SINGAPORE — ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki (39-6, 1NC) of Japan is set to face his toughest test yet, against the Philippines’ top lightweight talent Eduard “Landslide” Folayang (16-5) and the legendary Japanese fighter is hard at work, just days before the big fight. Known as a feared grappler in the world of MMA, Aoki has had a stellar career which has seen him become the most decorated Asian mixed martial artist in history.
Alongside his teammates of the Evolve Fight Team, Aoki took to the pads and to the cage to showcase his skills to select media in attendance at the Evolve MMA gym in Singapore, Tuesday, November 8.
Aoki will meet Folayang in the main event of ONE: DEFENDING HONOR, which takes place Friday, November 11 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Asked how he plans to handle Folayang’s advantage in striking, Aoki kept it really simple and stated that no matter how many of his opponents plan to strike and keep him from closing the distance, somehow the fight “always ends up on the ground.”
Aoki is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend in MMA. With a whopping 25 out of 39 total victories coming by way of submission, the Japanese fighter enters the main event bout this Friday on a 9-fight win streak, riding a huge wave of confidence. He would do well to focus on bringing the fight to the mat.
Folayang on the other hand is a winner of his last two bouts, besting top lightweight contenders Tetsuya Yamada and Adrian Pang. The Filipino fighter will attempt to defeat Aoki and take the title, which hasn’t changed hands since Aoki beat former ONE champion Kotetsu Boku in 2013.
Also in attendance at the open workout were Singaporean mixed martial artists Benedict Ang and Amir Khan, as well as Evolve Fight Team member, women’s grappling legend Michelle Nicolini.
All three fighters are set to see action on the stacked fight card.
The Aoki-Folayang bout offers a sharp contrast of fighting styles, with Aoki playing the role of feared grappler while Folayang is ready to impress with his world-class wushu skills. MMA has seen a rise in popularity over recent years, due in large part to ONE Championship’s heavy focus in developing the sport in Asia.
Folayang arrived in Singapore from Baguio City, Philippines earlier today along with Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao.