SINGAPORE—ONE Championship officials have high hopes that the main event of ONE: Defending Honor, which features Edward Folayang gunning for the world title, will be a slam-bang affair between fighters with contrasting styles.
Folayang is set to enter perhaps the biggest fight of his career as he vies for the ONE lightweight belt against Japanese legend Shinya Aoki on Friday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui is elated as he believes the headliner has the potential to be a superfight.
“The main event is a legitimate super fight in every sense of the word,” Cui said. “We have the best fighter from the Philippines going up against one of the best fighters from Japan and the world.”
“It's Brazilian jiu-jitsu against wushu, the true Filipino warrior versus the Japanese MMA legend. The storylines are set and ready to bring the crowd up to their feet,” he added.
Also expected to steal the show is the fight between ONE featherweight champion Marat ‘Cobra’ Gafurov defending the title against Mongolian fighter Narantungalag ‘Tungaa’ Jadambaa.
Jadambaa is eyeing revenge after losing the belt to Gafurov last November, via a rear-naked choke submission.
“The first Gafurov-Jadambaa fight was an instant classic. I believe I speak for everyone when I say that these two deserve to go at it one more time. You have the strong Mongolian warrior Jadambaa, who is built like a rock and hits like a truck, and then you have the silky smooth grappling of Marat Gafurov,” Cui said.
“It’s such an interesting clash of styles that’s a joy to watch for both fans and purists. It’s also interesting to know that Jadambaa was surprised with how strong Gafurov was in their first bout. Jadambaa says he won’t make the same mistakes again in the rematch. We’ll see,” he added.
Singapore pop sensation Nathan Hartono will sing the Singaporean national anthem to begin a stacked fight card that will also feature Nico Soe, Amir Khan, and Benedict Ang.
Singaporean MMA fighter Tiffany Yeo is also part of the card.
“It’s going to be an epic evening and I’m excited to see everyone there,” Cui said.