SINGAPORE – Eduard Folayang pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the ONE Championship, beating Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in the third round to take the world lightweight title on Friday night in ONE: Defending Honor main event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Folayang sneaked in a knee to the face of Aoki to mark the beginning of the end for the grappling specialist. The Filipino continuously put pressure with several punches before the referee stopped the fight at the 41-second mark of the third round.
Aoki went to his strengths early, taking control of the fight with his grappling game in the first round, but Folayang went on the offensive in the second round with body shots against the Japanese fighter.
The Team Lakay fighter improved his record to 17-5, while Aoki dropped to 39-7-1 (win-loss-no contest).
In the co-main event, Marat Gafurov of Russia retained the ONE Championship featherweight crown after a rear naked choke against Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia.
Gafurov made Jadambaa pass out in his second defense of the featherweight tile, as the Russian stayed unbeaten in 15 matches, six bouts in ONE and all of which coming via rear naked chokes.
“I never planned to go for a rear naked choke. But somehow, it happened,” said Gafurov.
Jadambaa lost for the second time against Gafurov, once again via submission.