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Franklin says upcoming One card to formalize PH as "MMA cornerstone"

One FC champions Eduard Folayang and Martin Nguyen strike their fighting poses during the press conference at the City of Dreams Grand Ballroom, Tuesday afternoon. They will face each other at One: Legends of the World main bout at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, November 10.
By Mark Mañez

PARAÑAQUE–Prepare for another explosive MMA action between the best MMA fighters as the Mall of Asia Arena hosts One: Legends of the World on Friday night.

Headlining the most anticipated showdown will be reigning One lightweight champion Eduard ‘Landslide’ Folayang (18-5) squaring off against One featherweight kingpin Martin ‘The Situ-Asian’ Nguyen (9-1) of Australia.

Folayang, currently, the nation’s next MMA superstar is riding on a four-bout domination over high-profile opponents.

Most notable is his third round TKO upset victory over Japanese legend Shinya Aoki to capture the title last year. He then successfully defended it over Ev Ting last April.

During the press conference held at the City of Dreams Grand Ballroom, One vice president and former world champion Rich Franklin expressed overwhelming delight at the upcoming event.

“This is the 11th time One FC will return to Manila following its big successes in its previous staging. And with this, we will make the Philippines as its cornerstone of the whole mixed martial arts industry,” he stated.

Supporting the main cross-division title showdown, a first in One FC’s history, is undisputed ONE Flyweight champion Adriano ‘Mikinho’ Moraes of Brazil taking on Folayang’s stablemate Danny ‘The King’ Kingad (5-0) of Team Lakay for the former’s belt.

Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon (16-5), meanwhile, will take on undefeated Korean-American Kevin ‘Old Boy’ Chung (4-0)

Nguyen meanwhile, snapped Marat ‘Cobra’ Gafurov’s unbeaten streak in Kuala Lumpur to capture the belt currently in his possession.

“Facing Nguyen in a cross-division showdown is part of the promotion”, Folayang stated during the event.

“Moving up [to a higher weight class] is not in plan, win or lose, I will return to featherweight,” Nguyen said. “It will take a lot of perseverance to beat someone like Folayang,” he added.

Also present during the event is One middleweight mammoth Aung La N Sang of Myanmar to support Chung.

“I had Visa problems twice going here before, but now it’s okay,” N Sang stated during the post-conference interview with Dugout Philippines.

He also talked about a possible rematch with Russian juggernaut Vitaly Bigdash after beating the latter in Naypyidaw last June.

Completing Friday’s fight card are Straw weights Alex Silva (Singapore) vs Hayato Suzuki (Japan); flyweights Anatpong Bunrad (Thailand) vs Reece McLaren (Australia); and Zhao Zhikang (China) taking on Thai Rithy (Cambodia).

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