Folayang’s conquest of Aoki adjudged second best ONE moment

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Eduard “Landslide” Folayang’s stunning upset of Shinya Aoki during landed him second in ONE’s Top Historical Moments.

The shocking knockout of Aoki, considered by many as possibly the greatest upset in the history of Asian MMA, happened in Singapore last November 11, 2016. It also marked the start of Folayang’s first reign as ONE World Lightweight Champion.

Folayang was sensational in ending of this bout. Just five seconds into the third frame, he connected a flying knee to an onrushing Aoki who is going for a takedown. The “Landslide” then overpowers and pins him to the cage in an angle where his right hand had an open path to connect short punches to the face.

Rains short rights ensued and all found their target. Referee Yuji Shimada finally ended the carnage after the 30th unanswered punch, sweetened by a right knee that connected sometime between the barrage, all landed to the covering Aoki.

ONE described the match as between a “multiple-time World Champion and icon from a nation with a long history of mixed martial arts up against a man from an emerging country on the sport’s global landscape whose biggest weakness was his rival’s greatest strength”.

“The Team Lakay superstar executed the perfect game plan to defend all of Aoki’s submission attempts, and then finished him to change his life, and the face of Filipino martial arts”.

Folayang appeared for the second time as his successful defense of the title at the Mall of Asia Arena during ONE: Kings of Destiny on April 21, 2017 against EV Ting earned ONE’s nod at 9th place.

EAT BOOT. Eduard “Landslide” Folayang let his leg do most of the talking in securing a methodical title-retaining victory over E.V. Ting during the ONE: Kings of Destiny last April 21, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City. Photo by ONE Championship.

ONE described the scene as “Filipino Heroes United” as Folayang’s idol, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, was in attendance to cheer him on and present him with the belt.

In addition, the pilot episode of ONE Championship on September 3, 2011 that featured Folayang and South Korea’s A Sol Kwon is at #13. ONE described its first-ever event in Singapore as “The Beginning”. Folayang defeated Kwon by unanimous decision in that headline match that begin his long run of success on the global stage.

Also appearing in this installment of the Top 100 list is Geje Eustaquio, who’s rivalry with Adriano  Moraes landed #10.  Dubbed as “Rivals’ Respect”, the first-ever trilogy in ONE history was notable not only for its compelling action, but also by the respect shared between Moraes and “Gravity”.

ONE Championship Photo

The pair tried everything to take each other out across almost an hour of action in a trio of ONE Flyweight World Championship matches, but they still had nothing but goodwill for each other when it was all over.

Eustaquio suffered a loss in their first meeting on September, 2014 by succumbing to a guillotine choke, won the second to grabbed the ONE World Flyweight title on June, 2018 and relinquished it back on the final installment of the trilogy on January, 2019.

Adjudged as the #1 ONE moment was ONE: A NEW ERA, an event the martial arts world has never experienced quite like ONE’s first-ever visit to Japan last March.

The event featured several MMA superstars and absolutely stacked with four World Title bouts, World Grand Prix match-ups, and more bouts featuring icons of combat sports from around the world.

All of that delivered some iconic moments, Timofey Nastyukhin’s KO of Eddie Alvarez, “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan’s comeback KO of Angela Lee, and Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki’s submission of Folayang to name just a few.

By: Armando M. Bolislis

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