Folayang faces Japanese-Korean Akiyama in battle of veterans

Published March 20, 2021, 6:20 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from ONE Championship

Team Lakay veteran Eduard Folayang is set to return to the Circle against seasoned Japanese-Korean fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama in their lightweight clash in ONE on TNT IV at the Singapore Indoor Stadium next month.

Team Lakay announced the development on its Facebook page Saturday, March 20.

Folayang, 36, last saw action in ONE Championship last October, suffering defeat at the hands of Aussie opponent Antonio Caruso in ONE: Inside the Matrix.

Caruso had scored a unanimous decision for his first win in the Singapore-based promotion en route to an overall 8-1 record while victory remained to be elusive for the Team Lakay stalwart, who now holds a 22-10 slate.

Since March 2019, Folayang only earned one win from his last five fights, with the last victory coming against Mongolian Tsogookhuu Amarsanaa. In that span, he lost to Shinya Aoki of Japan, Eddie Alvarez of the US, Pieter Buist of the Netherlands and Caruso.

Against Akiyama, who will scale down from the welterweight division, Folayang will be facing a 45-year-old UFC veteran who holds a 15-7 record.

Akiyama, a Japanese of Korean descent, had spent a four-year hiatus from mixed martial arts before jumping ship to ONE in 2019. He has a 1-1 card in the Singapore-based promotion.

Folayang will be joining teammate and ONE Championship newcomer Stephen Loman, the longest-reigning champion in the BRAVE Combat Federation, in the same card.  

Loman is set to clash with No. 1 bantamweight contender John Lineker, also a former UFC fighter who took down Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon last November.

READ: Team Lakay coach confident of Loman’s chances vs No. 1 bantamweight Lineker

Headlining ONE on TNT IV will be a light heavyweight title bout between current champion Aung La N Sang and Vitaly Bigdash on April 29.