It has been a long road back to title contention for former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, but the performances he has put together in 2018 have been nothing short of phenomenal.
On Saturday, 6 October, he delivered his quickest and most extraordinary win yet.
The Japanese legend choked out top contender Ev “E.T.” Ting just 57 seconds into their lightweight clash at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES in Bangkok, Thailand to secure a shot at the coveted title.
“I did what I could, and this is [the result] I got. This is who I am,” the triumphant 35-year-old told a capacity crowd at the Impact Arena during his post-bout interview with Mitch Chilson.
Shinya Aoki puts Ev Ting to sleep with an INSANE arm-triangle choke at 0:57 of Round 1! ????Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, 6 October 2018
As soon as the opening bell rang, Ting looked to utilize his striking, but Aoki, known as one of the most dangerous grapplers in mixed martial arts, immediately shot for a double-leg takedown.
“E.T.” tried to defend against the ropes, but the Tokyo, Japan native used his black belt judo expertise to spin Ting around and take him to the mat with a trip.
The Malaysian held onto a headlock when he landed on the ground, but quickly found himself in a world of trouble when Aoki took full mount.
Ting refused to release the headlock, which gave “Tobikan Judan” an opening to secure the bout-ending submission.
Within moments, Aoki worked for an arm-triangle choke, maneuvered himself clockwise to the left side of his rival’s body, and tightened the submission hold. After just a few seconds, Ting’s eyes shut, and he was asleep. The referee immediately stepped in to call a halt to the contest.
In a year full of wins, this is the legend’s most impressive one yet.
Aoki earns his third straight first-round victory, and he set a ONE Championship record for most submissions in the lightweight division with five. He also notched the fourth fastest submission in the weight class.
Now, “Tobikan Judan” will relax before preparing for his ONE Lightweight World Title challenge, which is scheduled for the promotion’s inaugural event in Tokyo, Japan in March 2019.
He will face the division’s next king, which will be decided at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS on Friday, 23 November in Manila, Philippines.
Former titleholder Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will square off against Aoki’s Evolve teammate Amir Khan for the recently-vacated belt in one of the evening’s main attractions.
The Japanese martial arts icon does not have a preference on who he meets for the gold, however.
“I like both opponents, so try your best and good luck,” he said.