Antonio Caruso will be one of three fighters representing Sanford MMA at ONE: ‘Inside the Matrix’ next week. The Florida camp is currently home to champions Aung La Nsang and Martin Nguyen who will both be defending their titles in Singapore.

Caruso faces former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang and plans to exploit what he feels is a hole in the Filipino’s game,

“Everyone has weaknesses in this world of mixed martial arts. You can’t exactly be great at everything. There are areas that me and my team have noticed about Folayang, his groundwork.”

Massive strength 

The Australian is a grappler and would love nothing more than to score a submission win over the former lightweight champion,

“My ground game is one of my massive strengths. So if I can get him there, we’re going to expose him in those areas, capitalize on that, and show why I’m ready to take the next step in my career.”

Caruso signed for ONE Championship after winning his first seven fights as a pro. He suffered defeat on his promotional debut, dropping a decision to Pieter Buist, with both fighters coming into this bout in an identical situation.

Serious statement

Folayang is also coming off a decision loss to Buist but the Filipino has proved himself time and time again in the ONE Championship ring. Caruso is well aware of Folayang’s achievements and credentials,

“When I heard I was fighting Eduard Folayang, I was super excited. I was very, very happy to hear that name. He’s a guy that I’ve watched for a long time, and in the back of my mind, I always knew that I would one day fight him.”

A win over Folayang would be a serious statement for the Australian and Caruso sees this as an opportunity to prove himself,

“I’m excited to compete against him and test myself against a guy of his caliber. I can’t wait to get in there and show the world what I’m worth.”

Fast finish

He believes the finish will come inside two rounds. It is a bold prediction from Caruso but he is not short on confidence,

‘The Spartan’s going to get his hand raised and get the job done,” he says.

However he knows that will not be a straightforward task. Folayang has been on the ONE Championship roster for nearly a decade, facing the best fighters in the division and winning the lightweight title twice.

Caruso is under no illusions about the scale of the task ahead of him,

“He’s strong all-around. He’s a tough dude, he’s durable, and he’s experienced. There’s a lot of good things to say about Folayang. I’ve watched him for a long time. I’ve studied him for a very long time, and I’m finally excited to get a chance at him.”

Title dream

Training with La Nsang and Nguyen has motivated the Australian. He has been casting envious glances at the titles held by his teammates and would love nothing more than to own one himself,

“I’d love to challenge for a title, put my name out there with the greats like Aung La and Martin, and really challenge myself to become one of the world’s elites.”