FILE – Eduard Folayang during ONE: Fire and Fury in Manila. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Antonio Caruso is aware that he’s going up against a legend but that didn’t stop him from giving a stern warning to former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang ahead of their Oct. 30 fight in ONE Championship.

A submission specialist, Caruso admitted Folayang does hold the advantage in experience but added the Team Lakay star has never fought anyone like he is.

“What I bring new to the table is me. He’s never fought me, he has never faced me, he has never faced a person like me before,” said Caruso in a virtual press conference Friday. “Yes he’s seen boxers, kickboxers, wrestlers, jiu-jitsu artists, but he has never fought me, Antonio the Spartan.”

Caruso and Folayang are part of the stacked ONE: Inside the Matrix card that has four title fights lined up.

Apart from the championship matches, the bout between Caruso and Folayang carries a lot of weight for both mixed martial artists.

A win for Caruso (7-1) will bolster his claims for a spot in the lightweight rankings and so does for Folayang who’s still aiming (22-9) to get to the title picture even at 36 years of age.

Caruso, who lost his first fight in ONE Championship against Pieter Buist, said defeating Folayang will boost his stock as he aims to gain the same status as the Filipino icon someday.

“I want to achieve everything Eduard has achieved. He’s a legend in this division, he’s a legend of this sport and he’s a legend of his country. That’s exactly what I wanna do,” said Caruso. “To do that you got to beat a legend and I’m coming in the 30th to become the legend just like he is and make way for a new challenger in the lightweight division.”


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