Eduard Folayang, Martin Nguyen cast friendship aside in historic battle of One champions
Eduard Folayang and Martin Nguyen face off in the first-ever champion vs champion clash in One Championship. Marlo Cueto

EDUARD Folayang is out to reassert his supremacy and break new ground in the One Championship when he defends his lightweight crown against featherweight king Martin Nguyen in a champion versus champion fight of the 'Legends of the World' card on November 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

For the first time, two One Championship titleholders collide when Folayang stakes his crown against Nguyen, the Australian fighter who took the featherweight division title when he beat Marat Gafurov last August.

Despite being the bigger fighter, Folayang is not taking this match lightly, especially with Nguyen fully motivated to win this historic battle and silence home fans.

"Mas mataas ang risk na tinaya niya. (Pero) kung maganda ang resulta for him, it's a good return for him," said Folayang during the face-off on Tuesday to promote the fight.

Folayang, who won his second defense of his lightweight title against EV Ting last April, said he will do everything in order to stay as One champion.

"Siguro ang gusto kong ituro sa kanya, it's my kingdom in the lightweight division. It could be a good lesson for him to try my division. It's bigger, mas malalaki compared sa featherweight," said the Team Lakay fighter, who holds an 18-5 win-loss card including a four-fight winning streak.

Nguyen is equally pumped up as it’s always been his dream to be the first fighter in the promotion to hold two weight division titles at the same time. He had wanted to face One bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandez before, but One championship gave him a shot at Folayang’s lightweight belt instead.

"The plan wasn't even to move up to lightweight but (this kind) of opportunity doesn't come too often. I want Bibiano but One officials saw otherwise. Opportunity doesn't come too often and I'm pumped up," said Nguyen, who is also called 'The Situ-Asian.'

Friendship also takes a backseat for the 28-year-old Nguyen from KMA Top Team in his bid to make history as a two-division titleholder in One Championship.

"I like Eduard. We spent some time together in LA. In terms of friendship, I messaged him on Facebook and we came to an agreement that we put our friendship aside. It's strictly business. We are mixed martial artists at the end of the day. We are here to entertain and put an entertaining fight. That's what we came to agree," said Nguyen, who has a 9-1 win-loss record in his MMA career.


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