By Jan Carlo Anolin
Eduard Folayang is not thinking too far ahead with what is yet to come in his career as a mixed martial artist.
But just like everybody else in the MMA scene, Folayang eyes a steady course in his journey to a possible third lightweight title in ONE Championship.
The 35-year-old Igorot warrior, of course, wants no less than that championship belt.
“And yet kung mag-fail man tayo, ayun ‘yung purpose ng fighting natin kung hindi doon sa championship – so [is it] to become a better human being na lang ba? Or more than that?” Folayang said Tuesday during the ONE: Fire & Fury open workout at One Esplanade in Pasay City.
“’Yun ‘yung naglalaro sa utak ko.”
The two-time ONE lightweight world champion wants to assess the impact of year 2020 first, be it upcoming fights or life events, before proceeding to the title bout.
Folayang is set to face Pieter Buist of the Netherlands this Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena, a fight he considers ‘very important.’
“Kapag naipanalo natin ito, the closer we get to that [championship] shot and ‘yun naman ‘yung gusto natin. Naghanda tayo para masungkit ‘yung panalo this Friday.”
At 6-foot-2, Buist might be a huge hurdle for Folayang, who draws motivation from the fact.
“The more na makikita ko’ yung height niya, the more na nakikita ko kung gaano pa kataas ‘yung tatalunin ko,” the 5-foot-6 Baguio native fighter said.
Folayang vowed to exceed the performance in his previous fight where he won via technical decision over Mongolia’s Amarsanaa Stogookhuu due to an unintentional headbutt last November.
The fight was stopped at the 2:29 mark of the second round after Folayang was left bloodied with a cut on his left cheek.