Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki is one of the most successful athletes to ever compete in mixed martial arts, and some of his finest performances have been when the ONE Lightweight World Title was on the line.
He looks to reclaim the gold against his former conqueror and the division’s reigning king, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, at ONE: A NEW ERA in his native Tokyo, Japan, and his championship-winning pedigree could give the Japanese martial arts icon an edge in their eagerly anticipated rematch.
Aoki has been successful in three World Championship bouts in The Home Of Martial Arts — the same as his Filipino opponent. However, at the Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sunday, 31 March, he hopes to move ahead of his old rival with the might of his compatriots in his corner.
Check out all three of the 35-year-old’s ONE Lightweight World Title successes to date.
Becoming The World Champion
Shinya Aoki's extraordinary grappling prowess was on full display!Jakarta | 20 January | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 main-card bouts LIVE | PPV: Official Livestream at oneppv.com | Tickets: bit.ly/onecourage18
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
After choking out Arnaud “The Game” Lepont in his promotional debut back in October 2012, Aoki returned to challenge his countryman Kotetsu “No Face” Boku for the ONE Lightweight World Title at ONE: KINGS & CHAMPIONS in April 2013.
Boku, a renowned striker, is as dangerous as anybody in the division when the bout is standing, so Aoki shrewdly took his foe to the canvas with a single leg takedown to maintain control.
“Tobikan Judan” immediately threatened with a rear-naked choke and neck crank after softening up the World Champion with some punches, but the durable warrior would not submit.
By the time the bell sounded for the end of the first stanza, Boku had to find his way out of a D’Arce choke and an armbar.
Aoki kept up the pressure in round two, as he swiftly took his opponent to the mat. This time, there was no escape. The icon punched his turtled opponent until he found an opening to take the back. He latched on to a tight rear-naked choke, which forced the tap at 2:01 of the second round.
Just like that, “Tobikan Judan” became the ONE Lightweight World Champion.
A Quick World Title Defense
A perfect example of why experts consider Shinya Aoki to be one of the world’s finest submission grapplers!Singapore | 18 May | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneunstoppable18
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, April 28, 2018
Aoki made a brief move down to the featherweight division in October 2013 and defeated Cody Stevens via unanimous decision, but he returned to his more favored weight class for his first World Title defense at ONE: REIGN OF CHAMPIONS in August 2014.
Veteran wrestler Kamal “The Prince Of Persia” Shalorus was the challenger to the throne, but the Iranian did not get a chance to mount any offense.
“Tobikan Judan” swiftly closed the distance and used a trip to get his man onto the canvas. Shalorus stalled by holding on to Aoki’s head, but as soon as the submission specialist freed himself, he put his foe in clear danger.
The Tokyo native passed into mount and expertly moved to the back when “The Prince Of Persia” turned to try and post back up to his feet.
Within seconds, Aoki had slid his right arm underneath Shalorus’ neck and locked up the rear-naked choke. He forced the Iranian to tap at just 2:15 of round one.
Going The Distance
The grappling wizard works his magic on the ground! Bangkok | 6 October | 5:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes18
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, September 28, 2018
Aoki’s second successful World Title defense came against another elite-level Japanese warrior in Koji “The Commander” Ando at ONE: WARRIOR’S QUEST in May 2015.
Ando had back-to-back stoppage wins in his first two outings on the global stage for martial arts, and punched his ticket to a ONE Lightweight World Title shot with the icon.
Teak-tough Ando has always been seemingly impossible to finish, and he showcased that under the full fire of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and judo black belt.
Aoki secured takedowns and looked to attack constantly, but “The Commander” held his own. In fact, he even frustrated the World Champion with his stiff right jab in the second frame.
However, “Tobikan Judan” was back on the hunt for takedowns and submissions in round three.
“The Commander” survived an armbar attempt, only to eat punches and elbows, and Aoki was able to cruise to a unanimous decision victory through the championship rounds.