Eduard Folayang sent the Filipino faithful home happy on Friday night at ONE: Kings of Destiny, successfully defending his ONE lightweight title with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Malaysian challenger Ev Ting at the the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Folayang (18-5) followed up his stunning Nov. 2016 win over Shinya Aoki with an entertaining back-and-forth war of attrition against Ting (13-4). The two went at it right away from the opening bell, exchanging with a slew wild flurries inside the pocket throughout the first round. But then Folayang settled in, easing back onto the outside and electing to pick Ting apart with a relentless stream of leg kicks, spinning strikes, and heavy counterpunches from range.
While Ting had his moments, Folayang was ultimately the busier fighter and landed many of the cleaner strikes, leading all three judges to unanimously award Folayang the win and giving the 32-year-old lightweight champion a moment of vindication nearly three years after suffering a knockout loss in front of his Filipino fans back in Dec. 2014.
“It means a lot,” Folayang said afterward. “I know a lot of you guys were discouraged the last time I was here. I slept on the mat, and I know a lot of you felt sorry for me. But I needed to rise up in my circumstances, and I needed to train well, I needed to pray a lot and prepare a lot. So this is it. This is the loss that you all witnessed two years ago. It is on my shoulders, and I would like to give it all back to you, because you came back again to witness how I returned. Thank you so much.”
In the night’s co-main event, Kevin Belingon (15-5) made short work of Toni Tauru (11-5-1) to handily win a battle between two former casualties of ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes’ title reign.
The beginning of the end arrived early in the first frame, as Tauru caught a hard spinning back kick from Belingon and worked to secure a takedown while eating a slew of hard strikes. Tauru finally got the takedown he wanted, but Belingon immediately popped back to his feet and swarmed his dazed opponent, headhunting and connecting with big punches before referee Olivier Coste jumped in to save Tauru.
The official time of the finish came at 2:27 of the opening round, giving Belingon back-to-back wins since falling short against Fernandes.
Folayang and Belingon’s Team Lakay teammate, former ONE featherweight champion Honorio Banario (12-6), also joined in the night’s festivities and added one to his highlight reel, knocking out short-notice replacement Jaroslav Jartim (8-6-1) with a wicked left hook at 1:31 of the second round.
Banario controlled much of the first six minutes of action with his wrestling, downing Jartim with a trio of takedowns. But it was the Filipino’s hands that got the job done, as Banario caught Jartim flush with a perfect counter left hook midway through the second frame that shut Jartim’s lights off before he hit the floor.
With the win, Banario extended his current hot streak to four straight wins inside the ONE Championship cage, all of which have come since the former 145-pound champion decided to move up to the lightweight division.
“My gameplan was to show that we are capable of submitting our opponents, but things happened, you know?” a grinning Banario said. “Thing happened. So instead of implementing my gameplan of a submission, my hands connected.”
Elsewhere on the card, Christian Lee (6-1) — the younger brother of ONE atomweight champion Angela Lee — defeated Wan Jian Ping (2-3) via second-round TKO in a featherweight contest, Filipino flyweight prospect Danny Kingad (5-0) survived a late submission scare from Muhammad Aiman (2-2) to win a unanimous decision, Indonesian flyweight Stefer Rahardian (5-0) captured a unanimous decision over Eugene Toquero (8-5) on the strength of his wrestling, and Chinese bantamweight Xie Bin (3-2) submitted Chan Rothana (4-3) with a second-round guillotine choke.
Check out complete ONE: Kings of Destiny results here.
Source:: mma fighting