What fuels 2-time former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang to fight on despite the ups and downs of his career? It's passion, according to Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao.
“I think the end is there for every fighter. No one can fight forever," Sangiao mused. "It’s about listening to your body, and paying attention to your mindset... Honestly, we’ve never even discussed his retirement. He still wants to achieve a lot of things in this sport.”
Folayang is scheduled to take on Australia’s Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso in ONE: Inside The Matrix, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on October 30.
It will be a crucial match for Folayang who has lost 3 of his last 4 bouts.
"This fight will answer a lot of questions about Eduard, win or lose," said Sangiao.
Team Lakay are already on their way to Singapore as of posting time, and will soon get acclimated to the "Singapore bubble" the promotion established to deal with COVID-19.
Sangiao said Folayang is determined to break into the Top 5 in his division to start his title campaign.
In Caruso, Folayang faces a multiple-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion, who has trained under the legendary Henri Hooft.
A resounding victory over Caruso is necessary, and Sangiao said they have crafted the right game plan to produce a solid win.
“We’ve studied Antonio Caruso’s previous fights and we’ve already come up with a good game plan, which will hopefully work in our favor,” said Sangiao.
Many fans and experts said the end may be near for Folayang, and that the veteran should contemplate retirement, especially if he loses against Caruso.
“Eduard is a very talented fighter, no doubt. He has all the skills and tools to succeed on the championship level. And he has a very difficult style to deal with. As long as I can see Eduard being passionate and working hard for his career, I believe he can still get to the highest places in MMA,” said Sangiao.