Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso, 29, of Australia earned his first victory in ONE Championship at “ONE: Inside the Matrix” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on October 30, 2020. The Australian mixed martial artist, who is of Italian and Greek descent, defeated Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, of the Philippines via unanimous decision.
Both fighters were coming out of a loss to Pieter “The Archangel” Buist, 32, of Breda, Netherlands. The Ghanaian-Dutch MMA fighter defeated Caruso via unanimous decision at “ONE: Dawn of Valor” at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 25, 2019 and Folayang via split decision at “ONE: Fire and Fury” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
“It looked like Eduard was missing some batteries,” Buist commented. “Against me, he was more aggressive, more outgoing and now he was hesitating. I think he buckled under the pressure of, ‘Yeah, he has to win this fight because if he doesn’t win, he must stop.'”
“You know, for a fighter, a lot of people don’t understand, especially those who don’t fight, it’s around 85 to 90 percent mental,” Buist continued. “The rest is physical so if mentally, you’re not there, you will lose.”
Buist is currently ranked third among the ONE Championship lightweight contenders. Neither Caruso nor Folayang are in the Top 5.
On November 6, 2020, Buist will fight Timofey Nastyukhin, 30, of Novokuznetsk, Kemerovo Oblast, Russia at “ONE: Inside the Matrix II” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The Russian contender is number 4 in the ONE Championship lightweight ranking.
“ONE: Inside the Matrix II” will feature five MMA matches. The lightweight contest between Buist and Timofey is the co-main event of the evening.
Nastyukhin is coming out of a win against Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, 36, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. On March 31, 2019, the Russian MMA fighter knocked out the American MMA veteran via punches in the first round at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
On the other hand, Buist is riding an eight-bout winning streak. “ONE: Inside the Matrix” marks his fourth outing in ONE Championship.