MMA: Shinya Aoki submits Folayang to win trilogy bout


Posted at Apr 29 2021 10:13 AM | Updated as of Apr 29 2021 04:31 PM

MMA: Shinya Aoki submits Folayang to win trilogy bout 1
Shinya Aoki locks in a submission against Eduard Folayang. Handout photo

(UPDATED) Japan's Shinya Aoki emerged victorious over Filipino icon Eduard "Landslide" Folayang, winning their trilogy bout via submission at ONE on TNT IV in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The fight, aired Thursday in Manila, was stopped by the referee at the 4:20 mark of the first round after Aoki trapped Folayang in an armbar.

The 36-year-old Folayang did well to keep the fight on the feet in the early parts of the first round, fending off Aoki with his movement. He stuffed Aoki's initial submission attempts, but the Japanese veteran was able to take him down midway through the round.

Once the fight was on the ground, Aoki took over. He landed strikes against Folayang who tried ineffectually to hold him off, but Aoki eventually gained control of the Filipino fighter's arm. It was over quickly from there as the referee stepped in to stop the match.

"This is MMA, everything happens. I prepared for the takedown, but yeah, he got me. Huge congratulations to Shinya," a visibly disappointed Folayang said after the match.

The Team Lakay veteran had been hoping to notch a victory that would catapult him back up ONE Championship's lightweight rankings. Instead, he lost for the third time in a row, and for the fifth time in his last six fights.

Moreover, it marked his second loss to his Japanese rival. Folayang shocked Aoki in November 2016, winning via TKO to claim the ONE lightweight championship. Aoki got his revenge in Japan on March 2019, submitting Folayang via arm triangle to grab the title. 

Folayang now has a 22-11 record in MMA. Aoki improved to 47-9 (1 NC), with 30 of his victories coming by submission.

Meanwhile, in the undercard, Filipino-American fighter Jackie Buntan won her second fight in a row after taking a majority decision against Ekaterina "Barbie" Vandaryeva in a strawweight muay thai showdown. 

In the main event, unbeaten ONE middleweight world champion Reinier "The Dutch Knight" de Ridder became a double champion, after claiming the ONE light heavyweight title from Aung La N Sang.

After five intense rounds, all judges scored the bout in favor of de Ridder who brought Aung La N Sang at will for most of the fight and repeatedly threatened to submit him. "The Burmese Python" did what he could to defend against de Ridder's scoring attempts but the Dutch fighter still built a big lead through his takedowns.

Aung La N Sang reversed their positions late in the fifth round, but was unable to mount a comeback.

In the co-main event, lightweight contender Ok Rae Yoon pulled off a shock victory over American legend Eddie "The Underground King" after a three-round war.

Ok hurt Alvarez with a huge punch in the first round to set the tone of the match, although Alvarez survived and aggressively attacked in the next two frames. Ok defended well, however, and all three judges scored the fight in his favor.