MANILA – Eduard Folayang will still see action in ONE on TNT 4, this time against a different opponent.
ONE Championship announced on Monday night that the Filipino mixed martial arts star will once again face Japan's Shinya Aoki on April 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Aoki and Folayang will slug it out for the third time as they can finally settle the score on who is better among the two.
The match was set after their initial ONE on TNT 4 fights have been scrapped.
Aoki was scheduled to face Sage Northcutt, but according to ONE, Northcutt was pulled out of the card "due to lingering Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) issues."
Northcutt tested positive for Covid-19 last month but the symptoms have persisted, prompting the doctor not to clear him for the fight.
"This is disappointing for ONE, Turner, but most importantly Sage and his family as they were looking forward to this and spent months training," ONE Championship further stated.
On the other hand, Folayang was scheduled to face another Japanese fighter in Yoshihiro Akiyama, but Akiyama begged off from the fight due to injuries sustained during training.
There was even some uncertainty on whether Folayang will still be in action albeit against a different foe as he and the rest of the Team Lakay delegation have been placed under observation after Lito Adiwang and Stephen Loman tested positive for Covid-19, which in effect pulled them out of their own clashes in the ONE on TNT series.
Both of Aoki and Folayang's first two fights did not last long.
Folayang pulled off what would be the biggest victory of his career after knocking out Aoki on Nov. 11, 2016, at ONE: Defending Honor to win the ONE lightweight title.
Aoki, however, got back at Folayang by submitting him at ONE: A New Era on March 31, 2019, to reclaim the said championship belt.
Despite being a non-title fight this time, championship implications are still at stake.
Aoki lost the ONE lightweight belt to Christian Lee at ONE: Enter the Dragon on May 17, 2019, but has since won his last three fights, including one against Folayang's Team Lakay ally Honorio Banario.
A win against Folayang could possibly bring Aoki closer to another title shot.
Lee will defend his title against Timofey Nastyukhin at ONE on TNT 2 scheduled to air on Thursday.
On the other hand, Folayang looks to snap a slide of four losses in his last five fights as he looks to prove that he is still at the top of his game. (PNA)