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Shinya Aoki to defend ONE lightweight title in Singapore next month

Shinya Aoki to defend ONE lightweight title in Singapore next month
Shinya Aoki (pic) will defend his newly captured ONE Lightweight World Championship against Singapore's Christian Lee, on May 17. - ONE photo
KUALA LUMPUR: Singaporean martial arts fans are guaranteed a thrilling night of action when Japanese legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki defends his newly captured ONE Lightweight World Championship against Singapore’s Christian “The Warrior” Lee at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON on Friday, 17 May.

Aoki and Lee are no strangers to each other. In fact, the two have sharpened their skills together at Singapore’s prestigious Evolve MMA.
The announcement was made by ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong on his Facebook page recently.

“Our fans have spoken! ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki has been granted his wish, and will now face the skillful Christian Lee on May 17 for his 1st world title defense. 20-year-old Christian is moving up a weight class to face his teammate and friend. This crazy fight has all of the makings of one that will be talked about forever in the history books,” the post read.
This bout will mark Lee’s second World Title shot in 12 months.

The last time he challenged for a belt was last year, when he narrowly lost to ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen via split decision in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Aside from his tilts with Nguyen, Lee has been a dominant presence in the featherweight division.

He has a 100 percent finishing rate, which includes four wins by way of submission against world-class athletes Kazunori Yokota, Cary Bullos, and Kuala Lumpur’s Keanu Subba.

Now, "The Warrior" hopes for a better result when he faces Aoki at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Sityodtong also announced the start of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix – a line-up which will feature World Champion versus World Champion match-ups in every round.

All the quarter-final contests will be graced by the finest gentlemen of the sport - Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, Andy Souwer, Giorgio Petrosyan, Dzhabar Askerov, Samy Sana, Jo Nattawut, Enriko Kehl, and Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy.

The magnitude of this tournament goes beyond doubt, and Kuala Lumpur’s Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud will have his eyes firmly set on this World Grand Prix as two of his martial arts idols – Yodsanklai and Petrosyan – will be featured in the tournament.

ONE’s second show in Singapore this year will also mark the debut of multiple-time Karate World Champion “Super” Sage Northcutt.

Northcutt will face ONE Super Series star Cosmo Alexandre, who will return to mixed martial arts competition.

Last but certainly not least, Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev and Ariel Sexton will return to “The Lion City” for a highly anticipated ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-final match.