Team Lakay coach: It's either you lose or you learn
Former ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang acknowledged that he overlooked one small detail that cost him the victory against a grizzled MMA veteran in Eddie Alvarez on Friday night.
"I rushed, that’s the mistake I made," said the Team Lakay stalwart after his disastrous defeat in their ONE Lightweight Grand Prix semifinals at Mall of Asia.
Folayang hurt Alvarez with an apparently painful calf kick seconds into the first round and had the former UFC fighter crashing to the ground.
He chased Alvarez for the kill, but in the blink of an eye the latter turned things around and got Folayang's back. It was only a matter of seconds when Alvarez caught him in a rear naked choke, forcing Folayang to tap out.
"I lost focus, I wanted to get up as soon as possible and forgot I was very vulnerable at that point," said Folayang.
"I was eager to get the finish. I think that’s my mistake, I wasn’t patient I wanted to finish him as soon as possible but it didn’t turn out great."
Folayang's stunning defeat somewhat summed up Team Lakay's performance on Friday night.
They were nearly shut out with 4 of their 5 fighters lined up for the card failed to reach the final bell.
Geje Eustaquio and Honorio Banario were halted by their respective opponents via stoppages. Edward Kelly, who was unable to continue fighting that night due to a hit in the nape, lost by technical decision.
But there's a glimmer of hope for Team Lakay.
Danny Kingad advanced to the final round of the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix following a razor thin decision victory over Reece McLaren.
Head coach Mark Sangiao himself said this is not the end for the Benguet-based stable.
"One and 4. It’s not the first time we’ve experienced something like this. Before we’ve experienced 0-5... We will be back again and we will be back stronger than ever," he said.
Even Folayang, who has suffered disastrous defeats before only to dust himself off and win titles, is optimistic about their future.
"I’d like to quote what Douglas McArthur said: We shall return," said "The Landslide."
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.