Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang isn’t the type of fighter who calls out or selects his next opponent. His legend grew because he faces anyone presented to him inside the ONE Championship Circle.
But after Folayang’s victory over John Wayne “The Gunslinger” Parr at ONE X on 26 March, the Filipino mixed martial arts icon revealed who he would like to tackle next.
If given an opportunity, the 38-year-old competitor wants to keep his momentum in ONE Super Series going by challenging multiple-time karate world champion “Super” Sage Northcutt.
ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong revealed that Folayang versus Northcutt could have happened before ONE X, but the talks fell through.
The 26-year-old American was also scheduled to fight Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki at “ONE on TNT 4” last year but withdrew due to COVID-19, prompting Folayang to take his spot.
The crossing of paths by Folayang and Northcutt is inevitable because of the massive success they’ve had in their respective striking disciplines. The Texas native was inducted into the Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame in 2012 and is also a third dan black belter in taekwondo.
Meanwhile, Folayang won a bronze medal in the 2005 Wushu World Championships in Hanoi, Vietnam, and a silver medal in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. He also won three gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games.
Team Lakay athletes Jhanlo Sangiao and ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio reflected on Folayang’s reasons for wanting Northcutt.
“For me, manong Eduard wants to test his skills in striking or, in general, he wants to venture into other disciplines. And why not Northcutt, right?” Sangiao said.
“Many people think that it’s time for him to leave the fighting scene, but you know kuya Eduard, he will be there to prove that he is far from the finish line,” Pacio added.
If this fight pushes through, Sangiao expects nothing but an exciting showdown.
“If he faces Northcutt,” he said, “then that would be a nice matchup. I’m sure this will be pure entertainment for fans, a match between a karate specialist and a wushu legend.”
But while Pacio agreed with Sangiao, he also pointed out another exciting factor.
“That would be a cutthroat match,” he added. “Both want to trade shots. But let me also add that one of the fights that excites me is kuya Eduard versus [Yoshihiro] Akiyama.”
Northcutt and Akiyama might be solid challenges for Folayang. But if “Landslide” already faced an icon earlier this year, why not cap off his 2022 against another legend?
ONE Championship returns to live action with ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic on Friday, 22 April. Download the ONE Super App and visit ONEFC.com to learn more news about the upcoming event.