Eduard Folayang found a deeper motivation for another championship run

Eduard Folayang

A resilient Filipino warrior, Eduard Folayang is motivated to make another run at championship glory.

[mks_dropcap style=”square” size=”52″ bg_color=”#1588db” txt_color=”#ffffff”]E[/mks_dropcap]duard Folayang had to endure sitting on the sidelines for the entire 2015. Although he suffered a brutal loss from Timofey Nastyukhin in December of the preceding year, he never really had serious injuries. The pride of Team Lakay in the Cordilleras kept himself busy in training as soon as he could, but the indefinite fight schedules shown to him never materialized.

It was only last January that Folayang’s hunger for action inside the cage was fulfilled. He triumphantly returned against Japanese welterweight Tetsuya Yamada (15-4-2 MMA, 0-1 ONE) in ONE Fighting Championship’s event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A yearlong wait is difficult enough for any fighter and Folayang’s victorious comeback is a testament to his patience. ‘Landslide’ feels good to be back in camp with his teammates and he’s even helping them out in their upcoming fights.

“Ang ginagawa namin ngayon ay nagtutulungan para sa mga kasama namin na lalaban these coming months, he told Dojo Drifter in an interview at Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet. Tinitingnan naming kung saan ang mga areas na kailangan ng malaking improvement, so iyon ung mga dine-develop naming.” [Right now we’re helping our fellow teammates who’ll compete in the coming months. We are looking into the areas where they need improvement, so that’s what we are trying to develop.]  
If anything eventful happened to Eduard Folayang in 2015, it’s him tying the knot with the love of his life. Now juggling the duties of a fighter and a husband, he feels he’s even more dedicated and motivated to be better every single day.

“Okay naman. Meron panibagong adjustment kasi marami ka na kailangan i-consider. Ang career ko at siyempre family. Pero ang kagandahan was nadagdagan ang motivation ko kasi it’s like you are not just fighting for yourself but a family and your country, so parang mas may impact kasi motivated ka palagi to push and achieve your goal.” [It’s good. I just need to adjust to this new life because I have to consider many things. I have to consider my career and, of course, my family. But the beauty in it is I had another motivation to fight because it’s like you are not just fighting for yourself, but for your family and your country. So, it’s like there’s more impact because your always motivated to push yourself and achieve your goal.]  

Eduard Folayang sparring at Team Lakay Gym in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Eduard Folayang sparring at Team Lakay Gym in La Trinidad, Benguet.

A Wushu gold medalist and former URCC champion, Folayang knows what it takes to win. But as MMA becomes more and more unpredictable, he understands that losing will remain part of the game. Even at the summit of competition in the UFC, champions fall. That’s why his resolve as a true martial artist is to accept the holes in his game and work on them. He won’t give up and give his championship aspiration another run.

“Sa akin kasi naniniwala ako sa principle na nasa sa iyo yan kung mag-give up ka kasi yung opportunity nasa sa atin kung paano natin i-create or i-lose. Pero ung belief ko ay nasa hindi mag-give up at maging persistent. Ang natutunan ko lang talaga (sa mga laban ko) ay may areas na kailangan ko pa ayusin, may mga areas sa past na hindi ko na-deal talaga at kailangan ko pa balikan para mas maging ready ako sa title shot. Kapag andun na ako, ung regret ko ay mas konti na lang kasi I have a lot of learning before I go there kaya mas sweeter ang fight kapag andun ka na.” [mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#1588db” txt_color=”#ffffff”]”My belief is to never give to up and to remain persistent.”[/mks_pullquote][I believe in the principle that it’s your choice whether to give up or not. The opportunity is already there and it’s up to us what we make out of it or we simply lose it. But my belief is to never give to up and to remain persistent. What I learned (from my previous fights) is there are areas that I still need to improve. There are areas in the past that I haven’t really dealt with and I need to go back to those, so I can be ready for a title shot. When I reach that spot, the regrets will lessen because I learned. That makes the fight sweeter when I’m there.]  
Eduard Folayang said there’s no particular fighter he wants to face right now. After the organization changed the weight cut rules drastically, the landscape in his weight division is still on the process of reshaping itself. He’s focus is solely on getting better and keep on winning to get that elusive championship fight he almost achieved.

“Sa ngayon wala akong maisip na kalaban. Ang ini-aim ko lang ay mapunta sa championship fight kasi noon pa ako malapit pero alam mo yun, andoon na ako tapos I need to go back down again, so yun ang goal ko ngayon. Ngayon kasi hindi mo na masasabi kasi bago na ang rules. Hindi mo alam ang mga featherweight fighters kasing timbang mo na eh. Parang ang dami na ninyo at ang lawak na ng division. Looking into the Asian weight, karamihan naman talaga sa atin we fall onto the light and welterweight category, so sa ngayon inaantay ko na lang ang next na ibabato na kalaban. I just need to push myself and keep on winning to finally reach my goal.” [mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#1588db” txt_color=”#ffffff”]”I’m just aiming to get a championship fight because I was almost there.”[/mks_pullquote][Right now, I’m not thinking of any opponent. I’m just aiming to get a championship fight because I was almost there. But, I need to go back down again. So, that’s my goal right now. With the new rules in effect, you just couldn’t tell what can happen. It might happen that the featherweight fighters weigh the same as I do. There’s a lot of us in the division when that happens. Looking into the Asian weight, most fighters really do fall into the light and welterweight category. So right now I”m just waiting who my next opponent would be. I just need to push myself and keep on winning to finally reach my goal.]  
Check out Eduard Folayang in a grappling session for Dojo Drifter’s “Featured Fighter” video:

Don Gaoiran

Rabble-rouser at Dojo Drifter
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