ONE Championship Shinya Aoki clarifies 'fighting for survival' comments

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 06, 2020 12:39 PM
ONE star Aoki clarifies 'fighting for survival' comments
(Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)

Former two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion and Japanese mixed martial arts legend Shinya Aoki has expressed his displeasure about being misinterpreted regarding the status of current employers, Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship, heading into 2020. 

The 36-year old Aoki, one of ONE Championship’s biggest stars, showcased his writing skills and authored a piece for Japanese website Abema Times, talking about his outlook for the coming year in terms of martial arts in Japan. 

Some publications however, interpreted it as Aoki saying that ONE is in survival mode heading into the new year. 

Aoki himself took to his personal Twitter account to clarify his statements. 

“It is quite upsetting that Western media have twisted my words and made false fabrications,” Aoki said, as per a Japanese translator. “I recommend Wester media to ask a native Japanese to translate my article into english. They should not try to create fake stories to generate clicks.”:

Aoki went on to explain that he was referring to Japanese athletes when he spoke about survival, not ONE. 

“I never said that ONE Championship is fighting for survival. I said Japanese athletes must fight for survival.”

“I am quite angry. Fans should hold these Western media accountable for spreading misinformation,” Aoki continued. “The purpose of my article was to unite Japanese athletes to fight for our survival and our dreams. Nothing more, nothing less. We are family.”

Aoki, who enjoyed a second reign as ONE Lightweight World Champion in 2019 after exacting revenge on Eduard Folayang at ONE: A NEW ERA in Japan back in March, is coming off a lightning-quick submission win over Folayang’s teammate Honorio Banario at ONE: CENTURY just last October. 

The Japanese legend remains a perennial contender in the lightweight division and could very well be back in the title picture if he is able to string together some big wins in 2020.

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