The former ONE Lightweight World Champion has endured a rough run lately. First, he lost his World Title to Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in May. Then he fell to “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semifinals in August.
Despite the setbacks, the Filipino icon is confident he can get back on the winning track this coming Friday, 8 November against Amarsanaa “Spear” Tsogookhuu at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE in Manila, Philippines.
“Landslide” is looking to recapture the same focus that helped him win his second ONE Lightweight World Title against the division’s knockout king Amir Khan last November.
Even though the memories from that emphatic victory on home soil will always remain close to him, Folayang is only focused on besting his Mongolian rival on Friday.
“I still have the same focused mindset I had even during my winning run last year,” he said.
The Team Lakay standout also believes there is no better way to end 2019 than with the all-important victory.
“We’re coming off back-to-back losses, so it’s important for me to get a win back in order to finish the year strong,” Folayang said. “I want to give the fans a terrific performance for my last bout of the year.”
Two straight defeats to Aoki and Alvarez have made Folayang’s 2019 campaign one to forget, but the 35-year-old has gained valuable insight from his losses, and he is ready to wipe the slate clean in his upcoming match.
“At this level, there is very little margin for error. This sport can be very unforgiving on small mistakes,” he said.
“I knew Eddie was a striker, but I focused too much on that and almost forgot that it was a mixed martial arts bout. He used that momentary slip of my mind to win over me. So now, I’m preparing for any aspect of the game.”
Having overcome tremendous adversity and early tragedy to become a World Champion, “Landslide” has the heart and courage needed to rebound from his loss to Alvarez.
“It’s a huge motivator for me. We lost, so we are certainly not happy about it. We faced legends in the sport who took advantage of the mistakes I committed,” Folayang said.
“The pain of losing will probably never fade, but the most important lesson we have to learn is how to move on from it.”
The SEA Games wushu gold medalist has seen Tsogookhuu in action and is well aware of his rival’s strengths.
“I can see that his game is more focused on the striking aspect, and he uses his takedowns to gain points,” the Filipino said.
“I think he’s a smart fighter who uses his skills well and with purpose when he competes.”
While the Team Lakay representative has a strategy in place, he is keeping an open mind until he steps into the Circle to face Tsogookhuu.
“I don’t want to focus on what he’s perceived to be because he can always have a game plan that might be completely different, so we’re really preparing for any possible scenario,” he said.
“If we stay on our feet, you know that I’m a striker as well, so I can play my game.
“I’m excited to see the results of our preparations and how I can execute our game plans in the Circle. If I can pull it through as planned, I’m 100 percent certain that the result will be in our favor.”
Check out ONE: MASTERS OF FATE, this Friday, 8 November.
Also, Channel 5 will cut-in to the live broadcast at 10:00pm SGT.
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