MMA: The fire is still in Folayang, says coach


Posted at Oct 20 2020 04:54 PM

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Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao is confident of Eduard “Landslide” Folayang’s chances when he returns to the ONE Championship Circle for the first time in eight months. 

Folayang takes on Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso at ONE: Inside the Matrix on October 30 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and his head coach believes that the Team Lakay star is set for a big showing despite the long lay-off. 

“Of course we’re prepared, we’ve been training for this since March,” Sangiao said in jest.

While they were not exactly preparing for Caruso all the way back in March, the team never took time off despite the COVID-19 pandemic which paralyzed the nation.

When the lockdown started, Sangiao created training routines for his students to follow in the safety of their homes. 

When gyms were allowed to open to professional athletes in May, the team started working out while patiently waiting for ONE to call. 

That call came five months later.

“We focused on home training so we don’t lose our conditioning. These athletes focused on their own home workouts before they were allowed to return to the gym,” Sangiao said. 

The long preparation could lead some athletes to wear out, but Sangiao isn’t stressing about it.

“I don’t think there’s burnout in this one. The athletes are actually very excited to compete. Some started living in the gym the moment they were allowed to train there, so I’m not really worried,” he said.

Having been with Folayang for nearly two decades, Sangiao knows him more than anyone else when it comes to competition. So seeing the fire burn inside of his prized ward and good friend excites him. 

“We’re claiming this. We’re claiming that he’s out to become the lightweight champ for the fourth time,” Sangiao said. 

“I still believe in Eduard, and for as long as the fire is still there, then I am confident that he can still do it.”