When the last second of the third round was exhausted and the fight was over, I was pretty sure Eduard Folayang thought he won his last fight. I had him ahead by a hair, and after the decision was given announcing Ole Laursen the winner by Split Decision it sounded like the sold out crowd who came out to watch ONE FC 3: War of the Lions in Singapore also shared my thoughts.
It’s very unusual to see a fighter who is credited by the crowd as a winner and not say a single word or phrase alluding to any thought that he thinks he won the fight – no statements of bravado saying the judges got it wrong or any of the usual BS you’d get from popular fighters like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson or B.J. Penn.
I guess that just how Folayang prefers to operate, showing humility and a quiet confidence that is both striking and refreshing at the same time. Fortunately, I recently caught up with the ONE FC lightweight star/current URCC welterweight champ and asked him a couple of questions about the matter. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Hi Eduard! Congratulations on a great fight against Ole, man. Did you ever feel like you were having a hard time in the ring with him?
Eduard: Yeah, Ole’s a good fighter too and I had a hard time anticipating what his game plan was at first. He really prepared hard for our fight and I’m very happy it was a great fight that the people enjoyed.
Q: Do you think you won the fight? A lot of the people including those watching live thought you won it.
Eduard: I really feel that I gave my best and left everything in the ring. The decision is in the hands of the judges.
Q: Do you want Victor and ONE FC to give you an immediate rematch against Ole? And if not, who do you want to fight next?
Eduard: You know, we really had a great fight and I really think Ole deserves to enjoy his victory. As for who I want to fight next, that would be anyone who ONE FC decides to match up with me.
Q: Are you planning to get right back in the ring or are you taking some time off after this one?
Eduard: I’ll rest just until after Holy Week. After that, I’ll be back in the gym to train and will be looking for my next fight.
Q: Are you planning to take your BJJ training a step further? A lot of times during the fight, you had many opportunities to finish the fight on the ground.
Eduard: Of course. I really want to and I plan to put a lot of effort into improving that part of my game and become a more well-rounded fighter.
Q: What would you like to tell your fans in ONE FC and the URCC?
Eduard: Thank you much for all the support and prayers that you’ve been giving me. I may have lost but it’s just one way to make me to grow and improve and be a better fighter. God Bless you all!
Folyang is 11-2 in his career with seven stoppages. The razor-thin loss to Laursen snapped a six-fight winning streak for the 155er.