It took 'literally a minute' to book Askren versus Aoki superfight
Santino Honasan on Nov 22, 2017 09:50 PM
"This is martial arts, right? It’s not about beating each other up, these guys wanted to prove to themselves that their life journey of being martial artists, they wanted to be the best versions of themselves, and they wanna test themselves against the best." (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
On Friday night, fans at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will have the fortune of witnessing two legends in the sport of mixed martial arts collide when Ben Askren meets Shinya Aoki for the ONE welterweight world championship.
At 17-0 in his professional career and with two lengthy world championship runs under his belt, Askren will be taking to the cage one last time.
Standing opposite him will be former long-time ONE lightweight world champion Aoki, who's already considered a legend in the sport because of his deadly submission skills.
This is a superfight in every sense of the world.
A fight of this magnitude, one would assume, would have taken weeks, probably even months to book, given that they both represent EVOLVE MMA, and that Aoki would have to move up in weight, right?
According to ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, the Askren-Aoki superfight was booked in 'literally a minute'.
"You know how long it took me to get this fight together? It took me literally one minute." Sityodtong told the media present at the ONE: Immortal Pursuit pre-fight press conference at the Marina Bay Sands.
"I was messaging Ben, Ben said ‘Chatri, I want to have my retirement bout.’ I was like ‘Wow, really?’"
Sityodtong continued, saying that Askren wanted 'the biggest name possible'. When offered to fight Aoki, Askren's response was quick and simple.
"Yeah, let’s do it."
As for Aoki's side, accepting to fight Askren was easy as well, said Sityodtong.
For the ONE boss, this was a perfect example of the true spirit of martial arts. No need for trash talk, no need for drama. It was simply two warriors wanting to test themselves against each other.
"This is martial arts, right? It’s not about beating each other up, these guys wanted to prove to themselves that their life journey of being martial artists, they wanted to be the best versions of themselves, and they wanna test themselves against the best."
Friday night, MMA fans in Singapore and all over the world will get to see two of the best ever, test themselves against each other.
Legends collide as Ben Askren defends his ONE welterweight championship against former ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki at ONE: Immortal Pursuit.
Catch the exciting MMA action LIVE on Friday, November 24th, 8:30 PM on S+A channel 23!