Folayang shrugs off calls for retirement: Not yet in my vocabulary

Published October 29, 2020, 3:08 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Eduard Folayang is determined to rediscover his form inside the Circle. (PBA Images)

Eduard Folayang has made it clear. He’s not going anywhere but the Circle.

The Team Lakay veteran, once and for all, has shrugged off talks regarding his supposed retirement.

Folayang, who will turn 36 next month, is set for a comeback in ONE Championship after nine long months against Australian foe Antonio Caruso, 29, in ONE: Inside the Matrix, which also features four world title bouts.

Set at Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday, Manong Ed is out to prove doubters wrong that there’s still a lot left in his gas tank despite facing another younger fighter.

“I know there are a lot of people who think I should retire, especially if I lose this fight against Antonio Caruso. That’s understandable. But the word retirement is not yet in my vocabulary. I believe there is still a lot of potential to be unleashed,” said Folayang.

“I am a true martial artist, and I’m constantly learning even at this age. We have a saying in Team Lakay, ‘you win or you learn.’ This means I am constantly getting better with every fight.”

For Folayang, age is just a mere number. At 35, the two-time lighweight champion aims to collect hard-earned points to climb up the rankings en route to another title shot.

The first step to achieve that mission is to beat Caruso, who he considered as the “most important fight” of his career as far as the road to another championship is concerned.

Currently unlisted in the lightweight rankings, Folayang had lost three of the last four fights since 2019, his latest from No. 3 Pieter Buist last January, the Dutchman fighter who also spoiled Caruso’s ONE debut last year.

“We all have a choice how we approach our problems. The world will throw stuff at us, different challenges, but it’s always up to the individual how to deal with those challenges,” said the Team Lakay stalwart.

“Do we rise up to face them? Or do we fold? I choose to be positive and think of the good things that will come through after this pandemic is over. There’s a lot to look forward to, and I’m hopeful for the future.”