Title clash to ignite Indoor Stadium

Japanese veteran Shinya Aoki (left) will defend his lightweight belt against the Philippines' Eduard Folayang in Singapore on Nov 11.
Japanese veteran Shinya Aoki (above) will defend his lightweight belt against the Philippines' Eduard Folayang in Singapore on Nov 11.ST FILE PHOTO

A title bout will headline One Championship's Singapore event, dubbed Defending Honour, on Nov 11.

Japanese veteran Shinya Aoki will defend his lightweight belt against the Philippines' Eduard Folayang at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

This will be the mixed martial arts organisation's first event in Singapore since securing an eight-figure investment from Heliconia Capital Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings.

Tickets go on sale on Sept 5 at www.sportshubtix.sg.

But organisers did not confirm if fan favourite Angela Lee, an American fighter of Singaporean and Korean descent, would be competing.

Lee, 20, became One Championship's first woman world champion when she beat Japan's Mei Yamaguchi for the atomweight title at the Indoor Stadium in May.

In an interview with The Straits Times two weeks ago, Lee, who trains out of Evolve MMA in Singapore, said "it would be nice" to defend her title here.

A possible opponent for her is Brazil's Istela Nunes, who beat Yamaguchi by a split decision in One Championship's Macau event earlier this month.

Regardless, One Championship chief executive officer Victor Cui believes fans can expect a quality fight between Aoki and Folayang, whom he said "has performed at an extremely high level" in recent bouts.

Folayang, 31, boasts a 16-5 win-loss record and secured the title bout after defeating Adrian Pang in Macau on Aug 13.

He said: "I am at the peak of my abilities as a fighter. It will be an honour to share the cage with (Aoki) but I feel I have the skills to pull off an upset.

"I will fight for the honour of my country and the people of the Philippines who will be in my corner on fight night."

Aoki, who has a 39-6 record, holds a black belt in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is on a nine-bout winning run.

The 33-year-old said: "Eduard is a great competitor with solid all-around skills. It should be an exciting match-up."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2016, with the headline 'Title clash to ignite Indoor Stadium'. Print Edition | Subscribe