By Jerome Lagunzad
Local hero Eduard Folayang’s reign as ONE lightweight champion came to a crushing end on Friday night when he was knocked out by Australian challenger Martin Nguyen with a vicious right-handed punch in the second round at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The erstwhile favorite Folayang, 32, tried to launch a signature spinning backfist but paid dearly for it when Nguyen, 28, caught him with a solid counterpunch, sending the Baguio City native down in the canvass out cold while forcing referee Oliveir Coste to step in and stop the match at the 2:20 mark of the second round.
With the stunning victory, his 10th overall in 11 fights, Nguyen, the reigning ONE featherweight champion, etched his name into history books by becoming the first two-division titleholder in ONE Championship.
While he achieved his goal of pulling off “a TKO (technical knockout) or submission” victory,” Nguyen, dubbed as “The Situ-Asian,” was still compassionate enough over the fallen Folayang, who dropped to 18-6 win-loss record.
“I still love you like a brother, I hope you’re fine and I hope you come back stronger. I’m still your number one fan,” he said.
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