If Eduard Folayang is feeling any pressure ahead of his third One Fighting Championship appearance, he certainly isn’t showing it.

A native of the Philippines and reigning Universal Reality Combat Championship welterweight titlist, Folayang now finds himself fighting on home soil in the co-headlining slot of One FC 5. The event marks the Singapore-based promotion’s inaugural trip to Folayang’s homeland and takes place Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Manila.

“I am so happy to be fighting in my home country. My skill was developed here, and one way of giving back to Filipino people is to showcase my talent here in my home country,” Folayang recently told Sherdog.com “It is an honor, and I am very grateful to sir Victor Cui and to One FC for giving me the opportunity to fight in front of my fellow Filipinos.”

Folayang will compete on the evening’s live pay-per-view stream against Swiss competitor Felipe Enomoto. Though Enomoto has lost three of his last four bouts, he notably submitted kickboxing veteran Ole Laursen, the man who handed Folayang his first One FC defeat via split decision on March 31.

“Enomoto is a good fighter, and I am expecting an all-out war. I do not think he will be afraid to keep the fight standing, and I know he will not back down. Both my fights for ONE FC have been ‘Fight of the Night,’ and I predict [the same for] this fight,” said Folayang. “I am ready to go toe-to-toe with Felipe for three rounds. If I can finish the fight before that, then I will, but he is a very tough opponent. I want to show my skills in striking, but if it something different happens, I am prepared for anywhere the fight goes.”

Though the 27-year-old has fought nearly half of his professional career on home soil, his upcoming bout with Enomoto nonetheless serves as a special occasion simply due to the platform on which he will compete. Folayang now faces Enomoto at the same venue in which Muhammad Ali bested Joe Frazier in their brutal third encounter back in 1975, dubbed “The Thrilla in Manilla.”

“I am very proud to represent the Philippines. A lot of people here like MMA, and they see my fights on ESPN Star Sports, but this is the first time One FC is coming to the Philippines,” said Folayang. “I am happy that people can see me fight for One FC in the arena and not just on TV.”

Friday’s contest marks arguably the most pivotal moment in Folayang’s career thus far, as the fighter looks to avoid suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time. Though just a five-year pro in MMA, Folayang has spent a total of 11 years honing his martial arts skills to reach his current heights.

“I started kickboxing when I was 16 years old, and after that I transitioned into Wushu and became national champ and won three medals at the Southeast Asian Games,” said Folayang. “In 2011, in Jakarta, Indonesia, I won the gold medal with a spinning back kick knockout in the final. I would like to finish a fight like that in MMA. It would be a good feeling.”

Though Folayang says he is completely focused on Friday’s confrontation with Enomoto, the lightweight hopes that this bout will serve as a step toward his ultimate goal of becoming One FC champion while inspiring other Filipinos to become mixed martial artists.

“I am very happy with One FC, because it is the biggest promotion in Asia and because it gives me the opportunity to fight in front of so many fans in Manila. My focus is to become champion of One FC. That is my dream, and that is my goal,” said Folayang. “If young Filipinos have the talent and the heart to try this sport, then why not try it? I hope I can be a good example to young Filipinos, and if they decide to learn martial arts because of me, I will be happy about that.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Cody Garbrandt Predicts He'll Knock Out Dominick Cruz Early (UFC 207 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago
  • 9 views

UFC bantamweight challenger Cody Garbrandt talks about his upcoming UFC 207 co-main event title bout against champion Dominick Cruz. read news >>

UFC 207's Dong Hyun Kim still calling out Demian Maia, hopes to steal title shot

  • 24 days ago
  • 12 views

LAS VEGAS – For a guy whose last three fights were marred by opponent changes and withdrawals, a short-notice booking with oft-injured opponent would be cause for concern.Filed under: Featured Videos read news >>

Ray Borg hopes UFC 207 win over Louis Smolka kickstarts run to champ Demetrious Johnson

  • 24 days ago
  • 21 views

LAS VEGAS – It’s been a bizarre latter half of 2016 for Ray Borg, and he’s hoping to have a good end to the calendar year ahead of a fresh start in 2017. Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

LeBron James 'knows exactly how' Ronda Rousey is feeling right now

  • 22 days ago
  • 35 views

Ronda Rousey is likely down, though it’s not exactly clear if she’s out – of the sport anyway. But one of the planet’s most recognizable athletes said he knows exactly what she’s going through.Filed read news >>

"Disturbing" WADA Politics Have Blocked MMA's Olympic Hopes | FIGHTLAND

  • 13 days ago
  • 3 views

Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports MMA’s amateur international governing body, IMMAF, have been pushing to gain the sport of MMA recognition, and last year, IMMAF president Kerrith Brown announced t read news >>

Despite feeling overdue for UFC shot, LFA 1's Leandro Higo plans to keep on truckin'

  • 11 days ago
  • 4 views

The way Leandro Higo is looking at his MMA career, he ought to be in the UFC right now. Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC read news >>

Yair Rodriguez not feeling B.J. Penn's anger: 'We're going to fight anyway'

  • 9 days ago
  • 32 views

PHOENIX – The UFC Fight Night 103 headliner between Yair Rodriguez and B.J. Penn isn’t exactly a grudge match, but “The Prodigy” isn’t exactly interested in making friends in the cage, either. Filed read news >>

Like a Tito Ortiz monologue, Bellator 170 fight with Chael Sonnen is a bad idea too good to ignore

  • 2 days ago
  • 6 views

There's a feeling you get when Tito Ortiz, who is not known for being a deft public speaker, attempts to recreate a Christopher Walken monologue. It's a feeling not too dissimilar from the one drivin read news >>

Bellator 170's Cody Bollinger hopes Henry Corrales chokes with the pressure of staying employed

  • a day ago
  • 3 views

Bellator featherweight Cody Bollinger figures his upcoming opponent knows the score when it comes to his career. Whether he’ll be able to benefit from that, he’ll see.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Titan FC 43 fighter Raush Manfio's future hopes: Ability 'to pay my bills'

  • a day ago
  • 3 views

Whatever is next for lightweight prospect Raush Manfio will hopefully lead to one thing: an ability to pay his months.Filed under: News read news >>