MMA: Folayang shares views on future of ONE lightweight division he once ruled

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2020 05:37 PM | Updated as of Oct 29 2020 06:05 PM

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Expect former ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang to watch the co-main event of ONE: Inside the Matrix wherein reigning lightweight king Christian Lee of Singapore will make the first defense of his title against undefeated challenger Iuri Lapicus of Moldova at Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday.

“This is a good fight between Christian Lee and Iuri Lapicus. The two top guys in the division, evenly matched," said Folayang.

"I don’t know if I will be able to watch it live, but I know I will watch it eventually. It’s a battle between a great striker and a great grappler. However, I think Christian is the more well-rounded fighter.” 

Folayang also said it will be a good test for the 21-year-old Lee.

In 2019, Lee became the youngest male mixed martial arts world champion when he knocked out Japanese legend Shinya Aoki. 

On the other hand, Lapicus is a Moldovan wonder, unbeaten and undeterred since turning professional in 2014. He trains in Italy with brothers Armen and Giorgio Petrosyan, which has strengthened his striking toolbox to complement his dangerous grappling game.

But despite Lapicus’ strong pedigree in grappling, Folayang believes it may not be enough to beat Lee.

“For Lapicus, it’s a chance to shock the world, keep his unblemished record intact, and snatch the lightweight title for himself,” said Folayang.

“Iuri is a great grappler, so it might be difficult for Christian to submit him. But being more well-rounded, I see Christian winning this fight in all aspects. It’s a good matchup but I think Christian takes it.”

In the main event, reigning middleweight and light heavyweight champion Aung La N Sang of Myanmar will defend his middleweight title against top contender Reinier de Ridder of The Netherlands.

Folayang will appear on the same card much earlier in the night, when he takes on Australian Antonio Caruso in a 3-round bout.