TOP-RATED Filipino Eduard Folayang continued his successful streak in mixed martial arts (MMA) tournaments by beating Mongolian Bao She Ri Gu Leng to claim the Superfight Championship Belt on Wednesday night in the Resorts World Sentosa Martial Combat 5 in Singapore.
Folayang, one of the best fighters to emerge from the Philippines, had to dig deep to find the will to overcome the initial onslaught of the Mongolian who was also previously undefeated in five fights.
Nicknamed the Warlord, doubts over Bao’s credentials were swiftly dispelled as the two exchanged a very technical opening round on their feet. It was clearly a well-matched fight between two extremely proficient MMA practitioners, but Bao was getting the better of the opening exchanges.
Folayang was keen to take the fight to the floor because Bao appeared to have an early advantage on his feet. Bao managed to land a huge right hand that rocked and clearly hurt the Filipino, but took a gamble to secure a vital takedown and started to land some ground and pound.
Folayang appeared to be the better-conditioned fighter in the fourth round and after a flurry of exchanges, he was able to take Bao down again and landed some ground and pound.
All three judges awarded the contest to Folayang, but much credit went to Bao for making it an entertaining contest. Folayang, however, demonstrated that not only does he have the necessary technique to be a top fighter, but also the heart.
“I had a tough fight tonight, he was very quick. My last fight was only a month ago so my conditioning is still good, but I still have a lot of room for improvement. Every round I persisted to win, and in the fourth round I knew I would win it,” said Folayang. “I was more prepared in this fight because I was able to execute my technique well. I am proud that so many Filipino people came to see me fight and I would like to thank them all.”
Mixed martial arts fans, meanwhile, can expect even more hard-hitting action in Martial Combat 6 on Saturday with another female bout between China’s Yang Xiao Nan and the Philippines’ Gina Iniong. The main event will be between American Ray Elbe and Alan Fernandes of India.
MMA combines the best fighting systems in the various fields of martial arts including muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling. As a spectator sport, it blends the mystique of martial arts, the adrenaline of prize fighting, and the excitement of sports.
MMA is already one of the world’s fastest-growing sports and has dominated the North American pay-per-view scene. Its unique combination of a full-contact combat sport, which also allows a wide variety of fighting techniques, has led to a mass following among different types of martial-arts enthusiasts.