Rus­sian out to spoil Fo­layang’s come­back bid

Sun.Star Baguio - - Front Page - Rod­er­ick Osis

UN­DE­FEATED Rus­sian prospect Kharun At­langeriev is tak­ing the most ex­treme gam­ble of his bud­ding pro­fes­sional mixed mar­tial arts ca­reer.

At­langeriev is slated to lock horns with for­mer light­weight ti­tle­holder Ed­uard Fo­layang on the un­der­card of One Cham­pi­onship’s : Un­stop­pable Dreams which takes place at the state-of-the-art Sin­ga­pore In­door Sta­dium on May 18.

De­spite the seem­ingly in­sur­mount­able odds, At­langeriev be­lieves that great risks re­sult to greater re­wards as he has an op­por­tu­nity to es­tab­lish him­self as one of the pre­mier lightweights in ONE Cham­pi­onship.

The 25-year-old na­tive of Dages­tan, Rus­sia is set make his pro­mo­tional de­but squar­ing off with a prom­i­nent name in the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 77.1-kilo­gram weight class.

“I am su­per ex­cited to visit Sin­ga­pore and put on a show,” he said. “I know that he is a for­mer cham­pion and an ex­pe­ri­enced com-

pe­ti­tor, but I have no pres­sure on me. The pres­sure is on him. It is going to be a wild night.”

A mere glance at both men’s records shows a size­able gap in ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween the two as Fo­layang once held the pres­ti­gious ONE Light­weight World Cham­pi­onship and has shared the stage with the pro­mo­tion’s no­table fig­ures such as Kotetsu Boku, Adrian Pang, Shinya Aoki and Ev Ting.

More­over, Fo­layang is rar­ing to put him­self back into the world ti­tle pic­ture af­ter los­ing his light­weight crown to Martin Nguyen by way of sec­ond-round knock­out in Novem­ber 2017.

Al­though he praised the im­pres­sive back­ground and the world­class tal­ent of Fo­layang, At­langeriev is con­fi­dent in his own skillset as he steps into the ONE Cham­pi­onship cage for the very first time against the beloved Filipino su­per­star on Fri­day.

“To the com­mon eye, it may be a mis­match on pa­per due to records and ex­pe­ri­ence, but I am con­fi­dent in my skills. I feel like this is my time to make my­self known around the globe. Any­thing can hap­pen, and I have the skills to fin­ish him,” he stated.

At­langeriev has an im­mac­u­late record in his mixed mar­tial arts run, acing his 11 pro­fes­sional bouts with fly­ing col­ors.

Known by the moniker as “The Preda­tor” due to his in­tense de­meanor in­side the cage, At­langeriev has gone the dis­tance just once in his prize­fight­ing stint as ten of his 11 ca­reer wins have come by way of fin­ish.

“I have fought some crazy peo­ple in my ca­reer. I know what Ed­uard Fo­layang of­fers, and I know how he fights, and to be hon­est, I am not re­ally afraid of any­thing. The only thing I am afraid of is me not giv­ing my 100 per­cent, and that is pretty much it,” he warned.

Fo­layang ear­lier vowed for an im­proved skill set as he re­turns to Sin­ga­pore al­most two years af­ter winning the ti­tle against leg­end Shinya Aoki.

“Sin­ga­pore is where I won the ti­tle. I was the un­der­dog in that ti­tle bout against Shinya Aoki, but I man­aged to pull off the up­set win. It was so mem­o­rable. The coun­try will al­ways be dear to my heart,” he said.

Going back to the Sin­ga­pore In­door Sta­dium where he won the ONE Light­weight World Cham­pi­onship belt, Fo­layang feels elated to strut his wares in Sin­ga­pore again.

“Sin­ga­pore is an awe­some coun­try. The venue is so awe­some. It’s truly world-class. The en­ergy is pal­pa­ble. I won’t say it’s my home court, but it gives me the mo­ti­va­tion and in­spi­ra­tion be­cause it is the place where I be­came the cham­pion,” he stated.

Photo by Rod­er­ick Osis

RE­CLAIM. Tak­ing off a much needed rest af­ter his loss in Novem­ber last year, for­mer One Cham­pi­onship light­weight world cham­pion Ed­uard Fo­layang vows to come out as a better fighter in his cage re­turn this com­ing May 18 in Sin­ga­pore.

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