MANILA, Philippines – Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Eduard Folayang will show what Filipino fighters are made of when he battles Swiss-Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Felipe Enomoto.
Folayang will square off with Enomoto in the main card of "ONE FC: Pride of a Nation" at the Smart Araneta-Coliseum on Friday.
“Napaka-importante ng laban kong ito sa Pilipinas kasi maipapakita ko ulit kung gaano kagaling ng mga Pinoy sa larangan ng MMA na hindi lang tayo sa boxing kundi may magagaling din tayong mga MMA fighters,” Folayang, nicknamed “Landslide,” said in an interview with ANC’s Boyet Sison.
The Baguio-based fighter said he is motivated ahead of his bout because he will be fighting in front of fellow Filipinos.
Folayang expects a good fight from Enomoto, who defeated Folayang’s tormentor, Filipino-Danish Ole Laursen.
“[Para] sa akin mas magaling pa rin si Ole,” said the Filipino fighter. “’Yung last na laban nila, naging confident lang siya masyado.”
Also scheduled to fight on Friday’s "ONE FC" event are Filipino MMA fighter Kevin Belingon versus Soo Chul Kim, Tim Sylvia versus Andrei Arlovski and Jens Pulver versus Eric Kelly.
The main event will be between Brazil’s Bibiano Fernandes and Australia’s Gustavo Falciroli.
"ONE FC" CEO Victor Cui said Friday’s event will be the first of similar fight cards that will take place in Manila.
Cui, a Canadian-born Filipino-Chinese, said the Philippines is an important market because Filipinos love MMA.
“We'll be back here in Manila for several times a year, we have an awesome partner in URCC (Ultimate Reality Combat Championships) and Alvin Aguilar, they have revolutionized MMA here in the Philippines... so this is an exciting market to be because they know the sport.”