Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is back in The Circle for a surprising bout.
John Wayne Parr, a 10-time Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion, has agreed to compete against the former ONE Lightweight World Champion in a special “Wushu vs. Muay Thai Legends Fight” at ONE X on March 26, 2022 at Singapore.
The fight will be played under ONE Super Series Muay Thai rules. It will serve as the 45-year-old Australian striker’s retirement bout.
Currently sporting a 99-34-1, he has a chance to earn his 100th career victory during this last dance inside the Circle. He is attempting to give his career a storybook ending.
Folayang, however, is not about to hand Parr the win and aims to play spoiler’s role in his own attempt to give his career a new lease on life, making this bout during ONE Championship’s tenth-anniversary celebration a must-win for both legends.
For one, “The Landslide” is raring to show he has still a lot left in his tank even at 37.
Secondly, the Team Lakay veteran is on a horrific losing streak, succumbing to his opponents in four-straight bouts and six of the last seven.
For sure, Folayang would be motivated to get out of this slump and a Parr celebration at his expense is the last thing he wants to see.
Parr, himself, has also been struggling in his recent fights which gives Folayang a much better footing as he is going up against a master in a discipline that’s not his forte.
Parr is coming from a three-fight stint with Bellator Kickboxing before making his way to ONE Championship in 2020. He made his promotional debut against Nieky Holzken in April 2021, losing the fight in the second round via TKO, his third consecutive loss.
While Folayang has to adapt to the rules of this strikers’ only bout, he won’t have to worry about the grappling, wrestling, and submissions anymore.
The former ONE Lightweight World Champion clearly had troubles in the wrestling and grappling aspect during his last fight against Zhang Lipeng on August 2021. He could not solve the grappling and takedowns of the Chinese star to eventually absorb a unanimous decision loss in the main event of ONE: BATTLEGROUND II.
When he concentrates on striking and his explosive stand-up arsenal, a facet Team Lakay has been prominently known for, he should present a problem for the Australian.
Folayang has not been known to compete in Muay Thai and may not have Parr’s vast experience in striking fights but he’s a decorated striker in his own right, although he has not competed in a non-MMA bout since winning the 70-kilogram wushu sanda gold medal at the 2011 SEA Games in Jakarta.
Before engaging in Mixed Martial Arts where he accumulated a 22-12 record, Folayang was a wushu artist. According to ONE Championship, Folayang won 11 major wushu medals.
Among his accolades are the podium appearances he gifted the Philippines: three golds from the Southeast Asian Games (2003, 2005 and 2011), a bronze at the 2002 Busan Asian Games, a silver at the 2006 Doha Asian Games, a silver at the 2004 Asian Wushu Championships, and a bronze at the 2005 World Wushu Championships.
ONE Championship offers fights in three disciplines: MMA, kickboxing, and Muay Thai but the Igorot fighter spent competing exclusively in mixed martial arts during his entire tenure in the promotion.
By officially making his ONE Super Series Muay Thai debut, he becomes the first Team Lakay fighter to participate in two disciplines in an effort to redefine his sports combat career.
A win over Parr could serve as spark for Folayang to make a run toward becoming a two-sport ONE World Champion.
Folayang will be the fourth Filipino to see action in the event.
Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang and Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado will be gracing The Circle in a rare All-Pinoy matchup, the first of its kind since Joshua Pacio and Rene Catalan squared off for the ONE Strawweight championship on November 2019.
Also seeing action in the event is Filipina Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga, who finally gets the one thing she had been wishing for quite sometime, another crack at “Arale Chan” Ham Seo Hee in a much anticipated rematch.
By Armando M. Bolislis