MANILA, Philippines — Just another day in class with teacher Eduard Folayang.
Once a high school mentor, the reigning ONE Championship lightweight titleholder is looking to teach a lesson to newly minted Featherweight kingpin Maritn Nguyen at the MOA Arena on November 10.
“Ituturo ko sa kanya is it’s my kingdom sa lightweight,” the Team Lakay skipper said of his upcoming assignment. “It will be a good lesson for him to try my division.”
“Division ko of course is bigger compared sa mga nasa featherweight. Mas mataas ‘yung risk na itinataya niya,” the 18-5 Wushu warrior said. “Siyempre kung maganda ‘yung resulta for him, then it will be a great return for him.”
Nguyen, who was riding on a four straight victories, unseated Marat Gafurov just this August. He is moving to Lightweight in the first-ever crossover clash in the promotion.
And as a defending champion — who has successfully fended off a challenger in Ev Ting — Folayang said that holding off the featherweight top dog is his duty for the division.
“As a champion, I want my division to be respected, so gagawin ko best ko best ko ma-defend yung division ko,” the Benguet native said.
Despite the experience under his belt, Folayang also noted that the showpiece next month entails a hurdle he has never tackled.
“It’s a challenge beyond limitations — kung papaano mo i-prove at i-disapprove ‘yung isang prinsipyong gusto mong tayuan,” he offered.
But beyond all the complex notions, the decorated fighter said his goal of defending his title from another challenger remains in cadence with objective of inspiring young athletes.
“You need to do your part para mas ma-impart ‘yung mga kabataan — para ma-inspire pa ‘yung mga kabataan,” he closed.