Aoki expects lopsided fight vs Folayang, wary of foe’s striking
SINGAPORE – Japanese fighter Shinya Aoki believes that his ONE Championship lightweight title defense against Filipino combatant Eduard Folayang will be a one-sided affair.
Both men are set to duke it out in the main event of ONE Championship’s “Defending Honor” card, which takes place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Friday, November 11.
Known by his cage moniker “Tobikan Judan” or “The Grandmaster of Flying Submissions” due to his spectacular submission victories, the 33-year-old Japanese veteran expects a lopsided encounter with Folayang due to the stark difference in skillset.
“It will probably not match up at all. It will be a one-side game,” Aoki said.
Aoki is widely regarded as the most dominant lightweight in Asia for the better part of the last decade as he has had 46 professional bouts and strutted his wares in various mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions, such as the ONE Championship, DREAM, Bellator, Strikeforce and Shooto.
In addition, being a champion is synonymous to Aoki’s name as he has a lengthy list of accolades in both MMA and submission wrestling.
Aoki lauded his 13-year prizefighting experience and considers it as an advantage over Folayang, who started as an international Wushu Sanshou competitor before transitioning to MMA in 2007.
“It’s my biggest advantage over him. I have been fighting ever since 2003. I have experienced losses and fought in unstable environment,” he explained.
Although Aoki is entering the 5-round championship clash as the clear favorite to win due to his impressive curriculum vitae, he received numerous warnings about Folayang’s stand-up arsenal.
Aoki stressed that he is fully aware of Folayang’s highly-regarded striking background and admitted that he is keeping a watchful eye on it.
“His striking, I don’t want to get his punch hit,” he stated. “He’s more of a striker. He has good striking and recently he has picked up MMA. If I have to point it out, it’s his striking skills.”
When asked if there is anything that Folayang should worry about in their upcoming title tilt, Aoki pretentiously responded, “Just hope that I’m coming into the fight without practicing much or in a bad condition as possible.” – Rappler.com