Team Lakay veteran Eduard Folayang is still firm with his will to fight in the Circle once more.
Or in this case, as many times as possible.
Fending off retirement talks, Folayang said he still has a lot to offer on the table despite dropping five of his last six bouts since March 2019, which was his first rematch with seasoned Japanese grappler and former lightweight world champion Shinya Aoki.
“Sa akin, ‘yung pagre-retire andyan lang naman yan pero as of now the moment, still marami pa rin akong natutunan ulit and ganun lang naman talaga ang buhay. Minsan nakahanda na tayo, then [darating] sa major changes. Kaya I think hindi ‘yun ‘yung magpapa-stop sa’tin, (Retirement is always there but as of the moment I am still learning and that’s life. Sometimes we are prepared and then come the major changes. I think the loss won’t stop me in fighting),” said Folayang, who fell to a 22-11 mixed martial arts record.
“Siguro hindi lang ulit naging maganda ‘yung mga past na performance natin this time (Maybe because our previous matches did not yield good results as well).”
On Thursday, Aoki scored 2-1 against Folayang in a trilogy with a first-round armbar submission in ONE on TNT IV at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Despite being very well-prepared against Aoki’s grappling mastery, the 36-year-old Folayang was caught off guard after the Japanese legend faked a standing submission to disorient the Team Lakay stalwart’s defense.
From there on, Aoki had already positioned himself with tight grip of Folayang en route to an slick armbar position, prompting referee Muhammad Sulaiman to halt the match at the 4:20 mark.
Aoki, 37, for his part, is riding on a four-match win streak with a 47-9 record with one no contest ruling. The former lighweight champion from Japan remained as the No. 4 contender in the division.
“I think I just really need a perfect time to unleash the greatness [in me]. Probably, it’s not now but someday and in the future, they will see me rise again,” said Team Lakay’s very own two-time lightweight champion.