Eduard Folayang was born in Baguio, and endured a tough childhood growing up under tragically impoverished circumstances, with five of his siblings passing away due to illness.
He took up competing professionally in martial arts to ease his family’s financial burden, even making it onto the Filipino national wushu team. In 2003, 2005, and 2012, Folayang won gold at the SEA Games in wushu, establishing himself as a true Filipino national hero.
After graduating from the University of the Cordilleras, he worked as a teacher in English and Physical Education, but soon decided to focus full-time on a successful MMA career that saw him capture a Filipino welterweight championship in his first professional fight.
He then made a name for himself in Singaporean promotion Martial Combat in 2010, resulting in a headlining spot on ONE Championship’s inaugural show. Five years later, Folayang returned to Singapore to headline ONE: DEFENDING HONOR against ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki, successfully dethroning the MMA legend to claim the ultimate prize in Asian MMA.