It took five full rounds to decide it, but Eduard Folayang made sure his piece of One Championship gold was not going anywhere.
The man they call “Landslide” backed up his stunning Nov. 11 upset of Shinya Aoki with a unanimous decision over challenger Ev Ting, as he retained his lightweight title in the One Championship “Kings of Destiny” headliner on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. All three cageside judges gave the nod to Folayang, who finds himself on a four-fight winning streak atop the Singapore-based promotion’s 155-pound weight class.
Ting made the champion earn it. They spent virtually the entire 25-minute bout exchanging on the feet, with Folayang delivering the more decisive and damaging blows.
In the lightweight co-main event, Kevin Belingon struck former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Toni Tauru into first-round submission at 155 pounds. Tauru bowed out 2:27 into Round 1, as he suffered his fourth defeat in five appearances.
A Lakay MMA export, Belingon, 29, was merciless in his pursuits and ultimately overwhelmed his Finnish counterpart. He cut down a bloodied Tauru with a blistering right hand, pounced with more punishment and forced the 32-year-old to verbally submit.
Belingon has rattled off back-to-back wins since his January 2016 submission loss to One Championship bantamweight titleholder Bibiano Fernandes.
Meanwhile, Honorio Banario won for the fourth time in as many outings, as he knocked out Jaroslav Jartim in the second round of their lightweight showcase. An unconscious Jartim met his end 1:31 into Round 2.
A competitive first round saw the two men trade takedowns and jockey for position in a series of clinches. Banario executed another takedown inside the first 20 seconds of Round 2 and applied some half-guard ground-and-pound before surrendering top position. He then scrambled to his feet and countered a body kick from Jartim with a short right hook to the body and a vicious left hook upstairs. Out went the lights.
Cageside attendants had to carry Jartim out on a stretcher.
In other action, Christian Lee stopped Jianping Wan with punches 4:15 into the second round of their featherweight affair; Danny Kingad captured a unanimous verdict from Muhammad Aiman in their battle at 125 pounds pounds; Stefer Rahardian was awarded a unanimous decision against Eugene Toquero in their flyweight confrontation; Xie Bin tapped Chan Rothana with a brabo choke 1:46 into the second round of their tilt at 135 pounds; Gina Iniong claimed a unanimous verdict over Natalie Gonzales Hills in their women’s strawweight encounter; Michelle Nicolini submitted Irina Mazepa with a gruesome armbar 2:11 into the first round of their pairing at 125 pounds; and Robin Catalan took a split decision from Jeremy Miado in their strawweight clash.