Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao discusses the changes that have come after Eduard Folayang’s title win and his thoughts on potential challenger, Ev Ting.
A lot has changed for the better for Filipino ONE Championship fighter Eduard Folayang since he ended the reign of Shinya Aoki last November to become the new lightweight champion. However, it’s taken a while for everything to sink in for Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. In fact, it wasn’t until Folayang started gaining more media coverage and awards did Sangiao realize Folayang’s achievement.
“Nag-sink in na [yung pagkapanalo ni Folayang] lalo na nung laging lumalabas si Eduard [for events and TV appearances], pero he deserves it naman,” Sangiao says in an interview with Dojo Drifter. “Lagi ko naman sinasabi na si Eduard, hard worker yan. Talagang masipag sa training, so he deserves to win, and I think this is the time na para sa kanya.”
“Masaya ako para kay Eduard. Siyempre ito ang magse-serve bilang inspiration sa mga ka-teammate niya at sa kabataan din na gustong mag laro ng martial arts. We’re very happy for the team and para sa atin sa Pinas.”
In spite of Folayang’s more hectic schedule, doing interviews or speaking engagements, Sangiao believes that it will help both Folayang and the team as a whole.
“We’re very positive, positive naman tayo. Meaning kailangan talaga (kasi) sumisikat na si Eduard, kelangan niyang mag-promote,” Sangiao said. “I believe na yung ginagawa naman namin ngayon para rin sa kinabukasan ng career niya, and sa team din so we’re very positive about it. We’re happy with what we’re doing.”
“Focus pa din kami sa mga dating ginagawa namin, pati sa conditioning namin.”
This April, Folayang is set to defend his title for the first time, possibly against the streaking Ev Ting, who has won seven of his last eight fights in ONE. He just defeated former UFC vet Kamal Shalorus in his lightweight debut and has called out the champion.
Asked on the possibility of “The Landslide” defending his title against the Malaysian, Sangiao says that it will be a whole new world for Ting, a natural featherweight, once he shares the cage with the champ who is very motivated to win in front of the Pinoy fans.
“Welcome to the world of lightweights,” Sangiao says with a smile. “Kasi it’s featherweight naman ang nilalabanan niya dati and ngayon lightweight na yung inakyatan niya. Dito talaga mate-test kung gaano siya kagaling.”
“Pero kay Eduard, of course, he will treat this na parang ito ang huli na niyang laban, pinaka-importante niyang laban. Every fight ite-treat niya to as pinaka-importante niyang laban; every fight naman, pero especially this will be his first defense at dito pa [sa Pilipinas] gagawin, so determined siyang manalo.”