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Folayang lambasts controversial phantom knockout in amateur showcase

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Folayang lambasts controversial phantom knockout in amateur showcase
Ex-ONE world champion Eduard Folayang (L) shared his two cents about the recent viral video of a controversial amateur showcase in a mall in Las Pinas
Screenshot / ONE Championship

MANILA, Philippines — Mixed martial arts veteran and former ONE world champion Eduard Folayang had a lot to say about the controversial phantom knockout in an amateur showcase held in a mall in Las Pinas last weekend.

A bout in King of the Fight 9, hosted by amateur combat sports organization King of the Fight, ended in a fuss after a fighter knocked out his opponent in just 20 seconds after seemingly landing a spinning backfist.

But the whole thing left the crowd stunned and questioning the legitimacy of the fight as it didn't seem to be a hit that could've caused a knockout.

Folayang, of famed MMA Baguio stable Team Lakay, agreed that there was much to be questioned about the way things unfolded.

"Kapag medyo sanay na kasi tayo dito sa sport na 'to, alam naman natin kapag talagang naging effective yung strike eh," said Folayang.

"And kung papanoorin mo talaga yung video, kahit anong angle, hindi naman tumama yung backfist sa may ulo... Syempre, nakakapanghinayang na makikita mo matutumba nalang. Parang naging WWE yung dating niya. Parang hindi na siya real na mixed martial arts," he added.

It wasn't just Folayang who thought this way on the now-viral video as the Philippine MMA community were quick to question and criticize the whole thing.

In a report by Karl Batungbacal of the IB Times, even fight referee Jerry Legaspi was caught by surprise of how the bout unfolded.

"The whole thing was shocking, actually. I wasn’t a part of their act, but I had to react somehow. I really didn’t see any legitimate hit [from the fighter]," The IB Times quoted Legaspi.

"The fight had just started and elbows weren’t allowed. It was really surprising to me. Their acting was bad. They should’ve gone to a workshop for that." he added.

Sending a bad message

Folayang also lamented the effect that the incident would have on the intergrity of martial arts in the country, especially in the amateur scene.

Also in peril were the values that Folayang said MMA instills in its fighters.

"Parang hindi na yung value ng martial arts yung pinapakita nila kasi syempre, yung mga manonood sasabihin na oh, parang yun na? Magkakaron na ng duda sakanila sa iba nilang laban," said Folayang.

"Syempre, affected pati rin kaming mga professional fighters kasi for us naman talaga, ginagawa namin yung part namin, nasa kontrata naman namin yun na game fixing talagang prohibited tapos mapepenalty ka pa talaga kapag napatunayan na nag-game fix ka... Alam mo yung message na binibigay mo sa mga nanonood, hindi maganda," he added.

Still, Folayang believes there are ways to get back from this for all those involved. Having been in this profession for so long, the Team Lakay stalwart advised the fighters to "conquer themselves".

"You need to courageous talaga kasi yun naman talaga ang tinuturo ng martial arts bago ka mag-into contract. Hindi naman pwede yung ganun na bobolahin mo yung mga tao sa ganong performance. As much as possible talaga, kailangan i-conquer mo yung sarili mo," he said.

"Isapuso talaga nila yung mga values na tinuturo ng martial arts para maintindihan nila na there is a big responsibility being a fighter," he continued.

EDUARD FOLAYANG

ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

TEAM LAKAY

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