Folayang, Vera banner ONE Championship at MOA Arena
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) – November 17, 2018 – 12:00
MANILA, Philippines – Eduard Folayang seeks to claim the lightweight title he lost a year ago while facing Amir Khan of Singapore, although Fil-Am Brandon Vera defends his heavyweight crown against Italian Mauro Cerilli on November 23 in the Conquista de Champions of the ONE Champions in the MOA stadium in Pasay.
Folayang snatched the light crown by colliding with the long-running title Shinya Aoki two years ago, defending it successfully against Ev Ting in August last year before falling a second round qualifying defeat to Martin Nguyan exactly a year ago.
Now, 33-year-old Team Lakay, who has a record of 20-6 (victory and defeat), will have another crack in the lightweight championship if he wins Khan, who has a 11-3 record and join to the countrymen Vera, Geje Eustaquio (fly), Joshua Pacio (straw) and Kevin Belingon (bantam) in the current stable champions of ONE.
"That's my goal, to become a champion again," said Folayang during yesterday's training at the fifth floor of the Victoria Sports Tower in Quezon City.
Folayang will face a Khan, 24-year-old younger and more dangerous, who knocked down his friend and established Honorio Banari for the first time in his first round (Beyond the Horizon) in Shanghai, China last September.
During training, Khan showed strong abilities and a solid game of land and pounds, as well as the confidence to throw the carpet under the favorite Folayang.
"I want to be Singapore's first home-country to win a world championship and inspire people and allow mixed martial arts to gain more recognition in Singapore," said Khan. "And I am sure to overcome Folayang as I will bring my best version when I face."
Vera, on the other hand, captured the heavyweight inaugural title wining to Paul Cheng three years ago and successfully defended it by defeating Hideki Sekina two years ago, both needing only one round to finish.
But rust could play a crucial role for Vera, who is now 41 years old against the new Cerilli, who is 35, since the former has not fought for the past two years.
Vera has a record of 15-7 and Cerilli 12-2.