MMA: Folayang still willing to join national team -- in esports

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2020 06:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran MMA fighter Eduard Folayang has represented the Philippines in several international tournaments, even winning a gold medal in wushu at the Southeast Asian Games in 2011.

Asked if he still looks to join the national wushu team in the future, Folayang first cracked a joke.

"Siguro, 'pag kaya pa natin," said the 35-year-old fighter during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.

"Kung hindi sa Mobile Legends na lang," he added in jest, referring to the popular multiplayer game that was a medal event during the 2019 SEA Games in Manila. "Joke lang, joke lang."

All jokes aside, Folayang is quite a prolific ML player, even though he only started playing in March.

In an interview with ONE Championship, he said that the game is "a great stress reliever -- if you win."

"If you don't manage it well and you lose, it can also be stressful," he admitted.

What makes it all the more fun for Folayang is that he gets to meet fans online, some of whom recognize the former two-time ONE Championship lightweight world champion.

"There's also some trash-talking going on in this game, so it's funny," he added. "But I think we all should respect each other always."

Folayang said it will always be an honor for him to represent the Philippines, but was non-committal about possibly joining the national team in an official capacity again.

"Siyempre, 'yung sense of patriotism to your country is very big, and as much as possible, we want to represent our country in a lot of ways, in a lot of ways," he said.

Aside from the SEA Games, Folayang has also worn national team colors in the 2002 and 2006 Asian Games, winning a bronze in Busan and a silver in Doha.

Folayang will return to action on October 30, when he takes on Antonio "The Spartan" Caruso of Australia in the undercard of ONE: Inside the Matrix in Singapore.