Former ONE lightweight Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is determined to settle the score with MMA legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki when they meet for the third and perhaps final time on April 28.
The two MMA vets will square off in a trilogy bout at ONE on TNT IV, which will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
“This next fight is very important. It’s an important juncture in my career. Right now, the team is helping me prepare as always, and I am highly motivated to get this win. I have a pack of ferocious lions behind me, helping me sharpen my tools,” said Folayang.
“I’m ready to go to war. Mentally and physically, I’m going to bring the best Eduard Folayang to the Circle.”
Folayang and Aoki have met twice before, the first time in 2016, when “Landslide” shocked the world with a third-round technical knockout victory to commence his first reign as lightweight king.
They fought again in 2019, with Aoki taking home a quick first-round submission win.
One recurring theme in their bouts is the classic striker versus grappler dynamic. Folayang is a wushu specialist, while Aoki is widely considered one of the most dangerous grapplers in mixed martial arts history.
Folayang believes this fight will come down to who can execute their game plan more, and who can play to his strengths.
“Shinya is nicknamed the grandmaster of the flying submissions. The title itself invokes fear into any opponent. He’s a legend. But I like to think that with my time in this sport, fans know who I am and know what I bring to the table,” said Folayang.
“Nevertheless, I’m going to be well-prepared for the test he presents. I’m a striker through and through, but I will make the necessary adjustments for this fight. I am confident I will get my hands raised at the end.”
Folayang said he wants to put in a vintage performance. He has the utmost confidence he can defeat Aoki again and reclaim his place among the division’s finest.
“There is no doubt in my mind. I want to show fans a strong, rejuvenated Eduard Folayang. I want to show them my best. I have faith in God, and I fight for my family, my teammates, and my countrymen. This is the most important fight of my career so far, and I will do everything I can to come out on top,” said Folayang.
FROM THE ARCHIVES