MMA: Folayang bullish on title defense vs Aoki


Posted at Mar 28 2019 11:34 PM

MMA: Folayang bullish on title defense vs Aoki 1
Eduard Folayang and Shinya Aoki face off before their title bout Sunday. Handout photo

ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang exuded confidence ahead of his title defense against Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki in Tokyo, Japan.

Folayang and Aoki faced off in the final press conference of ONE: A New Era at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo, two days before they battle it out at the Ryogoku Kokugikan. 

“I am well-prepared for this bout. I am so happy to be here in Japan for this historic event. I know Shinya [Aoki] has prepared well also and I am expecting the very best from him,” said Folayang.

The bout is a reboot of their title clash three years ago when Folayang pulled off a massive upset win against the “Grandmaster of Flying Submissions” to wrest the lightweight crown.

“It’s an honor to face Shinya again. I believe this event is going to be explosive. History will be made,” said Folayang.

Aoki himself looks forward to the match that will serve as the main header of ONE Championship’s biggest card to date.

“This is a great step forward for martial arts in Japan. I am laser focused for this coming match. I’ve trained very hard for my opponent. This Sunday night, I am confident I can achieve victory and become world champion once again,” he said.

Also fighting in the same card are Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon and Bibiano Fernandes of Brazil in a rubber match that will determine the rightful owner of the ONE bantamweight strap.

Belingon outpointed Fernandes to crown himself as the bantamweight king last year, after initially losing to the Brazilian in their first face off.

“This is my first time fighting in Japan, and I’m very happy to be here. I know how important this third fight is with Bibiano,” said Belingon. 

“Looking back at our previous encounters, I know my opponent well now. I think he knows who I am also. I’m looking forward to putting on another show and hopefully get the knockout.”

Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad will also square off against Senzo Ikeda in the quarter-finals of the ONE flyweight world grand prix.

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