The ONE Championship lightweight title will not be vacant for long. The belt is going to be on the line on Nov. 23 when Eduard Folayang faces Amir Khan at the MOA Arena in Manila. Company CEO Chatri Sityodtong announcing the fight on facebook this week.
The belt was previously the property of Martin Nguyen, but the Australian was forced to vacate it after suffering a knee injury. Now, a new champion will be crowned at ONE: Conquest of Champions with two lightweights on two-fight winning streaks going head to head.
Folayang (20-6) has won six out of his last seven fights. During this period, he won the lightweight title by stopping Shinya Aoki, only to lose it in his second title defense when he was knocked out by Nguyen in a major upset.
Khan (11-3) has won eight out of his last nine fights and is looking to become the first Singaporean born fighter to win a ONE Championship belt. Both men are familiar faces to Asian MMA fans and promotional veterans, the Filipino has appeared 14 times and his opponent 13.
Though the winner between Folayang and Khan will be the recognized champion, ONE Championship has effectively organized a four-man lightweight tournament, although it wasn’t a deliberate decision. The winner of this Saturday’s bout between Ev Ting and Shinya Aoki had been promised a shot against Nguyen in Tokyo next March. The bout had been considered for the lightweight title outright, but officials determined it was too close to the bout to increase it to a five-round championship fight.
With Folayang and Khan fighting for the belt, the winner of Ting vs. Aoki is still expected to vie for the belt at the Ryōgoku Sumo Hall on Match 31.