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ONE: Shinya Anki wants to face Eduard Folayang for the fourth time


Eduard Folayang and Shinya Aoki shake hands before their ONE lightweight match.  ONE CHALLENGE PHOTO

Eduard Folayang and Shinya Aoki shake hands before their ONE lightweight match. ONE CHALLENGE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Eduard Folayang and Shinya Aoki have faced off three times in the past for a memorable showdown inside the ONE Championship ring.

Nearly two years after their last meeting, Aoki wants to take on a former member of Team Lakay.

The reason the 39-year-old wants to play against the Filipino again is simple: to be the best you have to beat the best and for Aoki, Folayang is “number one”.

“Definitely not. 1 on my list… I spent 5 years fighting him. For me, Eduard is very special because he is the only one I have fought three times,” the Japanese boxer recently said. trained with team Lakay in Baguio.

To make the trilogy’s expansion even more interesting, Aoki said he wanted to do the crazy fourth installment in Folayang’s hometown.

“We did it twice in Singapore and once in Japan, so I think it would be fair to do it in the Philippines. I think it makes sense from a business point of view. More than anything else, I feel the same way.”

Eduard Folayang was locked in a triangle by Shinya Aoki.  photo from ONE Championship

Eduard Folayang was locked in a triangle by Shinya Aoki. photo from ONE Championship

Aoki is currently 2-1 ahead of the Filipino fighting legend inside the MMA ring after breaking their deadlock in 2021 via submission from an armbar . key in the first round.

The Japanese fighter really fell 0-1 in the trio ahead of their 2019 bout where Aoki would strangle Folayang through tight arm triangle inductor within one as well.

The competition started in 2016 when Folayang stops Aoki in the third round to win the light strap.

“The words we exchanged in the Circle right after the last game we had two years ago were ‘one more time,’” Aoki shared.

Although there are some doors that open later The exodus of Team LakayFolayang has not signed on with other promotions like Evolve MMA, which leaves the opportunity for Aoki vs Folayang 4 wide open.

“Right now, I’m a ronin. I’m so grateful that I get so many offers from friends in the industry. It’s flattering, to be honest. Everyone wants to help and understand the goal I want to achieve.”


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