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Folayang, Nguyen collide in champ vs champ clash in Pasay

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By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Eduard Folayang will once again stake his One lightweight title in front of his home country fans at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, headlining One: Legends of the World on Nov. 10 there.

This time around, he is going to face a fellow current champ.

Reigning One featherweight titlist Martin Nguyen, moving up a division for this fight, stands in Folayang's way as he tries to become the first fighter in One history to simultaneously hold two belts.

“New Year’s [Day] will be coming early this year, because in this fight there will definitely be fireworks. I'm out not only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the One Championship banner,” vowed the Australian-based Vietnamese champ. “This is going to be a dog fight. It's the first time two champions in different divisions go head-to-head in One, and I am excited to give the performance of a lifetime.”

Meanwhile, Folayang, who is making his second defense of his title, has this to say, “Martin is one of the best in the world and it is an honor to share the One Championship cage with him. This is a bout for the fans, and I can’t wait to perform in front of my hometown crowd in Manila once again. I’m preparing to showcase the best version of Eduard Folayang on Nov. 10.”

On why the match was set, One chairman and CEO Chatri Styodtong explained, “One Championship continues to push the boundaries of sports and entertainment with each event, and our next show in Manila is going to be absolutely phenomenal. Two world champions in their respective weight classes are set to go head-to-head in a cross-divisional showdown that will be talked about the world over... [This is] a bout that is sure to produce fireworks.”

The full fight card of One: Legend of the World will be revealed at a later date, although Folayang's fellow Team Lakay member Geje Eustaquio already expressed his openness to fight at MOA Arena on Nov. 10.

[Related Story: Eustaquio downplays controversial officiating leading to loss: "Akhmetov was the better man"]

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno