MMA: Eduard Folayang reclaims ONE title in electrifying win

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2018 11:19 PM | Updated as of Nov 24 2018 12:32 AM

MMA: Eduard Folayang reclaims ONE title in electrifying win 1
Eduard Folayang is flanked by members of Team Lakay after winning the ONE world lightweight title Friday night. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Eduard Folayang outpunched, out-wrestled and out-struck Amir Khan of Singapore to recapture the ONE world lightweight championship via unanimous decision on Friday.

This time last year, Folayang absorbed a painful, violent defeat to Martin Nguyen of Australia, raising a few questions about the Baguio fighter's future in the cage.

But the Team Lakay fighter methodically got back on his feet this year, collecting a pair of wins against two Russian fighters before getting another shot at the same title Folayang lost to Nguyen but that Nguyen eventually relinquished because of an injury.

Against Khan and in front of a vocal, supportive crowd at Mall of Asia Arena, Folayang was relentless but at the same time deliberate in his attacks, launching his signature spinning kicks, elbows and fists at precise moments.

Just as he promised, Folayang was more unpredictable this time by timing his opponent with various spinning back strikes that found home on Khan’s head.

Folayang even dropped Khan with one of those flashy moves in the second round.

By the final seconds of the fifth, Khan was already bleeding in the mouth and his right eye.

The Singaporean tried to rally that round, but Folayang kept him at bay with successive kicks.

Although Khan threatened with several counters and head kicks, they were not enough to upset a more experienced Folayang.

With little mistakes and an aggressive mindset, Folayang, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Thursday, November 22, got the judges' nod in his return to the ONE summit.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)