Reflecting on past mistakes, Folayang eyes holistic approach vs Akiyama

Published April 2, 2021, 4:44 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Eduard Folayang (ONE Championship)

Team Lakay veteran Eduard Folayang, who is currently on a two-match slump, is hoping to unleash his signature moves by using a holistic approach this time against fellow seasoned Japanese-Korean fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama in ONE on TNT IV at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on April 28.

“As much as possible, kailangan din talaga pagtuunan din ng pansin ‘yung mga kulang natin sa past (As much as possible, I need to address and reflect on my past shortcomings),” said Folayang, who holds a 22-10 mixed martial arts record.

READ: Inspired by Team Lakay triumph, Folayang raring to get elusive win

“So talagang holistic ‘yung approach ko this time. If pwede ko siya madala sa ground and mabalik ‘yung dating signature ko na ground and pound then it will be good. Kung makukuha ko siya sa stand up area, it will be best (I will use a holistic approach this time. If I can take him to the ground and bring back my signature ground and pound then it will be good. If I can fight him in the stand up area, it will be best.

The 37-year-old Folayang is once again on a mission to defy age and prove his doubters wrong. He admitted it won’t be a walk in the park, given that Akiyama has proven enough that age is just a number with a recent knockout win over Sherif Mohamed.

Knowing that this is a battle between veterans, Folayang said a win would be a career-booster for him especially after winning only once in his last five bouts since March 2019.

Should the strategy go as planned, the two-time lightweight champion is eyeing for a finish against Akiyama, who will scale down from the welterweight division.

“Gusto natin ipakita dito na isa sa mga pinamakamagandang highlight ng career natin as an MMA artist. ‘Yun naman ‘yung gusto natin e (In this fight, I want to show one of my career highlights as an MMA artist),” said Folayang, who last saw action in the Circle p last October and suffered defeat at the hands of Aussie opponent Antonio Caruso.

Akiyama, for his part, owns an overall 15-7 record and a 1-1 card in the Singapore-based promotion.

And if there’s one more goal for Folayang, that is for him to show that the “Landslide” is “sexier” than the man known as “Sexyama.”

“Ngayon palang parang mas sexy na ako e. Pero maganda yan. Mahirap kasi kapag tatalunin mo na, aagawin mo pa ka-sexyhan (Right now, I believe I’m sexier than him. That’s good. It will be hard to defeat him and take his ‘sexiness’ away from him),” Folayang jested before turning serious, “Ie-aim ko na lang manalo (I’ll just aim for the win). 

READ: Ups and downs of Filipino MMA fighters in 2020