Greg Jackson, Eduard Folayang
Greg Jackson (L) believes Eduard Folayang (R) has a few more years left in his MMA career. Multiple Sources


  • Eduard Folayang gets a vote of confidence from Greg Jackson
  • Folayang presently trains at Jackson's world-class gym in Albuquerque
  • Jackson feels Folayang has a lot more to offer as an MMA fighter

Eduard Folayang truly believes that he still has a lot left in his gas tank to mount another storybook comeback and close out his illustrious mixed martial arts (MMA) career on his own terms.

However, several cageside pundits and fans feel that it's time for the beloved Filipino superstar to hang up the gloves for good.

The Baguio City, Philippines native has lost his last five bouts under MMA rules in ONE Championship, and he will turn 40 years old in November.

Some may perceive these as strong and clear indicators for Folayang to ride off into the sunset, but for decorated MMA trainer Greg Jackson, the former two-time ONE lightweight champion is far from calling it a day.

Along with teammate Joshua Pacio, Folayang is currently training under the three-time Coach of the Year awardee's watchful eyes at the world-renowned Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Jackson, who has guided the likes of Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones to world title victories in the UFC, is admittedly awe-struck with what he has seen in Folayang so far.

"You should see him here at the gym. Eduard is getting right in there with all of the younger guys and having zero problems. You can say whatever you want, but the proof's in the pudding," he told the International Business Times in an exclusive interview.

"I'm watching him compete with all of these high-level guys, so there's no doubt that Eduard can end his career with a bang."

The 48-year-old trainer added that "Landslide" has demonstrated key improvements since the last time they worked together in 2018 while keeping his signature qualities intact.

"Eduard always has that real iron will. He has the will to win, he's very strong mentally. I'm glad to see that's still there and that's still the same. He's technically improved, obviously, over the last five years, so he's a much better version of himself than when he was here the last time," Jackson shared.

"I think the big thing that I was impressed with is that his technique is sharper, and he's a little bit better than he was five years ago. Just watching the improvement on an overall level, it was very cool to see."

From an honest point of view, Jackson is convinced that Folayang has enough time to author his redemption arc before even considering retirement.

"Eduard is one of those guys that, I think, has another five or six years in him, honestly. He's aged well. He's done well. His body is still there, he's still strong, his reflexes are still sharp, and he can still go all day," Jackson explained.

Folayang's trip to Albuquerque came on the heels of his shocking departure from Team Lakay, with personal growth and development being cited as the official reason for his exit.

Jackson lauded Folayang for his decision to explore other options in terms of training as he winds down the final years of his run.

"I think he's doing the right thing by making some changes to figure out some new things and getting a different look. I think that's going to help out a lot," Jackson stressed.

"Eduard is not just a great athlete, but he's very sharp, he's a smart guy. I think he's playing it the right way by coming to a different place and figuring it all out by getting some inspirational and technical revitalization."

Folayang is keen on having two bouts this year in ONE Championship, setting his sights on the July 7th card and the September 1 event.

Quotes transcribed by Karl Batungbacal

Eduard Folayang
Eduard Folayang (right) attempts a spinning kick on John Wayne Parr (left) during their Muay Thai matchup at ONE X on March 26, 2022. ONE Championship

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times,,, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.