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Ahead of clash against Ting, Shalorus wants shot at Folayang's title

Kamal Shalorus, right, hopes for a rematch with One lightweight champ Eduard Folayang. One Championship (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Kamal Shalorus expressed his desire to vie for the One lightweight championship against a familiar foe.

The Iranian veteran said he looks to become the next challenger to Eduard Folayang's belt.

“I hope we can meet again, but this time it’s for the title,” Shalorus said.

History, however, looks to favor Shalorus.

Shalorus silenced the Mall of Asia Arena crowd in 2013 when he dominated Folayang on the ground en route to a unanimous decision win.

However, four years is enough for many huge changes.

Shalorus failed at his first crack at the One lightweight belt to another grappling expert, Shinya Aoki, in 2014 and has since stayed at the sidelines.

Ironically, Aoki would fall to a now vastly improved Folayang for the said championship on Nov. 11, 2016. The said shocker became the basis for One to name Folayang "Fighter of the Year", while he also received Athlete of the Year nominations from some local publications.

“Eduard has improved greatly. He has now a good takedown defense and has exhibited good control on the mat. He is more of a complete fighter,” Shalorus said of Folayang.

Shalorus is set to return to the cage at One: Throne of Tigers on Feb. 10 in Kuala Lumpur, headlining the said fight card with a showdown against home country hero Ev Ting.

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Shalorus hopes a win against Ting will set him up for a rematch against Folayang for all the marbles.

“I believe this fight against Ev Ting will help me to get there. I still dream of becoming a world champion in MMA. Eduard is the one holding the title. It’s a must-win for me if I want to vie for the world championship again,” Shalorus further said.

However, he still believes, “Eduard now has a good ground game and more intelligent. But I know I can still win against him.”

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno