Chatri Sityodtong, 49, does not believe Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, of Baguio City, Philippines is retiring soon. The ONE Championship chairman and chief executive officer recently explained why the Igorot mixed martial artist is still relevant.
“I think Eduard is a phenomenal athlete, obviously a world champion and, you know, wins and losses happen for every athlete,” Chatri stated. “For me, when I look at Eduard and talk to him I see that he’s hungrier than ever. He’s always improving his skill set so I think there’s many times in the last few years where Eduard Folayang was written off by some of the haters but the truth is he’s still very fresh and very strong and very athletic and very intelligent.”
Training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines, Folayang has held the ONE Lightweight Championship title twice. He is set to fight Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso, 29, of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia at “ONE: Inside the Matrix” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on October 30, 2020.
“I don’t believe this is Eduard’s last fight and, of course, it will depend in his performance against very tough Antonio Caruso,” Chatri commented. “It’ll be a very fun fight.”
Both Folayang and Caruso are coming out of a loss to Pieter “The Archangel” Buist, 32, of Breda, Netherlands. Chatri said, “I think Eduard is still there skill-wise, mentally and physically.”
“He is still up there,” Chatri said of Folayang. “He’s still up there in my opinion. He might not be in the official rankings but he is still up there.”
Chatri described the upcoming match between Folayang and Caruso as “a typical story about young lion versus the grizzled lion who’s been the leader of the pack for so long.” The ONE Championship boss said “we can start talking about a different path” if the Team Lakay warrior loses to his Australian opponent at “ONE: Inside the Matrix.”
“Eduard has told me he’s ready to go and he’s in better shape than ever and it’s gonna be a really fun fight,” Chatri said. He then described Folayang and Buist’s previous match as “a very close fight.”
“He was winning the fight until he got the spinning move that Pieter did,” Chatri said of Folayang. “That’s how it is at the highest level in the world. One small mistake can cost the fight but on any given night, I think Eduard can beat any lightweight in the world, on any given night.”
“ONE: Inside the Matrix” marks Folayang’s 20th fight in ONE Championship and Caruso’s second outing in the Singapore-based martial arts promotion. Chatri said it is the promotion’s biggest card of the year and “the start of many many more exciting things to come.”
Featuring six MMA matches, four of which are title bouts, “ONE: Inside the Matrix” will be the first sporting event in Singapore that allows for a limited live audience since it moved into the second phase of its reopening. ONE Championship has added 250 in-person Superfan ticket packages, which are now on sale to watch the event live at the Singapore Indoor Stadium
“I’m really looking forward for Eduard Folayang and Antonio Caruso in addition, of course, to the four world title fights,” Chatri shared. “I want to express my gratitude to the Singapore government for leading the way for ONE championship in bringing back global events, world class global events and leading Asia for that matter.”
For those unable to join the action in person, “ONE: Inside the Matrix” can be enjoyed on ONE Super App and ONE Championship’s official social media channels globally and on MediaCorp’s Channel 5 and meWATCH app for fans in Singapore.