Atlangeriev tries to spoil Folayang’s ONE return

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Kharun Atlangeriev
Russian Kharun Atlangeriev looks to derail Filipino MMA star Eduard Folayang’s ONE Championship return. -- ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

SINGAPORE — Filipino mixed martial arts star Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang makes his ONE Championship return on Friday, May 18, here against Russian prospect Kharun Atlangeriev, who vowed not to make it easy for the former world lightweight champion.

Part of the packed ONE: Unstoppable Dreams card at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Mr. Atlangeriev is eyeing a huge win in his debut outing with the MMA organization at the expense of one of the more beloved ONE fighters who is angling for a bounce-back win.

Undefeated in 11 fights to date, Mr. Atlangeriev, who paraded his wares at the Octagon Fighting Sensation in his hometown of Russia, expressed his readiness to take on the challenges in his latest career turn.

“I am super excited to visit Singapore and put on a show. I know that he (Folayang) is a former champion and an experienced competitor, but I have no pressure on me. The pressure is on him. It is going to be a wild night,” said Mr. Atlangeriev in the lead-up to the Unstoppable Dreams.

“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,” the 25-year-old Russian added.

Known by the moniker “The Predator” due to his intense demeanor inside the cage, Mr. Atlangeriev went on to signal a warning to the Filipino fighter, saying “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%, and that is pretty much it.”

Mr. Atlangeriev’s most recent victory came in December 2017 when he stopped compatriot Andrew Kurbatov by way of technical knockout (punches) in the second round of their OFS 12 clash.

For Mr. Folayang (18-6), Unstoppable Dreams marks his first action back in the ONE cage after losing the world lightweight belt to Australian Martin Nguyen in November last year in Manila.

He is now looking for a rebound victory here where he was crowned ONE champion in November 2016 with an impressive third-round TKO win over MMA legend Shinya Aoki.

Headlining ONE: Unstoppable Dreams is the women’s atomweight world championship between champion Angela Lee of Singapore and Mei Yamaguchi of Japan.

Also on tap is the world featherweight battle between Mr. Nguyen and Christian Lee of Singapore as well as the ONE Super Series muay thai flyweight world championship clash between Sam-A Gaiyanghadao of Thailand and Sergio Wielzen of the Netherlands. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo