Eduard “Landslide” Folayang could be a tough challenge for Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez when they meet in Manila, but the latter is confident he can leave his opponent’s hometown as the winner.
The two former World Champions collide at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, 2 August in a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout, where both martial artists will seek to return to winning ways at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I don’t think Eduard has the experience that I have in mixed martial arts,” 35-year-old Alvarez said. “I think there’s still a lot of mistakes that he makes in the sport that habitually he’s carried over from wushu, and we’re looking to exploit and then make him pay for all his mistakes.”
Alvarez is hoping to put the memories of his ONE Championship debut to rest. The four-time Lightweight World Champion sustained a serious eye injury in the opening round before being knocked out by Russian martial arts phenom Timofey Nastyukhin.
But despite the conviction, the Ricardo Almeida BJJ representative still regards Folayang as a dangerous athlete.
“I think Eduard is a really good, well-rounded fighter – good wrestling, good kicks, a lot of good spinning stuff from wushu,” Alvarez revealed. “He’s a World Champion, so he’s one of the best athletes in ONE Championship.”
Despite a shocking introduction to The Home of Martial Arts, his goal when he signed with the organization in October of last year remains the same.
“The Underground King” dreams of capturing the ONE Lightweight World Champion and hopes that a win against his Team Lakay opponent will be the first of many to come.
“I have not veered – not one single bit. My goals are still the same. I never defined myself from a loss or a win,” he said.
“I’ll be the ONE Lightweight World Champion, and it won’t be long,” Alvarez added. “I won’t lose again. I’ll beat Eduard, they’ll give me another tough competitor, and I’ll beat them, and I’ll be fighting for the ONE Championship World Title very soon.”
Whether or not his prediction will come true depends on the result of his battle on 2 August.