• Eduard Folayang was originally slated to face Sage Northcutt at ONE X
  • Facing John Wayne Parr seems to have more weight for Folayang than a Northcutt fight
  • A career resurgence awaits Folayang should he put on a strong performance against Parr

Eduard Folayang facing Muay Thai icon John Wayne Parr in the latter’s retirement match at ONE X is an arguably better opportunity than what was originally offered to him by ONE Championship.

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times sports editor and combat sports analyst Nissi Icasiano, Folayang disclosed how he went from facing former UFC prospect Sage Northcutt to becoming Parr’s final opponent.

“Matchmakers at ONE Championship initially offered a bout against Sage Northcutt. For some reason, he wouldn’t be able to compete at ONE X. They didn’t give the exact reason as to why. Luckily, they offered me this crossover fight with ‘JWP’ (John Wayne Parr). To me, it just raised the stakes,” the Team Lakay veteran said.

Northcutt has yet to see action again since his debut fight under ONE Championship against Cosmo Alexandre in May 2019.

Thirty seconds into the match, Northcutt was caught with a hellacious right hand that resulted in him having eight facial fractures which required immediate surgery.

A cage encounter against Folayang would have been a classic tale of the young gun going after an icon of the division to redeem himself.

On the other hand, Folayang has dropped his last four outings and has not won a fight since his technical decision win over Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu in November 2019.

However, “The Landslide” has nothing left to prove in the sport of mixed martial arts and a foray into Muay Thai could give him a career resurgence.

While there is reason to doubt that Folayang can pull off the impossible and defeat Parr in his own sport, the 38-year-old from Baguio City, Philippines reminded everyone that he can hold his own against the 45-year-old.

“I know for a fact that a lot of people are a bit worried that I will be fighting ‘JWP’ in a Muay Thai bout. But people forget that I came from a stand-up background before I became an MMA fighter. To me, it feels like I’m going back to my roots. It is mentally rejuvenating on my part,” he shared.

The two-time ONE lightweight champion making the switch to Muay Thai is certainly going to draw interest from his fans back home as the stakes are arguably as high as his bids for the lightweight title.

While a Northcutt fight can help his case to enter the promotion's ONE Championship lightweight rankings, spoiling Parr’s fairytale ending is an opportunity for Folayang to prove that he has a lot left in his gas tank.

"It’s a risk, for sure. But what I see right now is opportunity. There will always be risks whether it’s in MMA or in real life. Taking this fight will surely create a whole new set of opportunities for the future,” he stated.