The year’s highly anticipated event from Asia’s premier mixed martial arts promotion has confirmed its full fight lineup for March 31 inside of the Ryogoku Kokugian in Tokyo, Japan.
Three Team Lakay standouts are set to headline the Philippines’ delegates and are eager to walk away as victors in ONE Championship’s biggest event yet.
Eduard “Landslide” Folayang spearheads the team as he looks to defend his ONE Lightweight crown against Japanese MMA icon Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in the second meeting between the two. The bout is slated to be the night’s main event.
Folayang won their first matchup by defeating Aoki in November 2016 via TKO in the third round, snatching the crown from the Japanese fighter. This time, Aoki is hoping to flip the narrative.
“The only difference right now is that I’m the one defending the world title, so as much as possible, my mind is set on preparing to the best of my abilities to guarantee a favorable result,” said Folayang.
Though he is wary about the threat that his upcoming opponent poses, the “Landslide” is also beaming with confidence going into the rematch.
“I think I have an advantage because of my mental and spiritual strength,” Folayang continued.
“I have improved quite a bit myself, especially with the simple details in technique for takedowns and the ground game. With striking, I am constantly perfecting my accuracy and timing, so I had that time to sharpen them further.”
The champion will also be looking to finish his opponent, just like in their meeting. “As much as possible, I won’t let it go to the scorecards,” the Filipino shared. “Personally, I want to predict that I’ll win via submission.”
Meanwhile, Folayang’s teammate, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, will also be aiming to go home with the prize as he braces himself against Brazilian star Bibiano Fernandes in a trilogy title bout.
“There’s a lot of pressure for the team this 2019. We just lost two belts this year, so it is up to us [with Folayang] to relieve some of that pressure,” Belingon stated.
“Bibiano Fernandes is the toughest opponent of my career and surely, I am the same for him. I don’t expect this third fight to be easy, that is why I am preparing hard in training. I will try my best. I can’t predict how the fight will go, but I will try to finish it this time.”
“I want to stay as a champion and I would make sure that I will do everything I can to keep it that way,” Belingon concluded.
In addition to the two world title belts that will be on the line from the Team Lakay stable, Danny Kingad will be ready to dominate the Flyweights when he faces American Andrew Leone in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix quarterfinal. If “King” is able to win it all, he will receive the right to challenge current champion Adriano Moraes and possibly bring another belt to the Philippines’ premier gym.
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