Eduard Folayang on ONE FC bout against newcomer Natsyukhin, his title aspirations, and UFC Philippines

ONE FC's Eduard Folayang
ONE FC’s Eduard Folayang

Top Filipino MMA icon Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will make his sixth One Fighting Championship appearance on December 5, 2014 against the surging Russian lightweight prospect Timofey Natsyukhin at One FC 23 “Warriors Way” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

 

Folayang has long been considered one of, if not the best lightweights in the Philippines. In his most recent fight, Folayang defeated a talented Japanese warrior and the former One FC 155 title holder Kotetsu Boku last May via unanimous decision. He showed a tremendous all-around MMA game against the very game Boku. It was arguably the biggest win of his career to date.

Folayang is a physically gifted athlete who has an unbelievable work ethic inside and outside the cage. His striking is world-class as he was an accomplished Wushu fighter before transitioning to MMA.  Though he’s had some problems with grapplers and wrestlers in the past, Folayang doubled, even tripled his time on sharpening his wrestling and ground game to become a much dangerous and complete fighter.

The Team Lakay standout will make his final fight of 2014 on December 5th against fast rising Russian lightweight prospect Timofey Natsyukhin as one of the main features of the stacked One FC 23 card.

Though his opponent is a newcomer in the Singapore-based MMA promotion, Folayang believes this is not going to be an easy fight, as he treats all of his upcoming fights as his last, and respects everyone whom One FC puts in front of him.

The majority of fans in Asia might not know much about Natsyukhin, but based on his pro MMA record, this guy is a worthy opponent for Philippines’ own Folayang.

Check out our latest interview with Team Lakay lightweight standout, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.

 

Asia MMA: You are coming off an impressive win against the former One FC 155 pound champ Kotetsu Boku last May. Can you talk us through that fight? How was the feeling after getting your hand raised?

Folayang: Fighting a veteran fighter is a tough preparation and yet when you really prepare your mind, body and spirit for it, then the feeling of accomplishment will come and give you smile when the referee raises your hand.

Asia MMA:  You displayed tremendous improvement in your wrestling game as well as your ground control against Boku. Were you surprised on how light Boku was when you took him up and slammed him into the ground when you scored that takedown in the first round?

Folayang: I think it’s just the timing that made him light to carry on that takedown. I’m not surprised because everything happens in MMA.

Asia MMA:  You are set to welcome Timofey Nastyukhin in the One FC cage on December 5th. What do you know about him?

Folayang: Timofey has a 7-fight win streak all in first round so I think he is a complete fighter having submission and TKO wins.

Asia MMA:  Can you share your preparations for this fight?

Folayang: I trained two times a day, six days a week. Everything is carefully combined like cardio, skill, technique and sparring sessions.

Asia MMA:  You are on a two-fight winning streak and a lot of people believe you deserved a higher ranked opponent for this event. Why did you take this fight against a One FC newcomer? Aren’t you concerned about the fact that he has nothing to lose in fighting you while you’ve got your winning streak that is on the line in this match up?

Folayang: I am a fighter and I don’t underestimate fighters just because it’s their debut in One FC for in fact they had proven in their record that they themselves are qualified to fight in this league. Well, we are both in winning streak, it’s that his streak of wins is in different promotions.

Asia MMA:   If you get past Nastyukhin on December 5th, do you want a shot at Aoki’s title next?

Folayang: I don’t want to think about that until this fight will be over. Someday I believe that will happen.

 

On a Lightweight Title shot: “Someday I believe that will happen.”

 

Asia MMA:  Do you think you are technically ready to face the champion if given the chance to challenge him after your fight against Natsyukhin?

Folayang: As I said earlier, my focus this time is to finish the fight. Of course as a fighter I have the desire to challenge the champion, but I want to take it one step at a time.

Asia MMA:  You are fighting a guy who is known for his KO power and submission skills. What are your advantages over him?

Folayang: Well, perhaps my experience.

Asia MMA:  Once again, One FC will put on a stacked card at the MOA Arena. How is the feeling performing in front of your hometown crowd? Do you feel more pressure knowing the fact that you are fighting in front of thousands of Filipino fight fans?

Folayang: Well, I always feel that pressure fighting in my hometown crowd but it motivates me to prepare well so that I can give the best that I have.

Asia MMA:  What is your two-year plan in the fight business?

Folayang: Win all my fights and get the belt.

Asia MMA:  UFC just announced that they will finally be putting up a card in the Philippines next year. What do you think about it? Is your goal to be on that card next year?

Folayang: That is good news especially to our up and coming fighters here in the Philippines. Well, I am still in contract with One FC and I respect that much.

Asia MMA:  You still have a lot of years ahead of you in this sport, but how many more years are your fans going to see you competing in the cage? Do you have any target year for your retirement?

Folayang: That’s a hard question especially because I am passionate in this sport. I will answer that the day I post my retirement.

Asia MMA:  What can fans expect from Eduard Folayang against Timofey Natsyukhin?

Folayang: Fans will expect the same exciting fight style I’ve always had, and the same from my teammates.