Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Shizuoka, Japan will challenge reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, of Baguio City, Philippines in the main event of “ONE: A New Era.” Arguably, the Japanese challenger is better in the ground game while the Filipino defending champion owns the stand-up department.
Folayang acknowledges Aoki’s much improved striking game as of late and is still wary of the Japanese warrior’s incessantly dangerous ground game offensive. The Filipino champ is hard at work with Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao on coming up with a strategy to foil Aoki’s plans.
“If he does successfully take me down to the mat, I have to remain calm and work to escape,” Folayang said of Aoki. “The thing with Shinya is if he’s able to bring you into his world, it can be extremely dangerous, especially if you panic. You are prone to making mistakes and trust me, he recognizes every opening.”
Folayang also plans to keep Aoki busy on the defensive as he turns up the aggression this time around. A volley of punches and kicks are locked and loaded in the Team Lakay athlete’s arsenal to prevent his Japanese rival from even sticking a successful takedown.
For Folayang, being aggressive and keeping Aoki on his toes is the key to victory. The Filipino mixed martial arts veteran said, “I have to make sure my explosiveness is there in this bout.”
“I have to be very aggressive and keep him on the defensive,” Folayang continued. “He’s going to eat a handful of strikes if he tries to come close, that’s for sure.”
“ONE: A New Era” will take place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 2019. The championship bout between Folayang and Aoki is a rematch.
Meanwhile, here is Folayang in his most recent ONE Championship bout: