Japan’s Shinya Aoki snared the lightweight division of the ONE Fighting Championship when he submitted his Japanese opponent Kotetsu Boku in the second round of their mixed martial arts championship bout in Singapore on Friday.
Aoki displayed superior grappling with which knockout specialist Boku failed to cope. The finish came in round two when Aoki sunk in a rear naked choke at 4:04 that resulted in Boku tapping out and conceding his lightweight championship title.
“I have successfully managed to bring the belt back to Evolve [his club], where it rightfully belongs. This belt means so much to me and my friends and I’m happy that I did not let anybody down. I managed to execute the gameplay to perfection and I’m proud to be ONE FC champion,” Aoki said in a statement released by ONE FC.
“I want to dedicate this win to all my teammates who have gotten me to where I am today. This is also for all my fans who believed in me. I am very proud to represent them and represent ONE FC as the lightweight champion. I am ready for the next challenge in ONE FC and will face whoever they put in front of me.”
In another key event of the evening, Brock Larson survived adversity to emerge victorious in a unanimous decision. Melvin Manhoef nearly finished the fight in the first round with his signature kicks, which clearly rocked Larson.
Larson came back strong in the second round and ended the round with a tight armbar. He came on forceful in the third round and neutralized Manhoef’s striking with superior grappling and relentless ground and pound. The judges unanimously awarded Larson the decision victory.
The Singapore Indoor Stadium crowd also witnessed history as Kevin Belingon and Masakatsu Ueda earned wins in the prestigious ONE FC bantamweight grand prix semifinals and will face each other in the final. Belingon dispatched his opponent Thanh Vu with a barrage of punches and kicks that led the referee to step in and stop the fight in round two. Ueda also won in round two after he sank Jens Pulver in a choke and the referee had no choice but to step in and stop the fight.