Folayang added in ONE Fight Night 5

PINOY MMA icon Eduard Folayang was added to the stacked ONE Fight Night 5 show on Dec. 3 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Parañaque City.

Folayang faces Brazilian striker Edson Marques.

“All I wanted to do is compete again and join this card. It doesn’t matter who I face. Actually I was waiting for [Yoshihiro] Akiyama but I think he turned down the offer in fighting me,” said Folayang.

“Nonetheless, I’m grateful because I was included, and since the event will be in the Philippines for the first time in three years, I’m super excited. I’m looking forward to performing in front of my home crowd.”

The 37-year-old Folayang is one of the most iconic names in Philippine MMA and is a former ONE lightweight champion. He’s also one of the longest tenured fighters in ONE Championship. He has fought in the organization for 11 years and fought in ONE Championship’s inaugural show in 2011.

Folayang is currently in a slump in MMA, losing his last four fights against Pieter Buist, Tony Caruso, Shiya Aoki and Zhang Lipeng.

Folayang, however, won his last fight, a Muay Thai fight against Australian kickboxing legend John Wayne Parr.

“Of course, I’m happy. I feel honored being put on the forefront of a card that will air live in US prime time through Prime Video, being one of the few Filipinos in that card,” said Folayang. “It’s such a huge motivating factor for me because our trajectory is heading west, and I’d love to entertain our fans over there and make new ones.”

Following a rough start in ONE Championship, Marques finally got his first win in the organization after beating Kim Kyung Lock by unanimous decision. He lost his first two fights in ONE Championship against Raimond Magomedaliev and Hiroyuki Tetsuka.

Folayang is 22-12, while Marques is 10-2.

The main event of ONE Fight Night 5 features a title defense of ONE light heavyweight champion Renier De Ridder (16-0) against interim ONE heavyweight titleholder Anatoly Malykhin (11-0).

Later in the evening will be ONE Championship’s second show, ONE 164, which will be headlined by a title defense of ONE strawweight king Joshua Pacio (20-3) against mandatory challenger Jarred Brooks (19-2). (EKA)