Former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang. INQUIRER PHOTO/TRISTAN TAMAYO

MANILA, Philippines—Don’t count out Eduard Folayang just yet.

Team Lakay’s elder statesman may be going up in age but retirement is far from his plans as he aims to string together another run of wins to get back to the title picture.

Folayang is set to face Australia’s Antonio Caruso in ONE: Inside the Matrix on October 30 in Singapore and the two-time lightweight champion sees it as an opportunity for another potential title run.

“This is a good opportunity to start once again because we’ve been out of action for nearly eight months and now that we have this chance we’re going to take advantage of it,” said Folayang in Filipino in a Zoom conversation.

“Our first expectation was that we’ll be competing next year.”

Folayang (22-9) is on one of the worst stretches of his career going 1-3 in his last four fights, including a defeat against Shinya Aoki that saw him hand over his lightweight title to the man he beat for his first reign.

The 36-year-old’s last loss was against Pieter Buist on January 31 of this year.

Coincidentally, Caruso (7-1) started his career with seven straight wins before that run was put to a stop against Buist.

Folayang added that he has no plans of stepping away from the sport and that leaving MMA would be like taking a fish out of water.

“I still want to fight because I feel that I still haven’t released my full potential on the sport,” said  Folayang. “You can’t tell a fish that it can’t swim anymore, that’d be the same for me if someone told me that I should retire.”

“I feel like my body’s still capable. I can still fight, I’m still there.”


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