Shinya Aoki had a short stint in PRIDE and recently has been painted as one of the top stars for the newly created ONE FC. Although PRIDE focused their location base in Japan, ONE FC plans to expand across the Asian market and Aoki sees the promotion making major moves.
“ONE FC is the biggest in Asia,” said Aoki to MMA Mania. “I fought for PRIDE before and ONE FC is like PRIDE, but maybe bigger because PRIDE was only in one country, Japan, but ONE FC is in many countries.”
Since ONE FC started in September 2011, they have hosted seven shows to date. They have held events in stadiums in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. After five shows last year, ONE FC returned in January and are planning to host about a dozen cards this year.
In Aoki’s two PRIDE appearances, he left with early round one submission wins. Aoki duplicated the act in his ONE FC debut in October.
Aoki vs. Kotetsu Boku headlines the next show on April 5 for the lightweight championship. That will be called Kings and Champions, as it sees the promotion return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium.