ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang of Team Lakay is all set to defend his gold plated strap for the first time against Malaysian contender Ev Ting on April 21 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Folayang, 33, defied the odds when he halted Japanese mixed martial arts legend Shinya Aoki in November to capture the lightweight title, reported GMA News.

The Pinoy fighter reportedly feels that the his victory over Aoki was the highlight of his career, and is now focused on successfully defending the belt at home.

“Winning the title against a legend like Shinya Aoki will forever hold a special place of distinction in my career, but it is only the first step in establishing my legacy,” Folayang was quoted as saying.

“Before champions were recognized as greats and legends of the sport, every single one of them faced contenders that challenged their prowess as champions. In April, I will have the opportunity to prove why I hold the coveted title.”

Ting, on the other hand, is currently riding an impressive four-fight win streak and holds notable wins over Filipino fighters such as Honorio Banario, Eric and Edward Kelly, the report said.

And while the-27-year-old challenger has nothing but praises for Folayang, he reportedly made it clear that he’s coming to the Philippines to take the title.

“I have worked tirelessly to be where I am now. It has finally paid off because I will get an opportunity to vie for a world title. It’s every mixed martial artist’s dream to become a champion.

This is my chance to fulfill that dream,” Ting was quoted as saying by GMA News.

“Eduard Folayang is a great champion and is admired by many Filipinos, but he has what I want. I’m coming to Manila to get it from him and bring it home to Malaysia.”