Team Lakay fighter Eduard Folayang, a former ONE lightweight champion, has lost three of his last four bouts. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Eduard Folayang’s last match left more questions than answers about the career of the 3-time ONE lightweight champion.

But when it comes to the question of retirement, Folayang has a definitive answer: That isn’t in his mind yet.

He dropped his third match in four outings against Pieter Buist at ONE: Fire and Fury at MoA Arena last month, but it is not the end for the Team Lakay fighter.

“I’ll return. I’ll definitely return. I think there’s more to unleash,” Folayang said.

“It’s not like I was trashed in the circle. I gave it my all and the difference between us wasn’t far. It was not a definitive loss at all.”

The 36-year-old gave himself a passing mark after the match, noting that he was in the contest before the Dutchman stole the match in the third round.

Buist’s seven-inch height advantage over Folayang was evident the moment they stood face to face, but the Filipino legend was not intimidated.

For two rounds, Folayang cut Buist down to size, mixing in his deadly striking with well-timed takedowns to frustrate the visitor.

Things went south in the third round, but Folayang said he believes the final canto was not a representation of his overall performance.

“I think I would give myself a seven. I thought I adjusted well in the first two rounds. It was only in the third round when I struggled,” Folayang said.

“I wasn’t expecting the head kick, I could have evaded it. I wish I had more time to spar against bigger opponents.”

Things will not get easier for Folayang.

To get to the reigning ONE lightweight champion, Christian Lee, Folayang has to go through big names such as Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, Timofey Nastyukhin, Eddie Alvarez, and Iuri Lapicus, all of whom are hungry for gold.

It is a journey Folayang plans to take as he believes retirement will have to wait.

“Retirement is not yet in our vocabulary because we’re still here. You cannot tell a fish to stop swimming. I am in the world of martial arts and if ever I retire, I am still going to be here,” Folayang said.

“But my mind is still in the competitive stage. I am not in the point where I want to focus on being a coach or a trainer. I know I’ll be headed there somewhere, so why rush?

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