends and my Lord Jesus.
Thank you Eduard we wish you all the best in your fight.