FIGHT time for Eduard 'Landslide' Folayang.
The Filipino mixed martial arts icon returns after a nine-month absence when he takes on Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso in the ONE: Inside the Matrix event scheduled late Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Folayang never really stopped working during the lockdown in the Philippines and he believes it is about to pay off in a big way.
“I’m ready,” Folayang said. “I have been preparing [for this match] since before we knew it was going to be Caruso, so I’m coming in really prepared and motivated to get back on track.
“If you want a tree to grow you have to plant the seed, and we’ve been doing that. No matter how much you want something, if you’re not planting the seeds, then it won’t grow.”
Caruso, however, will have something to say about that.
The young Australian believes he is in a much better spot in his career, compared to Folayang who he believes is in the twilight of his career.
“Folayang is explosive, but no offense, [and] he’s 36 years old now,” Caruso said.
“We all know that saying that time doesn’t do us justice. I’m a young and hungry man, so come October 30, I’m going to be all over him. My explosion, I’m going to take it out on him, and you’re going to see that Friday night.”
A lot has been said about Folayang’s age and mileage, but the soft-spoken star from the highlands is having none of it.
“I’m still fresh, and I’m motivated to get back and prove that I still have a lot to offer in this division,” Folayang said.
“Hopefully, I get to show that on Friday. I plan to go over my game plan and execute it to perfection and make him fight my fight.”
Folayang believes this is just the start of his ascent back to the top.
“That’s the goal. The fire is still better. I plan to climb the rankings, break into the top five, and then maybe enter the top two and end up winning the title for the third time,” he said.
WHERE TO WATCH: ONE: Inside the Matrix on Friday live on One Sports+ or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Manila time. One Sports will air the event on a same-day delayed basis at 9 p.m. Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. on Saturday, 31 October.