Australia's Antonio Caruso said he has admired Eduard Folayang, but on fight night Friday any sense of appreciation would be set aside.
Caruso takes on the Pinoy MMA icon in ONE: Inside the Matrix at Singapore Indoor Stadium, hoping to begin a string of victories in the lightweight class.
“Eduard, it’s going to be an honor to fight you. It’s all business, and I can’t wait to face a legend like yourself,” Caruso said. “Unfortunately, it’s going to be the old lion versus the young lion, and I’m ready to take what’s mine."
“I hope the best Eduard Folayang comes to fight. I can’t wait to do it.”
Caruso said he has been watching Folayang for quite some time now and he wants to replicate what the Filipino has built.
Besides capturing the ONE lightweight world title, Folayang has also served as the face of the sport in the Philippines, inspiring other martial artists in the country to follow in his footsteps.
“I want to achieve everything Eduard has achieved,” Caruso said. “He’s a legend of this division, of this sport, and of the country, that’s exactly what I want to do.”
The Sanford MMA Gym product acknowledged that Folayang will come in as the more experienced fighter, but he believes the Filipino has not battled anyone like him yet.
“What I bring to the table that he has not seen before is me. He has never fought me, never faced me, and never fought anyone like me before,” Caruso said.
“He’s seen boxers, kickboxers, wrestlers, jiu-jitsu (experts), but he has never fought me, Antonio the Spartan.”