MANNY Pacquiao showed his support for Filipino mixed martial arts fighters in ONE Championship by showing up at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night for the ONE: Kings of Destiny card.
And no one was happier than Eduard Folayang, who hacked out a unanimous decision win over Ev Ting to retain his ONE lightweight title with Pacquiao watching from ringside.
The Filipino boxing superstar, who is actually a shareholder of ONE, even presented the belt to Folayang right after his first defense of the ONE lightweight title.
“I’m so happy na dumating siya. Napakalaking inspiration na dumating siya. Akala ko sa TV ko lang makikita pero nandito na,” Folayang said after the match.
Folayang said Pacquiao spoke to him before the fight and gave him words of encouragement.
“I was encouraged na sabi niya na, 'You are one of the legends of mixed martial arts in the Philippines.' Sabi niya, ‘I wish you good luck and I came here to see you,’ and that’s a big thing na dumadating ‘yung mga tinitingalaan nating mga atleta. It really encouraged me,” said Folayang.
Folayang said Pacquiao’s presence is a huge boost for Team Lakay and Philippine MMA as a whole.
“Napakapalad nating mga Pinoy kasi marami tayong magagaling na atleta at sumusuporta pa rin kahit in a different sport,” said Folayang.