Slumping Eduard Folayang still brushes off retirement talks

Slumping Eduard Folayang still brushes off retirement talks

MANILA, Philippines — Eduard Folayang is still not considering retirement after dropping his third bout in a row on Thursday against Shinya Aoki in ONE on TNT IV.

Struggling since 2019, Folayang has won only one bout of his last six, but the former ONE lightweight champion believes there is still time to make another run before hanging up his gloves.

"I think I just need the perfect time to unleash that greatness. Probably it's not now, but someday in the future," Folayang told the media after his loss to Aoki.

"They will see me rise again," he said.

In his third bout against Japanese rival Aoki, Folayang was easily disposed off in a first-round submission.

Wanting to have kept the fight on the feet instead of the ground, Folayang struggled when Aoki was able to take him down after about two minutes gone in the opening round.

It didn't take long for the Japanese fighter to catch Folayang in an arm bar that forced the latter to tap out with less than a minute left in the first.

Though it was a tough loss for him, Folayang opts to still look at the result positively with his coach Mark Sangiao.

"We're still postive," said Folayang of how he and Sangiao talked about the loss after.

"It's just that we weren't able to stop the takedown. We tried a lot of times, yet Shinya… He really doesn't want the fight to go on the feet," he added.

ONE on TNT IV was the last of four events in the ONE on TNT series, where Reinier de Ridder dethroned light heavyweight titlist Aung La N Sang to become a two-division champion.

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