Eduard Folayang scored a dramatic knockout win over Amir Khan at ONE Fight Night 14. Returning to the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the scene of some of his greatest triumphs, the Filipino snapped his five fight winning streak in emphatic style.
Folayang and Khan first fought in 2013 in a fight that had the vacant lightweight title on the line. The Filipino won by unanimous decision at ONE: ‘Conquest of Champions’ in Manila to capture the title for the second time.
But since then Folayang has been on a slump that saw him lose seven out of nine MMA fights. Fans were calling for the 38 year old to retire and another defeat would have potentially ended his 16 year career.
It is clear Folayang doesn’t want to quit and he lives to fight another day after this dramatic KO win.
“Landslide” is BACK 🤯
Eduard Folayang 🇵🇭 KOs Amir Khan in Round 3 of their rematch!
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Folayang turns 39 later this year and looked a little slow in the opening round. Khan stunned him with an early jab and the Filipino’s best moments came when he got the fight down, although he seemed reluctant to engage on the ground.
At the end of the opening round it was difficult to see a way for Folayang to win. Aside from a couple of solid low kicks he had struggled to connect while Khan was able to evade his power shots and land sporadic counters.
In the second round Khan’s output became even more sporadic but Folayang was unable to capitalize and both men got warned for inactivity. The Filipino started moving forwards more towards the end of the round but came off second best when the two men clashed heads.
Khan was throwing nothing but single jabs at the start of the third and Folayang started to try and put together combinations. The fight was in the balance at this stage but no-one could have predicted how fast it would finish.
Knowing that his opponent was not going to throw anything other than jabs Folayang started to increase the pressure and looked to land a big right hand. It missed but he succeeded in backing Khan up against the cage and followed up with a glancing left that dropped the Singaporean.
Khan landed flat on his back but there was still time for Folayang to land one huge shot to the head of his defenceless opponent before referee Herb Dean dived in to save him from further punishment. The finish came at the 1:37 mark and will surely go down as one of the sweetest wins of the Filipino’s career given how long he had to wait for it.
With the win Folayang improves to 23-13 and, perhaps more importantly, gets to continue with a ONE Championship career that begun 13 years ago. Khan drops to 14-10 and his future looks less certain after a very tentative performance.
It was Folayang’s first fight since leaving Team Lakay. He now represents Lion’s Nation MMA and teammates Joshua Pacio and Kevin Belingon, who are also former ONE Championship title holders, were among the first to congratulate him.