SINGAPORE – Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao is confident his ward Eduard Folayang’s polished ground game can be the difference maker against ONE Championship lightweight titleholder Shinya Aoki when both men face off on Friday in the main event of ONE: Defending Honor here.
Sangiao said Folayang, a known wushu fighter, and the team made an effort to prepare for Aoki’s elite grappling that has made him one of the best MMA fighters in his division.
“Alam naman natin na si Shinya, legend sa grappling at maganda ang wrestling takedowns niya. Pinaghandaan namin at isa ‘yun sa gameplan. Hangga’t maari, pinaghandaan namin ‘yung wrestling at grappling niya,” he said.
“Hindi niya basta basta makukuha si Eduard,” Sangiao assured.
But Sangiao admits Folayang, a member of the Team Lakay MMA group, enters as the underdog against Aoki in their title bout at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Still, he likes the attitude his ward has shown in preparing for the fight, with Folayang watching videos of his opponent to study his foe’s moves.
“Maganda ‘yung preparation ni Eduard. Pinaghandaan niya ng husto dahil eto ‘yung time na binigay sa kanya ‘yung title shot. Ayaw niyang palampasin,” said Sangiao.
“Very confident siya at ganun din kami. Napakasipag niya sa training. Buong-buo ‘yung confidence niya,” he added.
The underdog tag on Folayang also doesn’t bother Sangiao.
“Anything will happen. Pinaghandaan din namin ito ng husto,” he said.