Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, 35, of the United States and Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, of the Philippines will battle it out at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2, 2019. The former is a former UFC Lightweight Champion and former Bellator Lightweight World Champion while the latter is a former ONE Lightweight World Champion.
“He’s incredibly tough, incredibly durable,” Alvarez said of Folayang. The American mixed martial arts veteran noted that his Filipino opponent’s strength is Wushu just like his Russian sparring mates in New Jersey, USA including Zabit “ZaBeast” Magomedsharipov, 28, a former ACB Featherweight Champion who is now a UFC fighter.
“I understand the power of Wushu because the guys I train with, Zabit and a lot of the Russians that come over to spar with us in Jersey, they’re all from a Wushu background so the art is for real,” Alvarez noted. “It applies very well to MMA and I’m looking forward to the toughest Eduard Folayang.”
ONE Championship will hold “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The match between Alvarez and Folayang is a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout.
“It’s in his hometown so I’m looking forward to a tough opponent and I’m viewing the fight as one that I absolutely have to finish,” Alvarez shared. “I am not coming in for a decision. I expect to lose if it goes to a decision so I have every intention to finish.”
Alvarez is excited to fight Folayang. The American contender described his Filipino opponent as “a hard-nosed, tough fighter.”
“This could be a Fight of the Year,” Alvarez said. “Just my attitude and my mentality going into the fight, I like to feel that my back’s against the wall. I do really well there.”
“I don’t like to feel respected,” Alvarez continued. “I like when people think a certain way, whether it’s negatively or whatever, and then I get an opportunity to shock them all.”
“I never want an easy fight,” Alvarez added. “My only desire is for the ONE Championship title and this guy’s held it not once but twice already.”
Here is a clip featuring Folayang: