Folayang: I Need To Turn ‘Super Saiyan’ Against Tsogookhuu
Team Lakay Stalwart Eduard Folayang will return to action on November 8, against Mongolian Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu in the co-main event of ONE: Masters of Fate, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Despite absorbing consecutive losses at the hands of Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez, the former ONE Lightweight Champion is laser-focused in getting back to winning ways. The Filipino told ONE Championship that he vows to put on a masterful showing in front of his fellow countrymen.
“It’s still the same focused mindset as I had even during my winning run last year. We’re coming off back-to back-losses, so it’s important for me to get a win back in order to finish the year strong. I want to give the fans a terrific performance for my last bout of the year,” Folayang started.
Eduard also talked about the important takeaways he got from the two losses he received.
“I think one of the lessons I learned from those experiences is that at this level, there is very little margin for error. This sport can be very unforgiving on small mistakes. I think that a fresh mindset is important when preparing for the next challenge, and that’s what I carry with me now,” said Eduard. “I needed to get back to training to prepare and start fresh once again. The more I dwell on the past, the more I feel the sting of the consecutive losses,” he added.
“The best remedy for it is to move on, keep on improving, sharpen the skills we’ve got, and work on the areas where we are lacking. We still have to mix up to have well-rounded training.”
The “Landslide” also shared how he currently feels about the drought of wins in two matches and how he uses it to improve his all around combat skill set.
“It’s a huge motivator for me. We lost, so we are certainly not happy about it. We faced legends in the sport who took advantage of the mistakes I committed. I think the positive thing about having already gone through the process of losing back-to-back matches is that the adjustment will be a bit easier. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will not be as difficult as when I experienced it the first time.”
Eduard admits that the missed opportunities of winning in his previous bouts still haunts him but offers a solution for it.
“The pain of losing will probably never fade, but the most important lesson we have to learn is how to move on from it.”
As experienced as he is, Folayang assessed his next opponent and how Tsogookhuu utilises his talent against his foe.
“I can see that his game is more focused on the striking aspect, and he uses his takedowns to gain points. I think he’s a smart fighter, who uses his skills well and with purpose when he competes,” Folayang stated.
Learning from his past mistakes, Eduard takes note of how a single mistake can make a fighter suffer and not underestimate the other aspect of his opponent’s game.
“You can’t be careless against anyone you’re matched up with in this sport, especially at this level. Knowing he’s more of a striker, I need to watch out for what he can do, but I also need to watch out for his wrestling.”
With his last two matches, Folayang believes that he has so much more left in the tank and that he needs to go on a higher level to prove that he still got the firepower.
“I guess I’ll have to turn ‘Super Saiyan’ when I step into the Circle. I need to show another level of my skill right now to bounce back. Seriously though, I would rather keep surprises to myself rather than share it before the match begins.”
Taking advantage of his vast experience in martial arts, Eduard knows that opponents can be deceiving at times.
“We can’t choose who we’re competing against, and this sport is unpredictable. Even if he is a striker, I’ll have to wait and see what he does inside the Circle,” said Folayang. “I don’t want to focus on what he’s perceived to be because he can always have a game plan that might be completely different, so we’re really preparing for any possible scenario. If we stay on our feet, you know that I’m a striker as well, so I can play my game.”
He is well aware of deceiving perceptions because Folayang himself experienced that first hand against Eddie Alvarez.
“However, I can’t rely on that because we made that mistake before against Eddie. I knew he was a striker, but I focused too much on that, and almost forgot that it was a mixed martial arts bout. He used that momentary slip of my mind to get the win over me, so now, I’m preparing for any aspect of the game.”
Looking past the defeats, the athlete from Baguio City is thrilled to compete again at the highest level.
“I’m excited to see the results of our preparations and how I can execute our game plans in the Circle. If I can pull it through as we planned, I’m one hundred percent certain that the result will be in our favour,” revealed Folayang. “This will be a chance for them to see if ‘only carabaos grow old,’” he added.
The only two-time ONE Lightweight Champion encouraged the home crowd and ONE fans to stay tuned as they will be in for an exciting event come fight night.
“The card will be exciting from start to finish, and for our match, it will be a clash between two powerful strikers. People always enjoy seeing two fighters on their feet going toe-to-toe against each other.”
And finally, Eduard Folayang recognises how vital his upcoming bout is, particularly his quest on having another shot at the belt he was able to capture twice.
“It is important because we have a goal to get back into the World Title contention, so as much as possible, we need to make a statement for everyone. We’re hoping for [a stoppage] and more.”