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ONE FC event to be headlined by fight for lightweight title belt

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ONE FC Kings & Champions in Singapore on April 5 will feature a lightweight-title bout between Japanese MMA fighters Kotetsu Boku (R) and Shinya Aoki. Photograph: ONE FC website

ONE FC Kings & Champions in Singapore on April 5 will feature a lightweight-title bout between Japanese MMA fighters Kotetsu Boku (R) and Shinya Aoki. Photograph: ONE FC website

In the glowing aftermath of their sell-out event in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Asia’s premier mixed martial arts promotion, ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC), are preparing to return to Singapore, their home base,  for their next fight night on April 5, dubbed ONE FC: Kings & Champions.

In the main event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Japan’s lightweight world champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku will make his first title defence against compatriot and current number-one contender Shinya “Tob-ikan Judan” Aoki.

Boku defeated Brazilian conten-der Zorobabel Moreira at ONE FC: Rise of Kings last October to claim the inaugural ONE FC Lightweight World Championship title belt.

Aoki earned his title shot after a devastating submission victory over Arnaud Lepont.

ONE FC: Kings & Champions will be broadcast live for the first time on Star Sports across Asia.

Cambodian cage-fight fans are also set to enjoy coverage on local TV channel MyTV.

ONE FC chief executive Victor Cui said: “ONE FC will make history again on April 5, when we go live on Star Sports for the first time across 28 countries to an estimated 500 million viewers.

This is a huge step in the progress of ONE FC, and is a testament to our ever-increasing following across Asia.

“This event will be the biggest in ONE FC history, and will feature the top names in MMA, headlined by a Lightweight World Championship showdown between submission ace Shinya Aoki and our reigning world champion, Kotetsu Boku.

Close to 12,000 fans will pack the Singapore Indoor Stadium to witness the greatest sporting spectacle in Asia.”

Boku is no stranger to adversity and a tenacious competitor who has never backed down from a tough fight. The 35-year-old ignited the crowd last year in Singapore with a massive come-from-behind victory over Moreira in round 3.

With six wins in his last seven fights, Boku is enjoying one of the most successful spells of his career, although the April 5 fight will be his toughest test to date.

Aoki, the DREAM Lightweight Champion, has beaten MMA legends such as Tatsuya Kawajiri, Marcus Aurelio and Rich Clementi.

The 29-year-old has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo, which has earned him a reputation as one of the most dangerous submission artists the sport has ever seen.

His last outing with ONE FC saw him put Arnaud Lepont “to sleep” by triangle choke in his adopted home of Singapore.

The famed “Grandmaster of Flying Submissions” is looking forward to showcasing his legendary skills once again to his fans when he re-enters the ONE FC cage.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Riley at dan.riley@phnompenhpost.com

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