Folayang, Buntan ready for action vs tough foes

Published April 28, 2021, 4:54 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Team Lakay veteran Eduard Folayang and Fil-Am muay thai fighter Jackie Buntan (ONE Championship)

Team Lakay veteran Eduard Folayang and Filipina-American muay thai fighter Jackie Buntan are all set to see action in ONE Championship’s US prime time showing on ONE on TNT IV at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Thursday (Manila time).

Folayang will be settling an unfinished business in a trilogy with Japanese legend and former world lightweight champion Shinya Aoki in their mixed martial arts bout while Buntan will square off with Ekaterina Vandaryeva of Belarus in their strawweight muay thai card.

A win by Folayang, 36, might be the answer for his redemption after losing four of his last five fights since March 2019, which was his first rematch with current No. 4 contender Aoki.

“Of course, magaling si Shinya sa ground, magaling din ako sa striking. So kung paano namin laruin ‘yung game namin, I think kung sino ang makapag-initiate nang maayos, siya ang mananalo rito,” said Folayang, who holds a 22-10 record, in a recent virtual media conference.

READ: Folayang confident ahead of Aoki trilogy

The 37-year-old Aoki, for his part, boasts a three-match win streak with the latest coming from a submission victory against James Nakashima last January to climb at 46-9 slate.

Buntan, meanwhile, believes that she will have a good matchup against Vandaryeva, who suffered defeat in her debut against the Fil-Am’s teammate in Janet Todd.

The 23-year-old Buntan is coming off from a successful win in her inaugural fight against Thai rising star Wondergirl Fairtex, scoring a convincing unanimous decision victory to improve at 21-6 record.

“She’s (Vadaryva) just as hungry as I am with the same goals coming into ONE Championship. I don’t really underestimate any opponent so I think it’s gonna be a good fight regardless. We’re both hungry for it,” said Buntan.

READ: Buntan grateful for support of parents, Filipino community

ONE on TNT IV is the fourth and last installment of ONE Championship’s US prime time showing which headlines the light heavyweight title bout between current champion Aung La N Sang and middleweight titleholder Reinier De Ridder.