Folayang flies to Singapore for Aoki fight; Loman resumes training

Published April 24, 2021, 5:33 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Left photo shows Team Lakay veteran Eduard Folayang (left) and coach Mark Sangiao striking for a pose before flying to Singapore for ONE on TNT IV. On right, Stephen Loman resumes training after recovering from COVID-19. (Photos from Mark Sangiao and Stephen Loman’s Facebook pages)

Team Lakay is now on the move after the COVID-19 pandemic hounded its US prime time showing in ONE Championship this month.

Two-time lightweight champion Eduard Folayang and coach Mark Sangiao were Singapore-bound to settle unfinished business in a trilogy with Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in ONE on TNT IV on Thursday, April 29 (Manila time).

Team Lakay stalwarts Joshua Pacio, the strawweight champion, and No. 2 contender Danny Kingad led the send-off for Folayang and Sangiao.

Folayang, 36, earlier expressed his excitement to put on a show for fellow Filipinos in America, who will witness ONE Championship in US prime time for the first time.

The Team Lakay veteran, who holds a 22-10 record, has vowed to redeem himself after losing four of his last five fights since March 2019, which was his first rematch with current No. 4 contender Aoki.

READ: Folayang confident ahead of Aoki trilogy

The 37-year-old Aoki, for his part, is still earning victories at his age, riding on a three-match win streak with the latest coming from a submission against James Nakashima last January 22 to improve at 46-9 record.

READ: Folayang-Aoki trilogy will set the record straight, says Sangiao

Meanwhile, bantamweight newcomer Stephen Loman has resumed training after completing the two-week self-quarantine since contracting COVID-19 in early April. Loman was supposed to face No. 1 contender John Lineker in his debut.

Troy Worthen stepped up for the Team Lakay fighter only to be knocked out by Lineker in the first round of their ONE on TNT III duel.

In a video posted by Loman on Facebook, the longest-reigning champion of BRAVE Combat Federation can be seen flipping tire weights repeatedly several times.

READ: Loman to continue working hard despite missing ONE debut

In an earlier message to the Manila Bulletin, Sangiao, on behalf of his wards, remained optimistic despite the adversities they have faced this month.

“Naturally, they were very excited sa mga laban nila, lahat naman kami (all of us were very excited). Hindi madali ‘yong mga bingay sa kanila na matches (The challenges given to them were not easy) but touch challenges are always good challenges,” said the Team Lakay patriarch. “Unfortunately, ganon nga ang nangyari but very positive pa rin sila (Unfortunately, that’s what happened but they remain very positive about it).”