If you had to sacrifice something just to watch the late night November 23 Eduard Folayang demolition Amir Khan for the ONE Lightweight belt, you surely felt your efforts were well paid.
That’s because Folayang came in the match prepared to put on a show in front of his countrymen.
The “Landslide” was definitely a man on a mission armed with a vast of explosive offensives in the arsenal that night and he wasn’t about to hold back any of them.
Not only did he clinically cut down Khan, he never let up from the opening bell until the conclusion of the match.
It would not be a surprise if this Folayang fight will be judged as the best the “Landslide “ ever had in his entire career.
Maybe even for the entire ONE promotion.
It is a guarantee that when his performance is put into just words, one would still enjoy it, even those who already saw the fight in motion.
The sizing each other up round.
It will be a prelude to what would be coming in the next rounds as both warriors are not afraid to exchange light strikes.
Folayang connects his first power strike, the patented spinning backfist, at the 3:50 mark. He proceeded to follow it up with four kicks, two kicks to the lower leg, one to the upper leg and another to the lower leg.
Both men go for an attack move and a Khan forearm causes Folayang to fall to the canvass. He, however, quickly converted it to a takedown. Khan escapes and they clenched. That gave Folayang the opening to drive a knee to the leg. He then ends the round connecting a right cross.
The Landslide’s defining round.
Folayang set the tone for the round with a left cross connection in the opening minute. He then mixed his attack with a twist by going for a takedown, barely missing out in taking Khan to the floor.
The next ones are the first batch of the “Lanslide’s” brilliant consecutive sequences for the fight: leg kick, left cross, side kick, then upper cut on the clench.
He then set up and connected the most defining strike of the night: a spinning elbow during the clench that did the initial damage!
He presses his attack and delivered another spinning elbow while on the clench.
Both men separate. Khan, probably feeling the urgency at this point, executes a risky move by attempting a flying knee.
Folayang, however, was ready as he caught him while airborne, slammed him to the ground then proceeded to rain fists and elbows in the ground and pound.
Khan escapes but Folayang connects with a knee and 3 more spinning elbows, including a clockwise-counterclockwise combination to end the round.
This round should hand Folayang the match if the following rounds are not decisively won by Khan.
Landslide seeing red.
Folayang unleashed another beautiful sequence to further confuse Khan on where the hits will be coming from.
He starts with a left straight, a knee to the leg while on the clench, a takedown attempt which Khan escapes quickly, a low kick, a left-right-left hook combination, a right cross, a high kick, and a short right hook. Both warriors clenched ending the round.
Folayang’s payoff round.
Although ONE judges score their fights based on the totality of the fight, clearly taking this round will probably propel him to a second reign in the lightweight ranks.
He defended a takedown attempt from Khan who is now more aggressive. He delivers five unanswered knees and a spinning backfist before defending another takedown.
Another twist in the attack results to five elbows to Khan’s face that was mixed with knees to Khan’s leg while clenching.
He ended the round with another surprise, a spinning back kick.
The icing of the cake.
If you think Folayang is done with the action and just play it safe because the only way he losses this fight is if he’s knocked out or submitted, you’re deed wrong!
He connected once again with a spinning backfist, defended a takedown attempt, connects a launching left hand, a spinning back kick then dishing elbows and knees during a clench.
After both men separated, he proceeds to deliver a left-right combination, a side kick, a low kick, a takedown attempt, two side kicks, and a lunging right straight.
He ended the round with what we could truly consider as icing of the cake, a flying kick!
What a show!
Combined with Honorio Banario’s win and Brandon Vera’s knockout victory, the wait to near midnight was well worth it.
Personally, I’d like to congratulate the “Landslide” for his win and thank him for putting up a show.
It was truly one of the best display of offense in a mixed martial arts bout ever!
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS
Banner photo by ONE Championship