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Folayang to defend belt against Ting as One returns to MOA Arena

One Championship (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Eduard Folayang's first defense of his One Championship lightweight title is now set.

Folayang will take on Malaysia's Ev Ting in the main event of One: Kings of Destiny on April 21 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. The development was announced on Monday.

One chairman Chatri Sityodtong already announced last January that Folayang will stake his belt on the said date in front of his fellow Filipinos.

Now, the challenger has just been named in Ting, who demanded for the title fight right after he beat Kamal Shalorus in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 10.

[Related Story: Ting takes split decision win over Shalorus, wants Folayang next]

“I have worked tirelessly to be where I am now. It has finally paid off because I will get an opportunity to vie for a world title. It's every mixed martial artist's dream to become a champion. This is my chance to fulfill that dream. Eduard Folayang is a great champion and is admired by many Filipinos, but he has what I want. I'm coming to [Pasay] to get it from him and bring the belt home to Malaysia,” said Ting.

Folayang became the newest owner of the said championship after getting the biggest win of his MMA career, a shocking knockout victory over erstwhile champion Shinya Aoki in Singapore on Nov. 11.

“Winning the title against a legend like Shinya Aoki will forever hold a special place of distinction in my career, but it is only the first step in establishing my legacy. Before champions are recognized as greats and legends of the sport, every single one of them faced contenders that challenged their prowess as champions. In April, I will have the opportunity to show the world why I hold my coveted title,” said Folayang. “I know how exceptional Ev Ting's talent is. I am in a tough preparation for this bout. This will be my first fight in the Philippines since December 2014. I don't want to let my countrymen down. I will make sure that the belt stays in the Philippines.”

One president Victor Cui remarked, “It is always an amazing time when One Championship is in Manila, because Filipino fans are so intensely passionate about the sport of mixed martial arts that the atmosphere in the SM Mall of Asia Arena just hits a fever pitch. We can’t wait to be back in April as our team has prepared an incredible main event for the organization’s return to [Pasay].”

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno