Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki said he was motivated to recapture the title, and on Friday, 18 May, he backed up that sentiment.
The Japanese martial arts legend made quick work of Russian grappler Rasul Yakhyaev at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS, in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
After a brief feeling out period, Aoki rushed at Yakhyaev in an effort to take him to the ground. The Russian, however, reversed him against the cage, and methodically peppered him with punches to the head and the ribs.
That led to a frenetic scramble, with the Tokyo, Japan resident operating inside Yakhyaev’s guard. He slowly, and strategically, advanced his position.
Just after halfway through the opening stanza, the ultra flexible Aoki worked his way to the Russian’s chest, mounted him, masterfully locked in a triangle choke, and rolled to his side to lock it up.
Yakhyaev tried rolling with Aoki, and even stood up and threw punches in an effort to escape. But the Japanese icon grabbed the Russian’s punching arm, cut an angle, and tightened the hold to force the tap at 3:15 of round one.
It was a quick and impressive win for Aoki, who gets the 40th professional victory of his career. With a record of 40-8 (1 NC), “Tobikan Judan” is fully prepared for another run at the gold.