IT’S champion against champion when One Championship returns to the Philippines as local MMA hero Eduard Folayang defends his lightweight title against the recently crowned featherweight champion Martin Nguyen in the main event of ‘Legends of the World’ set on November 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
This marks the second straight time that Folayang will be defending his title in front of his hometown after conquering EV Ting last April in his first title defense after snagging the crown from Japanese legend Shinya Aoki late last year.
At 18-5, Folayang would be putting in his four-fight winning streak on the line against the tough hitting Australian.
“As a martial artist, I am constantly in search of the biggest challenges, the biggest tests of my skills. As champion, I welcome any and all challengers. Martin [Nguyen] is one of the best in the world and it is an honor to share the One Championship cage with him,” said Folayang who expressed excitement of fighting in his home country again.
“This is a bout for the fans, and I can’t wait to perform in front of my hometown crowd in Manila once again. I have complete respect for my opponent’s skills and together with my brothers at Team Lakay, my coach Mark Sangiao, I’m preparing to showcase the best version of Eduard Folayang on November 10,” he added.
A win here would extend Folayang’s reign as the true king of the division to further emphasize an epic turnaround from his career struggles from over two years ago, but make no mistake about it, Nguyen will be one worthy challenger.
Nguyen has won his last five fights and totes a 9-1 record. Last August, the Australian slugger avenged his only defeat of the year by stopping featherweight king Marat Gafurov via punches in the second round.
The 28-year-old KMA Top Team standout will be coming in a smaller man against Folayang, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll back down from creating fireworks on November.
“New Year will be coming early this year, because in this fight there will definitely be fireworks. I'm out not only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the One Championship banner,” said Nguyen.
“I have the utmost respect for the lightweight champion, and will definitely not take his skills for granted. But this is going to be a dog fight. It's the first time two champions in different divisions go head-to-head in One, and I am excited to give the performance of a lifetime.”