Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso, 29, of Australia has earned his first victory in ONE Championship. The Australian mixed martial artist, who is of Italian and Greek descent, has been competing in the Singapore-based martial arts organization since 2019.
Training at Sanford MMA in Florida, United States, Caruso fought Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, of the Philippines at “ONE: Inside the Matrix.” ONE Championship held the MMA event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on October 30, 2020.
“ONE: Inside the Matrix” featured six MMA matches, four of which are title bouts. It was the first sporting event in Singapore that allows for a limited live audience since it moved into the second phase of its reopening amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In the second bout of the evening, Caruso and Folayang battled it out in the lightweight division. Justin Brown served as the referee.
Caruso is 180cm tall. Folayang, who is 10cm shorter, trains out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines.
In the first two rounds, Caruso started off the bout strong, sticking multiple takedowns and attacking with various submission attempts. In the third round, Folayang came alive behind a steady leg kick game that had his Italian-Greek-Australian opponent immobilized.
After three five-minute rounds, the lightweight contest was left in the hands of the three judges. In the end, Brown raised the hand of Caruso, who was declared the winner via unanimous decision.
Winning at “ONE: Inside the Matrix” improved the professional MMA record of Caruso to 8 wins and 1 loss. On the other hand, Folayang now has 22 wins and 10 losses.
A total of 12 countries were represented namely Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Italy, Moldova, Myanmar, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam. Caruso was one of the two representatives of Australia while Folayang solely represented the Philippines.
Born in Australia on December 24, 1990 to a Greek mother and an Italian father, Caruso attended the University of South Australia in Adelaide. He made his professional MMA debut in 2013.
Caruso was undefeated when he joined ONE Championship. In his promotional debut, which was at “ONE: Dawn of Valor” at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 25, 2019, he lost via unanimous decision to Pieter “The Archangel” Buist, 32, of Breda, Netherlands.