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Mixed Martial Arts

Aoki puts emphatic end to Folayang rivalry on ONE on TNT IV

Shinya Aoki took the final chapter of his storied rivalry with Eduard Folayang, getting a quick submission win via a left armbar (4:20) on ONE on TNT IV, Thursday morning at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

It was a masterclass for the streaking Aoki, who got the takedown on Folayang just a minute and 51 seconds into the bout.

A master in the grappling game, the Japanese fighter immediately had a grapevine on both of the Filipino’s legs to secure his position on top.

“Just like a snake, he had me really tight. He is really calm in the ground,” said Folayang.

Short elbows and punches opened up Folayang, leading to Aoki sneaking in on his left arm and securing the bar with 40 seconds left.

“This is mixed martial arts, everything happens. He got me and huge congratulations to Shinya,” said Folayang.

“My opponent has changed strength, but I like Eduard Folayang. I lost to him five years ago and it was a struggle. I fought for him,” added Aoki, who exchanged pleasantries with his opponent after the bout.

This puts Aoki at 2-1 in the rivalry. He lost the first encounter via a third round TKO back on November 11 during Defending Honor. Aoki then bounced back in Japan with a first round submission win during A New Era back on March 31.

Aoki racked up his fourth straight win to rise to 46-9. Folayang, on the other hand, dropped to 22-11 after losing his fifth bout in the last six.

Asked about what they want next, it’s clear that their paths have separated.

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“Need to rest and see how it goes,” said Folayang.

“I would like to fight two fighters — Sage Northcutt and Yoshihiro Akiyama. I would like to fight him one day,” expressed Aoki.

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