AND NEW! Eduard Folayang captures ONE lightweight title in Singapore
Eduard Folayang stops Shinya Aoki in round three to win the ONE world lightweight championship
Eduard Folayang unloaded a barrage of punches to stop Shinya Aoki and claim the ONE lightweight championship, Friday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Coming into the fight, it was clear that Folayang needed to steer clear of Aoki's ground game. Early into the match though, it looked as if the Japanese grappler would have his way against the Pinoy challenger as he managed to take Folayang down and threaten with a choke.
Folayang displayed improved ground defense and managed to survive the round.
In round two, Folayang managed to keep the fight standing for a little longer and landed a few solid leg kicks to Aoki, but eventually found himself back on the mat thanks to an errant flying knee attempt.
Folayang would escape and bring the fight back to standing, where he connected on a few hard kicks to the body of Aoki.
Aoki shot in for a takedown in the opening moments of round three, but Folayang met the champ with a vicious, well-timed knee that stunned Aoki. The grappler attempted to go into survival mode, but couldn't get his wits together.
Folayang turned Aoki over and began unloading a succession of knees and fists before the referee stepped in and stopped the bout.
Confetti rained and the strong Pinoy contingent in the crowd chanted Folayang's name as the new champion was greeted by his team and family in celebration.
This is arguably the biggest win in the career of Eduard Folayang, who improves to 17-5.
Folayang's nine year journey to a world title ends with gold as he joins Brandon Vera as the only two Pinoy MMA world champions under the ONE banner. Folayang becomes only the second member of Team Lakay to hold ONE Championship gold, the other being Honorio Banario.
Aoki on the other hand, says goodbye to his impressive winning streak and tastes defeat for the first time since 2012. The last man to defeat Aoki prior to Folayang? Reigning UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
The Japanese grappling machine will no doubt go down in history as one of the best, but this night will forever belong to the new world champion Folayang.