Eduard Folayang
Filipino MMA icon Eduard Folayang takes on kickboxing icon John Wayne Parr in a Muay Thai rules bout at ONE X on March 26, 2022. ONE Championship


  • Eduard Folayang was invited by Cris Cyborg and Martin Nguyen to train in the United States
  • Folayang made it clear that longtime rival Shinya Aoki had nothing to do with his departure
  • It has been confirmed that Folayang and Joshua Pacio will be training at Jackson Wink MMA Academy

The departure of former two-time ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang from the famed Team Lakay gym sent shockwaves throughout the landscape of Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA).

At the time of his exit, many wondered where he and fellow ex-Team Lakay members Joshua Pacio, Honorio Banario and Kevin Belingon will be training for the foreseeable future.

It was revealed then by International Business Times sports editor and combat sports analyst Nissi Icasiano that the quintuple was training at Team Lakay's old gym at KM4 in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines while also confirming rumors that they were going to train abroad.

After posting his farewell message on Facebook in early March, Folayang received an invite from ONE Championship's first-ever two-division champion Martin Nguyen and women's MMA icon Cris Cyborg to train at their respective gyms.

Kill Cliff Fight Club, where Nguyen trains, is based in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Meanwhile, Cyborg resides in California, training at the Andre Galvao-founded Atmos Jiu-Jitsu in San Diego and the Rafael Cordeiro-owned Kings MMA in Huntington Beach.

Another gym "The Landslide" could visit is that of the RVCA Training Center in Costa Mesa, which was once called home by MMA stars like the UFC's B.J. Penn and Michael Bisping.

It does make sense for Folayang and his three compatriots to take a chance at training abroad with some of the best instructors that the MMA world has to offer since they all cited growth and development as their main reasons for departing Team Lakay.

Immediately following their respective announcements, many believed that MMA great Shinya Aoki's visit to their gym played a role in their departure, but Folayang was quick to absolve Aoki from such rumors.

As Filipino MMA fans remain glued to social media for any sort of knowledge regarding four of the biggest homegrown names, clarity has since emerged on what they plan to do next.

Icasiano was also able to get first-hand confirmation that Folayang and Pacio are indeed going to the United States for training.

Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Jackson Wink MMA Academy is going to be their destination, and UFC fans know the name all too well.

The gym is best known for being responsible for making current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones into the beast that he is and has a venerable list of MMA stars calling it their home at one point in their careers.

Former titleholders like Holly Holm, Alistair Overeem, Georges St-Pierre and Andrei Arlovski all graced its halls.

It is currently unknown when the pair plan to fly out, but their fans back home can expect nothing but success for them moving forward under the guidance of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.

Joshua Pacio, ONE Championship
Joshua Pacio fought his heart out against Jarred Brooks in the main event of ONE 164. ONE Championship