Japanese grappler Shinya Aoki believes fellow former MMA champion Eduard Folayang should continue fighting to overcome his slump.
Aoki forced Folayang to submit in one round during their trilogy fight last week, but he offered kind words for the Filipino striker.
"Let's fight again together a couple of years later," said the Japanese legend.
Aoki said Folayang should not be discouraged even after racking up a string of losses.
He said he has gone through a similar predicament especially after he got upset by the Filipino in 2016.
“Five years ago, I lost against him. After that, I went through some struggles and a hard time, but I overcame that,” said the Japanese fighter.
“I think Folayang is having the same situation. He is losing a lot, but I think he can come back again."
In their third bout, Folayang tried to prevent the fight from going to the ground where Aoki is more dominant.
But Aoki was able to outwit the Filipino by faking a standing triangle attempt before securing a takedown. Once on the ground, the Japanese secured a full mount before submitting Folayang with an armbar.
“I felt fear before going into the bout, but I won, so I am happy and satisfied now,” said Aoki.
Aoki is now 2-1 against Folayang.
“I thought it would be tougher against Eduard, but my ground control went well and the elbows dropped with very good timing, so that was the point that favored me.”
But he believes it not yet the end of Folayang's career.
"He is a good friend, a good opponent, hopefully we can fight again in the near future,” he said.
FROM THE ARCHIVES