ONE Championship champions Eduard Folayang and Martin Nguyen are set to battle it out on Nov. 10, Friday, at “ONE: Legends of the World,” which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. The two are ready for the superfight and the latter is aware of the strengths of the former.
“Eduard’s striking is pretty legit,” Nguyen said. “(It is) a bit wild, but it works for him. Everyone who gets tagged by Eduard, they walk into every single one of his strikes and put pressure on him. But Eduard is the counter striker, and everyone who comes forward gets hit with a spinning attack, a big right hand, or big kicks.”
“You have to keep moving against someone like Eduard,” Nguyen added. “If you do not move, then you are a standing punching bag. With my style, I am always moving. If I am going backwards, sideways, or forward, I want to make it hard for him to hit me, and I want to make every bit of my wrestling count.”
Before facing Folayang, Nguyen completed his climb to the apex of ONE Championship’s competitive 70.3-kilogram weight class by clinching a prestigious martial arts gold against a fierce Russian rival. The 28-year-old Vietnamese-Australian standout knocked out the previously unbeaten Marat “Cobra” Gafurov and laid claim to the featherweight crown in the main event of “ONE: Quest for Greatness” in August.
Nguyen may have won the ONE Featherweight World Championship by defeating a tough foe like Gafurov, but now, he is moving up a weight class and looking to acquire a second world title. The newly-minted featherweight kingpin is set to challenge a Filipino martial arts superstar.
Despite being the taller athlete by a mere three centimeters, Nguyen anticipates being the lighter man on the night of “ONE: Legends of the World.” He plans to use that to his advantage, believing his speed and dynamism will be his keys to victory in the five-round championship contest.
“My strength in this match is my pace and my cardio,” Nguyen stated. “Eduard has legitimate cardio, obviously, training in Baguio City, but going at the pace I go at, I think he is going to fatigue, and my grappling will get the best of him. He is a strong guy, but I will use his weight against him in this match.”
Watch an interview with Nguyen here: