Eduard Folayang made the first defense of his ONE Championship lightweight title in front of a full house at the MOA Arena in Manila on Friday. Manny Pacquiao was in attendance to see the Filipino fan favorite win a hard fought decision over the extremely durable Ev Ting.
Ting came out with a flying knee at the opening bell only to be instantly taken down by Folayang. The remainder of the round was spent standing with the Filipino throwing kicks upstairs and downstairs, although the Malaysian frequently made him miss with clever movement.
Ting was on the front foot, but the majority of the offense was coming from the champion and this would be a theme throughout the fight. In the second stanza, Ting was thwarted in his attempt at an early takedown, but caught Folayang with a couple of clean punches and kicks.
The Malaysian’s forward momentum meant they frequently ended up clinching against the cage where Folayang scored with a series of knees. At the start of the third, Folayang looked to unload with his hooks, but Ting stood his ground in the center of the cage and fired back.
The Filipino repeatedly attempted spinning elbows and kicks, but Ting easily evaded them all. The Malaysian was the more accurate at this stage, but as the fight progressed he became increasingly outworked by the champion, who threw with greater regularity while successfully stuffing every single takedown attempt.
In the fourth frame, Ting dropped for a spectacular scissors-style leg lock, but only succeeded in briefly ending up on the bottom. Knowing that the momentum was with Folayang going into the final round, Ting came out aggressively and immediately clipped the Team Lakay star with a left hook.
The Malaysian then attempted one of his trademark head kicks, but Folayang caught the leg and pushed him to the ground. In the final seconds, Ting attacked with a flying knee, but was countered with a spinning back elbow as the action intensified just before the bell.
The contest was close enough to make it a nervous wait for both men, but in the end, all three judges saw it in favor of the defending champion. Folayang’s last three wins have all come on the road, including his stoppage of Shinya Aoki that earned him the belt.
His last fight at the MOA Arena ended in disaster when Timofei Nastyukhin scored a highlight reel knockout. It’s a moment Folayang would reflected on after the scorecards were announced.
“The last time I was here, I slept on the mat, but I needed to rise up, to train well, and to prepare a lot. I would like to thank Ev Ting. He really prepared for this fight. We needed to give a good show and that’s what we’ve done. This is the essence of martial arts, five rounds of showing how we have prepared for a long time.”
The win sees Folayang’s record improve to 18-5, while Ting drops to 13-4. It was a good night for the champion’s Team Lakay training partners, too. All four of them emerged victorious with Honorio Banario and Kevin Belingon both scoring early stoppages.
Belingon (15-5) swarmed Toni Tauru (11-5-1) and finished the former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion with a flurry of punches. Banario (12-6) was a little more clinical, knocking Jaroslav JArtim (8-6-1) out cold with a left hook at the start of the second round.
ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY Official Results
Lightweight Championship: Eduard Folayang def. Ev Ting by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds
Kevin Belingon def. Toni Tauru by Submission (Verbal Tapout) at 2:27 minutes of round 1
Honorio Banario def. Jaroslav Jartim by Knockout at 1:31 minutes of round 2
Christian Lee def. Wan Jian Ping by TKO (Strikes) at 4:50 minutes of round 1
Danny Kingad def. Muhammad Aiman by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Stefer Rahardian def. Eugene Toquero by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Xie Bin def. Chan Rothana by Submission (D’Arce Choke) at 1:46 minutes of round 2
Gina Iniong def. Natalie Gonzales Hills by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Michelle Nicolini def. Irina Mazepa by Submission (Armbar) at 2:11 minutes of round 1
Robin Catalan def. Jeremy Miado by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds
Witness a 'Landslide' victory.
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter | Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)