December 8, 2022

The trilogy has been set.

Former two-time ONE Championship Eduard Folayang will face Japanese mixed martial arts legend Shinya Aoki in a much-awaited trilogy in ONE on TNT 4 set at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on April 28.

ONE has announced Monday night that Folayang’s original opponent Yoshihiro Akiyama of Korea and Japan is out of the lightweight bout due to injury he sustained while training.

Both fighters are 37 years old but Aoki has a more impressive MMA record with 46 wins and nine losses as against Folayang’s 22 wins and 10 losses.

The trilogy against the Japanese legend could either be a retribution or redemption for Folayang, who became world champion when he defeated Aoki in their first encounter via technical knockout in November 2017.

Aoki, who is a revered fighter back in his hometown, took his revenge on Folayang when he submitted the Igorot fighter via arm-triangle choke in their second encounter in March 2019.

Aoki will enter the ONE circle enjoying a three-fight winningstreak against Honorio Banario, Kimihiro Eto, and James Nakashima while Folayang is confident of redeeming himself following back-to-back defeats against Pieter Buist and Antonio Caruso.

Folayang is in the most difficult stretch of his 14-year professional career, as he has dropped four of his last five fights under Asia’s leading mixed martial arts promotion.

His last victory in the circle was against Mongolian Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu in November 2019. Prior to that, he dropped submission losses to Japanese rival Shinya Aoki and former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.  – Harley F. Palangchao