Agony for Aoki at ONE Championship
Japanese world champion stunned by Filipino opponent Folayang
He was on a nine-bout winning streak, stretching from 2012, and had never lost at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on four previous occasions.
But mixed martial arts fighter Shinya Aoki's two records came to an abrupt end last night, at the ONE Championship: Defending Honor event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The defending world lightweight champion from Japan looked in control against Philippines' Eduard Folayang in the first round, but the challenger survived Aoki's attempts to submit him.
Folayang slowly got himself into the bout, floored Aoki in the third round and pounded him incessantly before the referee stopped the fight.
Folayang, 32, said: "In the first round, I just needed to escape this (his moves) and get to the second round, and maintain my calmness.
"Third round, I managed to land a knee and, after that, I got onto the ground (for the finish)."
COBRA EXTENDS STREAK
In the night's other co-main event, world featherweight champion Marat Gafurov stretched his fight record to 15-0 as he submitted Mongolia's Narantungalag Jadambaa with a rear-naked choke, the six consecutive time he has won a fight with the move.
Nicknamed the Cobra, the 31-year-old Russian said: "I never plan to go for the rear-naked choke, but somehow it happens and I just take my chances.
"I have good static strength and I can hold on for a long time, so I use that to my advantage.
"I want even bigger fights and may even (move up a weight class) and take on (the world lightweight champion)."
Meanwhile, Singapore's Amir Khan showed great fighting spirit to win his lightweight bout against the Philippines' Vaughn Donayre.
After dominating the first round, the 22-year-old Singaporean almost had his arm twisted off by Donayre in the second, but survived to win by a rear-naked choke late in the final round.
He said: "In the first round, I realised that I was rushing to finish him off and burning my arms off, and he managed to get me in the second round.
"But I thought it's better to break my arm than to tap out, especially in front of my home crowd... I was more patient in the third round and slowly squeezed my way into a submission."
Another Singaporean - flyweight prospect Tiffany Teo - had a 27th birthday to remember after she won her ONE Championship debut against Egypt's Walaa Abbas in a dominant fashion.
The Juggernaut Fight Club athlete floored her opponent under 30 seconds, but failed to submit the 32-year-old in the first five-minute round.
Walaa almost ran down the clock in the second period, but Teo managed to submit her with a rear-naked choke with just 45 seconds left.
She said: "The whole game plan was to set myself up for the takedown with my striking and kicking... When I went into this fight, I thought I could end it in the first round, but I was pretty confident that I could finish her in the second round.
"It is probably the best birthday present I could get."
Also, Singaporean Niko Soe beat Malaysian Muhamad Haidar in a flyweight bout, but Benedict Ang lost his featherweight bout to Egypt's Ahmed Mujtaba.
- World lightweight title: Eduard Folayang (Phi) bt Shinya Aoki (Jpn) (TKO, punches)
- World featherweight title: Marat Gafurov (Rus) bt Narantungalag Jadambaa (Mog) (rear-naked choke)
- Nico Soe (Sin) bt Muhamad Haidar (Mas) (submission by armbar)
- Ahmed Mujtaba (Pak) bt Benedict Ang (Sin) (unanimous decision)
- Tiffany Teo (Sin) bt Walaa Abbas (Egy) (submission by rear-naked choke)
- Kotetsu Boku (Jpn) bt Timofey Nastyukhin (Rus) (doctor stoppage)
- Roger Huerta (US) bt Adrian Pang (Aus) (split decision)
- Michelle Nicolini (Bra) bt Mona Samir (Egy) (submission by rear-naked choke)
- Amir Khan (Sin) bt Vaughn Donayre (Phi) (rear-naked choke)