ONE FC 15 – “Rise of Heroes” will take place on May 2, 2014 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. In the co-main event, Filipino MMA icon Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is ready to showcase his talent in his hometown as he takes on a very durable Japanese MMA veteran in Kotetsu “No Face” Boku.
Headlining the event is the Bantamweight Championship clash between Brazilian phenom Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and Bantamweight Grand Prix winner Masakatsu Ueda. This will be both fighter’s second appearance in Manila. In May of 2013, Bibiano won the Interim Bantamweight Championship, and on the same event, Ueda defeated Kevin Belingon in the ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix Finals.
Fan favorites Folayang and Boku as the co-main event should be equally as anticipated. URCC Welterweight Champion Folayang will look to climb back up the rankings as he lock horns with the former ONE FC Lightweight title holder. Folayang, a 2011 SEA Games Gold Medallist, is known for his tremendous striking prowess and endurance, which should play well against Boku’s boxing and determination.
Fresh from a unanimous decision victory over French fighter Vincent Latoel, Folayang looks for his second-straight victory.
“My win over Vincent was just a return on my hard work. He is a well-experienced fighter, that is why I worked my butt off.”
Folayang is optimistic that scoring an impressive win over the powerful Japanese striker could catapult him into a title fight against the current 155-pounds Champ Shinya Aoki. But Folayang is definitely not looking past Boku. Folayang is spending his training camp as always with Team Lakay in the mountainous city of Baguio, Philippines, and he believes that he will be in his best shape possible.
“If I might be given a title shot over a win against the former champion, then it will add motivation for me not to take this fight lightly. Facing a former champion and a veteran fighter is tough. Watching Boku’s fights in the cage will tell you how that handles his opponents well. My training is good, as well as my diet. I am preparing well for this big fight.”
Though Team Lakay had a roller coaster ride last year, they managed to end 2013 winning three out of their four matches in December at ONE FC “Rise to Power” in Manila. Folayang’s cousin and teammate Mark “El Terrible” Eddiva won his UFC debut against highly-dangerous Chinese fighter Jumabieke Tuerxun and made history as the first born and raised Filipino fighter to score a win in the UFC.
Folayang is hungrier than ever for his upcoming fight as he knows that it is the perfect time to prove he is a legit threat to the champ’s title.
“We can never avoid failures but we can prepare how to handle them. I may have lost in the past but my dream is bigger than those bumps. Winning is a very important thing for me that’s why I train hard. Our victories in the past are already finished, but they help us to never stop dreaming and conquering ourselves.”
With Folayang’s dominance in the URCC and his thrilling and powerful matches in ONE FC, he has attained international recognition as one of the first top-notch fighters from the Philippines. He has humbly accepted the praise and fame, yet he uses it to improve himself and others around him.
“Well, I believe that it is just part of being focused, and to never stop believing that we can achieve something that can impact other people, that they may live also a life beyond mediocrity. “Famous” is a word that if you are not careful, it will blow your head up.”
Folayang is not only a talented fighter and one of the best ambassadors of the sport, he is a very spiritual person. He reads the Bible and never fails to pray every day. He believes that a fighter cannot just go inside the cage and compete with a weak spirit, so aside training to be physically fit, he also prepares himself spiritually.
“Spiritual training is vital because it pushes your physical body in the preparation period and in the fight itself.”
As one of the most recognizable and admired fighters in the Philippines, Folayang is looking forward to performing in front of his countrymen once again.
“The fans can expect another exciting fight coming from ‘The Landslide’.”