Worth the wait: Folayang cops ONE lightweight title, stops Aoki

first_imgGolden moment for Eduard Folayang. Photo from ONE ChampionshipSINGAPORE—Eduard Folayang dropped to his knees then sprung back to his feet. He raised his hands in the air then was mobbed as he made his victory lap in the cage.For years, Folayang had been patiently for his time and he finally had his moment Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT We are young Hot Blue Eagles Folayang was ready from the get-go. He was taken down several times in the first two rounds and managed to get back up on his feet, already an achievement by itself considering Aoki’s mastery of the ground.READ: Fighters face off ahead of stacked ONE fight card in SingaporeFolayang’s golden moment #ONEFightNight pic.twitter.com/nLPNE10gaM— Mark Giongco (@MarkGiongcoINQ) November 11, 2016But as the fight went on, Folayang’s confidence grew. He flashed a huge grin in the middle of the second round then landed definitive blows to the body in an array of punches and kicks.So much have been said about Aoki’s ground game and how Folayang wouldn’t last long on his back.But it turned out to be the other way around. Folayang’s striking power was too much.READ: Folayang eyes ‘legend’ status vs AokiGold and silver confetti filled the air and finally—after a long and painful wait—Folayang had a gold belt shining around his waist. EDITORS’ PICK Folayang not only won his first world title by seizing the ONE lightweight belt, he did it in the most spectacular way after turning who had been deemed an indestructible legend in Shinya Aoki to a mere mortal.“I’m overwhelmed and really happy. I can’t explain it but I just looked up and said, ‘God really fulfills promises,’” an overjoyed Folayang, who was still in disbelief, said in Filipino. “Sometimes we rush but there are going to be upsets in life and we can’t turn our backs once we’re in those situations, so I learned my lesson in a different way [and it’s] a good story.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agent“Shinya is a vey strong ground fighter. I just really prepared well for this fight.”It was a crushing knee that made a snapping sound as it hit Aoki straight in the face that started the end for the fearsome Japanese star. Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH among economies most vulnerable to virus READ: ONE: Folayang primed for ‘make or break’ fight vs AokiThe conclusion came just 41 seconds into the third round with Folayang hammering Aoki with everything he’s got, leaving his opponent stunned and pressed against the cage.“I already saw he’s very open to get caught with that knee,” Folayang recalled. It took Folayang five years to get a title shot and everyone around him—from his coach to stablemates—knew he wasn’t going to pass up a chance to come home a world champion.ADVERTISEMENT Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more