Eduard Folayang dropped a decision to Zhang Lipeng at ONE: ‘Battleground’ Part II’ last week. It was a close and competitive fight but his opponent clearly had the best moments, particularly in the opening round.
The Filipino looked disappointed when the decision was announced but afterwards he admitted that the judges had got it right,
“I think they made the right decision. I know I’ve been able to do good in the second and third but I know I’ve been dominated in the first.”
There were some encouraging signs for Folayang who notes he was able to adjust during the fight and fare much better in the final two rounds,
“In the second and third I’ve been able to change my strategy because I was able to see what he wants to do but I think it was too late.”
He did have plenty of praise for Lipeng. The Chinese lightweight looks set to crack the top five after making a successful start to his ONE Championship career,
“He is tough, he’s a warrior. He has been in this sport for a long time but I know I could do much better if I had been able to defend the takedowns.”
Folayang has spoken of his ‘dream’ of winning the ONE Championship lightweight title for a third time. Having lost his last four this looks increasingly unlikely but the 36 year old is not currently contemplating retirement.
At this stage he would probably settle for simply winning another fight. But Folayang made it very clear that he was not ready to give up on his dream,
“Of course retirement is there but not that soon. It’s been tough having the streak of losses, it’s not good for me and my record but I still believe in that dream. I hope the next opportunity I will do good and get closer to that dream.”
So while the end is probably approaching for Folayang as it does for all athletes in their late 30s he isn’t there yet. The Filipino plans to fight on and having headlined ONE Championship’s inaugural fight card he might even get a spot on the upcoming ten year anniversary event.