The largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), recently held the ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD Official Kick-Off Press Conference on 7 November at the Grand Ballroom of City of Dreams, Manila. In attendance was Vice President of ONE Championship, Rich Franklin, as well as athletes Eduard Folayang, Martin Nguyen, Adriano Moraes, Danny Kingad, Kevin Belingon and Kevin Chung.
This press conference was held ahead of all the action which takes place 10 November, at the Mall of Asia Arena, which features reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang who will defend his title against ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen in the evening’s main event.
Rich Franklin, Vice President of ONE Championship, stated: “It is my honor and my pleasure to see some of the greatest martial artists on the planet compete in ONE Championship. The thing that makes ONE Championship different from any other organization in the world, is that we want to build and unleash martial arts superheroes to ignite the world with inspiration, hope, dreams, strength and courage. Our heroes are role models not only in the cage, but also outside the cage. On Friday, we are one with the Philippines in celebrating the beauty of martial arts as we have prepared the very best match lineup for the delight of our Filipino audience and the rest of the world.”
PHOTO BY Jonathan Santiago Jalbuna– Senior Photographer Sportsmanila
Eduard Folayang, ONE Lightweight World Champion, stated: “Representing the Philippines and showcasing my skills is an honor for me. Filipinos are truly world-class. We have the ability to hang with the best, no matter what the field. That is why I accepted this challenge in front of me. Join me as I continue my journey this coming Friday. Winning this bout is my top priority, to keep this belt on my shoulder. It is going to be tough, but I have my people to support me. I want to make everyone proud. I want to show the fans that Filipino athletes are world-class.”
Martin Nguyen, ONE Featherweight World Champion, stated: “I have worked very hard to be in this position. Eduard Folayang is a great champion and embodies the true values of martial arts. I know chances like this are very rare. I will do my best to take another world title home for my family and all of my fans. 2017 has already been a big year for me, and I am looking to end it with another belt on my shoulder.”
Adriano Moraes, ONE Flyweight World Champion, stated: “It’s my first time in Manila. I am very excited to compete against a highly-touted prospect like Danny Kingad. I respect him. It’s going to be a tough night, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m going out on Friday to try to keep my world championship belt around my waist.”
Danny Kingad, ONE Athlete, stated: “I have waited so long for this. Ever since I joined ONE Championship, I had my eyes set on becoming champion. This is what I wanted when I became a martial artist – to be the best in the world. Now that it is finally happening, and I have this opportunity right in front of me, the feeling of nervousness quickly turned into motivation. I’m ready to showcase my skills in front of the world. I believe it’s going to be a good and exciting match with Adriano [Moraes].”
Kevin Belingon, ONE Athlete, stated: “I would like to thank all the Filipino people, and all fans of martial arts for the support. If you’re a fan of non-stop action and excitement, come and see us at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday. It’s going to be an amazing show. I am preparing very hard so that I can make my country proud again. I know my opponent is incredibly well-rounded and highly-skilled, so I will surely not be taking him lightly. It’s going to be an absolute battle from beginning to end.”
Kevin Chung, ONE Athlete, stated: “I am in this to prove my skills and my heart as a warrior. It doesn’t matter who I am matched up against. What matters is that I am prepared well and that I am in great physical condition. Everyday I put myself through the rigors of training to become the best martial artist I can be. I am excited for this showdown against Kevin Belingon. I believe there will be a big reward waiting for me if I win.”
Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the legendary Team Lakay in Baguio City is one of the Philippines’ most experienced martial artists. After nearly a decade of competing in various promotions, Folayang has amassed an impressive 18-5 professional record. The 33-year-old veteran is currently riding a four-bout winning streak against high-profile opponents, including an emphatic technical knockout victory over Japanese legend Shinya Aoki to capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship in 2016. Showcasing a highly-improved wrestling and grappling arsenal, Folayang thoroughly defeated top challenger Ev Ting in his first title defense last April. Now set to return to the ONE Championship cage in Manila, Folayang will face ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen in a cross-divisional showdown.
28-year-old Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Sydney, Australia, is a highly-skilled finisher and one of the most talented featherweights in martial arts. In his most recent bout, Nguyen stepped into the ONE Championship cage last August, scoring the biggest victory of his career when he stopped former undefeated featherweight champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov in Kuala Lumpur to capture the ONE Featherweight World Championship. Sporting a 9-1 professional record, Nguyen’s all-around skill set allows him to compete at the highest level of competition. In a much-anticipated battle between division champions, Nguyen is set to face the Philippines’ Eduard Folayang in Manila for the Filipino’s coveted ONE Lightweight World Championship.
28-year-old Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes of Brazil is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with well-rounded striking and grappling skills. He is the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion, and one of the most highly-skilled and dominant world champions in martial arts. Rarely opposed in the ONE Championship cage, Moraes thoroughly defeated former champion Kairat Akhmetov in an epic rematch last August, snapping the Kazakhstani’s perfect 23-bout win streak and reclaiming his belt. He is now set to defend his title against rising star Danny Kingad.
An unbeaten flyweight from Team Lakay, Danny “The King” Kingad is a regional wushu champion and martial artist with a perfect professional record of 5-0. A true warrior from the mountains of the Philippines and one of the top prospects to come out of Baguio City, Kingad is a tremendous striker who possesses well-rounded grappling skills. In his most recent bout, Kingad turned in a complete performance, putting his wide range of techniques on full display in a unanimous decision victory over Malaysia’s Muhammad Aiman. The impressive victory earned Kingad a shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship, as he next meets defending champion Adriano Moraes.
Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of the famed Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, is one of the country’s most talented martial artists. With a professional record of 16-5, the Filipino champion and former world title challenger is known as a fierce competitor with the ability to finish opponents in a variety of methods. The 29-year old wushu stalwart owns seven huge knockouts on his resume, and is one of the most feared strikers in ONE Championship’s deep bantamweight division. In his last bout, Belingon stopped a top contender in Reece McLaren of Australia with a volley of devastating strikes. He now takes on another tough task ahead in Kevin Chung.
Kevin “Old Boy” Chung is a 24-year-old South Korean martial artist who was born and raised in the United States. He began his amatuer career in his adoptive hometown of Centreville, Virginia, in 2010, and has since impressed with his spectacular performances inside the cage. Chung turned professional in 2015, and currently holds a perfect professional record of 4-0, with two of his four career wins having come by way of spectacular stoppage. Chung prides himself on being an exciting competitor, willing to please the crowd by constantly seeking the highlight-reel finish. He is set to face feared striker Kevin Belingon next.