John Wayne “The Gunslinger” Parr is coming in as the overwhelming favorite in his retirement match against former two-time ONE lightweight champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, especially since they’re fighting under Muay Thai rules.
That doesn’t mean he is expecting an easy win. In fact, he said he will be on his toes from round one until the final bell in this legend-versus-legend match set for the grand finale of ONE X on March 26 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“This is ONE world champion versus Muay Thai world champion, so it doesn’t get any bigger,” Parr said.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to share the Circle with Eduard Folayang. It excites me to finish my career on a high against a legitimate champion. It makes me motivated to wake up in the morning and train hard.
“Mr. Folayang is a legend, a superstar in the Philippines. And what he brings to the table is not your classic Muay Thai striking style. I’m expecting him to spin maybe once or twice.”
Unpredictability will be Folayang’s main weapon against Parr. The Filipino’s wushu background allows him to attack from angles that aren’t normally exploited in traditional Muay Thai bouts.
Take, for example, Team Lakay’s signature spinning attacks. Whether it be Folayang’s spinning back first or Kevin Belingon and Geje Eustaquio’s signature spinning back kick, the men from Baguio City know how to pull off surprise attacks.
If there’s anything that Parr has learned from nearly three decades of top-level competition, it’s not to take anyone lightly.
“I have to get my timing right so I don’t walk into anything silly. Not to be too cautious, but I have to be very wary of where I’m at the whole time – range, distancing,” Parr shared.
“When I attack, I have to make sure that I attack with purpose. Get in, get out. Don’t stay in the pocket too long in case I get caught with something crazy.”
Still, he is confident that he’ll walk away with win number 100 that night as he plans to push Folayang into a traditional Muay Thai bout, where he’ll have all the advantages in the world.
“If I can keep it to a pure Muay Thai game, I’ll be very hard to beat,” Parr said.
“So the advantage of this fight is that he’s coming into my world instead of me getting into his. I’m going to pick my shots and get the win.”