Last March 26, at the historic ONE X event, Muay Thai legend John Wayne Parr fought the final fight of his career. True to his monicker, the Aussie legend came out in a blaze of glory despite in a losing effort.
His opponent, MMA legend and former ONE lightweight champion Eduard ‘The Landslide’ Folayang, gave Parr a fight serving of ‘The Gunslinger’. It was heralded as “Muay Thai legend vs. Wushu legend” fight and it delivered in spades.
At Saturday’s event, the Australian was aiming for his 100th win. While the result didn’t go his way, Parr showed the world why he’s called ‘The Gunslinger’. The 45-year-old looked his age for the majority of the 3-round affair but then turned back the clock near the end.
Despite eating hard roundhouses, piercing side kicks and debilitating punches, Parr continually pushed forward. Near the end of the third and final round, the aging Aussie caught Folayang with a flying knee and almost ended the fight.
The crowd roared as Parr came close to a Cinderella moment. After the bout, it was safe to say that the crowd and everyone watching had newfound respect for the now-retired legend, including Folayang and his head coach, Mark Sangiao.
In an Instagram photo posted by Sangiao, who is himself a retired fighter, the head coach of Team Lakay showed a lot of love and appreciation for his team’s adversary that night:
“We didn’t gain an opponent but a brother in John Wayne Parr – a Muay Thai Legend, a genuine hero, a world-critically-acclaimed martial artist and Mr Nice Guy. You can’t help but love this gladiator. Respect Legend , thank you so much for that 35 years of being a martial artist in the truest sense of the word. Thank you for being an inspiration and an influence. Thank you for making us a part of your illustrious journey. Thank you.”
Check out the Instagram post below:
In prizefighting, respect is not given, but earned. At ONE X, Parr earned more than Sangiao and Team Lakay’s respect. He did, most importantly, earn a new set of life-long friends.
“We witnessed how tough and durable he [Parr] is” – Mark Sangiao on John Wayne Parr’s performance at ONE X
In a post-fight assessment of his team’s performances at ONE X, Mark Sangiao talked about how he saw the Parr vs. Folayang boils. On his student’s striking clinic and Parr’s gutsy late-fight comeback, Sangiao said:
“Legend vs. legend. Legend of Muay Thai vs. legend of MMA. The exchanges were great. Eduard [Folayang] was landing almost all of his strikes. Though we also witnessed how tough and enduring John Wayne Parr is. With the amount of blows he’s taking, he’s still the one pushing forward. And in the end, that’s also where he said his farewell, John Wayne Parr. That was his last fight.”
Folayang’s win rounds up Team Lakay’s strong showing that night, going 2-1 in their fights at ONE X. The event showcased how the legendary stable’s veteran fighters can still go while the young guns are to be feared.
Watch Mark Sangiao’s fight analysis video here: