Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, of the Baguio City, Philippines had 19 ONE Championship fights from September 2011 to January 2020. Mixed martial arts fans are now wondering whether or not he is ready to hang up the gloves.
Folayang is training out of Team Lakay. Based in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines, the mixed martial arts team was founded by his fellow Igorot MMA veteran Mark “The Machine” Sangiao.
“Eduard is a very talented fighter, no doubt,” Sangiao said. “He has all the skills and tools to succeed on the championship level and he has a very difficult style to deal with. As long as I can see Eduard being passionate and working hard for his career, I believe he can still get to the highest places in MMA.”
“I think the end is there for every fighter,” Sangiao continued. “No one can fight forever. It’s about listening to your body and paying attention to your mindset.”
On October 30, 2020, Folayang will fight Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso, 29, of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia in the lightweight division at “ONE: Inside the Matrix” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. It will be the Team Lakay warrior’s 20th bout in ONE Championship.
“This fight will answer a lot of questions about Eduard, win or lose, but honestly, we’ve never even discussed his retirement,” Sangiao revealed. “He still wants to achieve a lot of things in this sport.”
Both Folayang and Caruso are coming out of a loss to Pieter “The Archangel” Buist, 32, of Breda, Netherlands. Sangiao said, “We’ve studied Antonio Caruso’s previous fights and we’ve already come up with a good game plan, which will hopefully work in our favor.”
Amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Team Lakay athletes never stopped training with or without announced fights. Sangiao said, “For us at Team Lakay, every fight, no matter how minor or major it is, it’s very important.”
“This fight in particular is very significant for Eduard as the result will dictate if he can get back in the list of top lightweight contenders,” Sangiao continued. “During the lockdowns here in Baguio City, we all trained in our respective homes. We only just returned to the gym two months ago, strictly adhering to COVID protocols.”
“It was great for our athletes because they could spar with each other,” the Team Lakay founder added. “Right now, we’re working double time, focusing on our game plans and strategies, especially for Eduard.”