Some surprising news coming out of the Philippines with Eduard Folayang announced that he has left Team Lakay. The lightweight has spent his entire career representing the camp and has trained there for the best part of two decades.
While it sounds like Folayang’s departure was not acrimonious the timing of the announcement will raise a few questions. Just three days ago he posted a photo on Instagram alongside Honorio Banario and Kevin Belingon with a caption that read,
Together we will rise.
But within 72 hours Folayang announced on Facebook that he would no longer be training with either Banario or Belingon:
While Folayang’s announcement seems both sudden and abrupt he did leave a heartfelt message for his former teammates. The former school teacher had clearly taken his time composing an erudite farewell,
Words will not suffice to aptly impart how grateful I am for our camaraderie that has led to our achievements and victories inside the Circle.
Folayang is 38 and and has not won an MMA fight since 2019, losing five on the bounce. It is the type of form which would have many fighters contemplating retirement but he clearly feels he has more to offer.
It seems Folayang thinks that he needs to find a new training camp in order to relaunch his career,
The profession I have chosen requires me to learn, evolve, and grow. In order for me to achieve this, I must step out of my comfort zone and discover new ways to foster my development as a martial artist.
Edson Marques 🇧🇷 PLANTS former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang for a second-round TKO! 👊
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 3, 2022
It will be very interesting to see what Folayang’s next destination is. Virtually all of the fighters at Team Lakay live in or around Baguio which makes it very convenient for them to prepare for fights there.
They don’t have to pay for travel or accommodation or spend time away from their families because Team Lakay is right on their doorstep. But Baguio does not have many visiting fighters passing through, with the recent visit Shinya Aoki being a notable exception.
Perhaps Folayang feels he needs to work with different trainers and different sparring partners in order to resurrect his career. There are clearly a lot of camps which would be happy to have the former ONE Championship lightweight champion representing them.
This is the first time a big name fighter has left Team Lakay and it is sure to lead to speculation that there has been some sort of falling out. But Folayang had nothing but kind words for his former trainers and training partners and fight fans will be fascinated to see what his plans are.