MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fighter Eduard Folayang plans to make his case for a world title shot when he collides against former lightweight champion Kotetsu Boku on Friday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
A dominant victory over Boku could set him up for a title challenge against ONE FC lightweight champion Shinya Aoki.
“It's my goal to get that belt, not only for myself, but for my team and for my country. The determination to achieve that dream is burning in my heart,” the 29-year-old Team Lakays fighter said in MMAWeekly.com.
“I believe that a win over Boku will bring me closer to the title that's why I need to be victorious.”
Folayang is coming off a unanimous verdict against Dutchman Vincent Latoel last December in front of his local fans.
“The Landslide,” however, has a formidable foe in the tattoo-riddled Boku, who stopped Arnaud Lepont in just one round last March.
“He is good at using boxing and for me to counter that I need to learn more about the principles of boxing, so I have been training with some very good boxers. I think Boku's strength is in his hands; he likes to trade and knows how to use his punching power to capitalize,” said Folayang.
He added that he plans to incorporate his newfound wrestling skills into his repertoire.
“I believe I'm a much more well-rounded than him because I can use punches, kicks and takedowns together… From what I have seen in his fights I believe his wrestling is his weakness,” said Folayang.
The Folayang-Boku match will serve as the co-main event of ONE FC: Rise of Heroes, which will feature the bantamweight title defense of Bibiano Fernandes against Grand Prix winner Masakatsu Ueda.