A new rivalry is brewing between two of Asia’s finest lightweight mixed martial artists.
For the past few weeks, Chinese rising star “The Warrior” Zhang Lipeng has repeatedly expressed his desire to challenge former ONE Lightweight World Champion and current #2-ranked contender Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki.
And following his unanimous decision victory over another former lightweight king in Eduard “Landslide” Folayang at ONE: BATTLEGROUND II this past Friday, “The Warrior” called out the Japanese legend.
“I want to fight Shinya Aoki for my next fight. I really like him, and I enjoy his fights. I am also a fan,” Zhang said in a video posted on social media.
“Shinya Aoki, I want to fight you in ONE. Do you accept?”
It didn’t take “Tobikan Judan” long to respond.
Aoki was flattered by Zhang’s kind words and fandom, but he didn’t readily accept the Foshan native’s challenge. Instead, he politely advised him to reconsider his options.
“Hi, Zhang Lipeng. Thank you for saying that you like me, and that you’re a fan,” Aoki said in his own video.
“I heard you want to fight against me? Even though I enjoy being mentioned, I need you to consider carefully. There are a lot of other fighters in ONE. There are a lot of outstanding fighters. They don’t say bad things [like me]. There are a lot of honest fighters. You should look to them as role models. You should fight and admire them. I would be grateful.”
Whether this matchup comes to fruition remains to be seen. Stay tuned to ONEFC.com for more on this development.