The influence of Igorot mixed martial arts veteran Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 36, is essential to the success of Team Lakay. Perhaps, the MMA team based in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines has his mother to thank for instilling such strong values in her son from the onset.
“We need to be reminded of the sacrifices and hardships our parents went through to take care of us, especially our mothers,” Folayang shared. “My mother is very important because she is the one who molded discipline in me and taught me the principles to live by. She has been my inspiration to keep going, even in my darkest times.”
Folayang is very much a leader at Team Lakay, which was founded by Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, 41. As a former world champion in URCC and ONE Championship as well as a three-time SEA Games gold medalist in Wushu, Folayang has the most accolades of anyone in the team.
Team Lakay is home to some of the top athletes in ONE Championship. Among Folayang’s teammates are Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, 35, Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang, 27, Southeast Asian Games 2019 gold medalist Gina “Conviction” Iniong Gina “Conviction” Iniong, 30, ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finalist Danny “The King” Kingad, 24, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 30, former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 32, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 31, and reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 24.
In many respects, Folayang is considered the team captain. He is often hailed by Sangiao and his Team Lakay brothers as the biggest mentor in the group.
Given the high stakes of mixed martial arts and the intensity of the bouts, it must be challenging for mothers to see their children in competition where the fighters have had varying experiences. For Folayang, having his mother ringside gives him “mixed emotions and a very big motivation to do my best to get the win.”