We have all been waiting for this one, a true war of lions. Both are raring to go and will leave no stone unturned to make sure they are the victor.
Eduard “Landslide” Folayang hails from the city of Baguio which is located in the mountainous region in the northern part of the Philippines called the Cordilleras which is a favorite training destination by fighters, most notably, the P4P champ in Boxing, Manny Pacquiao. In that place of steep inclines, thin air and cold temperatures, the shark tank called Team Lakay resides. Ole “Iron Fist” Laursen, who left his the Philippines when he was 2 years of age has returned home and set up shop in the beautiful tropical Island of Boracay situated in the southern part of the Philippines. Here, Laursen has built his Legacy Gym where while training in the humidity and heat, along with the crashing of the waves, one can see a full view of the beach while training.
Eduard is coming of six-fight win streak which saw him demolish his last opponent, the Brazilian Wadson Texeira by making him eat enough elbows that Texeira had to tap. Ole is returning to the ring after being the victim of Felipe Enomoto in ONE FC 2 – Battle of Heroes. After dominating the majority of the fight, Laursen was caught with a head kick and eventually had to tap to from a rear naked choke.
The contrast cannot be missed.
One thing though is sure. When the cage doors close tonight, forget being friends, forget sharing the same nationality. All that will be out of the window. Both will wage an all-out war against each other and a lot of people believe this could be one of those fights that a lot of people will talk about for years to come. Both fighters come to win. It will be a back and forth battle that will showcase Folayang’s Sanda/Wushu skills against Laursen’s vaunted Muay Thai. I’m betting my house that this won’t go to a decision but even if it does, someone will surely bleed before the fight is over.
Now if this becomes a kickboxing match, while Folayang has heavy hands and endless cardio, if he stays in the middle of the ring with Ole in a technical contest of who can hit more, there’s a good chance he will end up in the losing end. Ole is a very technical fighter and holds Muay Thai titles from Denmark and Thailand. He has fought world-class fighters including Duane Ludwig and Peter Crooke. If A Sol Kwon can hit Eduard, Ole can surely hit him a lot more. The key for Eduard is to use his cardio to his advantage. Turn this fight into a brawl and make Laursen fight with his back to the cage. Take away his advantage and methodically break Ole down then use his efficient ground and pound one he gets his opponent to the ground.
Ole Laursen’s guard is surprisingly a very wily and active one. In his fight with LeConte and Pachu, he showed everyone that he is no slouch on the ground and he definitely earned a feather in his cap when he submitted a Brazilian BJJ Purple Belt in Eduardo Pachu. He will need this kind of focus on his BJJ if ever Folayang is able to get him to the ground. Although Folayang probably won’t be able to submit him with arm locks or chokes, Eduard can surely make him submit using his fists and elbows. Just ask Wadson Teixeira. Ole’s best chance is to keep the fight in the middle of the cage and hurt Eduard from there. If there is anyone who can knock out Folayang, it may very well be Ole Laursen.
Both are planning on to taking the other’s glory. Both are out to cement their claim as one of the best Light Weight fighters in Asia and the World. The similarities cannot be missed. Yes, it will be a war.
Alfred Johannes T. Gealogo is an MMA journalist based in the Philippines. He is a proud supporter of Filipino Martial Arts and Asian MMA. He has been involved in different Martial Arts since the age of six and is currently a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt under Prof. Alvin Aguilar of Deftac/Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu. For comments and suggestions, add him at http://facebook.com/alfredgealogo and follow him on Twitter (@alfredgealogo)