Jakarta. ONE Championship, a Singapore-based mixed martial arts promoter, will stage a cross-divisional bout that will pit lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang with featherweight world champion Martin Nguyen in Manila on Nov. 10.
Folayang is one of the Philippines’ most experienced martial artists having competed for nearly a decade in various championships with an impressive 18-5 professional record.
The 33-year-old is currently on a four win-streak including a technical knockout victory over Japanese great Shinya Aoki to earn the world champion belt in 2016.
Showing much-improved wrestling and grappling techniques, Folayang outclassed top challenger Ev Ting in his first title defense in April.
"As a martial artist, I constantly look for bigger challenges, the biggest test for my skills. As champion, I welcome any and all challengers. Martin [Nguyen] is one of the best in the world and it is an honor to share the ONE Championship cage with him," the Filipino said in a statement on Tuesday.
"This is a bout for the fans, and I can’t wait to perform in front of my hometown crowd in Manila once again. I have complete respect for my opponent’s skills and together with my brothers at Team Lakay, my coach Mark Sangiao, I’m preparing to show the best version of Eduard Folayang on Nov. 10."
Nguyen, born in Australia of Vietnamese descent, stepped into the ONE Championship cage in August, scoring the biggest victory of his career when he stopped former champion Marat "Cobra" Gafurov in Macao to seize his title. Nguyen now has a 9-1 professional record.
"I have the utmost respect for the lightweight champion, and will definitely not take his skills for granted. But this is going to be a dog fight. It's the first time two champions in different divisions go head-to-head in ONE, and I am excited to give the performance of a lifetime," he said.
ONE Championship Chief Executive Chatri Sityodtong meanwhile said, "Our next show in Manila is going to be phenomenal. Two world champions in their respective weight classes are set to go head-to-head in a cross-divisional showdown that will be talked about the world over."
ONE Championship's last event was held over the weekend in Jakarta with former flyweight world champion Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan beating Folayang's countryman Geje Eustaquio in the main bout.