MMA: Aoki-Ando clash headlines ONE’s Singapore return in May
- Updated: March 31, 2015
March 31, 2015: Shinya Aoki will defend his lightweight belt against Japanese compatriot Koji Ando when ONE Championship returns to Singapore for Warrior’s Quest on May 22.
A lightweight bout between Kuat Khamitov of Kazakhstan and Lowen Tynanes of the USA has also been added to the multi-bout card at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Aoki (37-6-0) has one of MMA’s most diverse grappling arsenals and has finished 25 of his 37 victories via submissions. Now 31, Aoki won the ONE lightweight title by submitting Kotetsu Boku in April 2013 and continued his reign by forcing Kamal Shalorus to tap out in Dubai last August.
Ando (11-3-2) is a Judo practitioner currently riding a five-fight winning streak and the 30-year-old has both an array of diverse striking skills as well as solid grappling credentials. Last year, Ando became the top contender by finishing both Rafael Nunes in Taiwan, by first-round submission, and Zorobabel Moreira in Singapore, by third-round TKO.
Victor Cui, CEO of ONE Championship, said: “ONE Championship returns to Singapore with a blockbuster main event. Shinya Aoki is the greatest submission grappler the sport has ever seen and has been on a tear with seven straight victories, but he now faces his toughest test yet.
“Koji Ando has proven to be one of the best lightweights in the world. Ando has both the striking and grappling skills to defeat Aoki. This is a clash you do not want to miss.”
Khamitov (18-3-1) has won his last six bouts and 18 of his 21 in total, and is one of the most experienced mixed martial artists to emerge from Central Asia. The Kazakh will look to emulate the success of countryman Igor Svirid, who became the ONE middleweight champion in Singapore last November.
Tynanes (6-0-0) is undefeated after six fights and has impressed in his victories over Vuyisile Colossa and Felipe Enomoto on the ONE promotion in 2013. The 24-year-old Hawaiian comes from a fighting family and once competed on the same night as his father Miles.
For tickets, visit: www.sportshub.com.sg
Source: ONE Championship (www.onefc.com); Editing by SportAsia