ONE Championship: Shinya Aoki's focus is solely one becoming champion again
Santino Honasan on Nov 15, 2018 02:12 PM
"I will do my best to one again become ONE World Champion first. That is the goal I'm focusing on and thinking about right now." - Shinya Aoki (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki has been on a tear as of late.
After back-to-back losses to Eduard Folayang and Ben Askren, Aoki turned a corner at the start of 2018 and went on an impressive three-fight winning streak that saw him finish all three of his opponents in dominant fashion.
Now, the Aoki finds himself once again in line for a world championship, given that ONE Championship has announced a planned lightweight grand prix tournament in 2019, his spot as the number one contender to the title could be nullified, as the Japanese star is expected to be one of the tournament's participants.
Also in the tournament is newly-signed athlete Eddie Alvarez, a former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion that Aoki knows quite a bit about.
Aoki and Alvarez have crossed paths twice before, with each man getting a win over the other.
A possible third bout could happen inside the ONE Championship cage.
Asked about his initial reaction to the news of Alvarez's arrival, Aoki says he's happy to be in the same promotion as the lightwieght superstar.
"Congrats to Eddie for joining ONE Championship. I am pleased to be part of the same organization as him," said Aoki.
Certainly, a Shinya Aoki-versus-Eddie Alvarez trilogy bout for the ONE Lightweight World Championship should sound quite appealing to both parties, but Aoki says that his focus right now is solely on regaining the championship he lost back in 2016.
"I will do my best to one again become ONE World Champion first. That is the goal I'm focusing on and thinking about right now."
That very championship will be contested by Folayang and Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila on November 23rd.
Folayang is the man that beat Aoki for the title back in 2016, while Khan is one of Aoki's teammates over at Evolve MMA.
"I like both Amir Khan and Eduard Folayang as athletes. I know for sure that their bout will be a good bout and great to watch," Aoki commented.