Shinya Aoki to face Marat Gafurov in grappling super-match

Aoki vs Tonon

ONE Championship has put the final touches on it’s first event of 2018, ONE: Kings of Courage.

The promotion has announced two former champions will meet in a grappling super-match when former featherweight champion Marat Gafurov takes on former lightweight champion Shinya Aoki.

Gafurov (15-1) is a high-level grappler with 11 of his wins coming by impressive submission over top-caliber opponents, including Mongolian beast Narantungalag Jadambaa. In his last bout Gafurov succumbed to Martin Nguyen via devastating one-punch knockout.

MMA veteran Shinya Aoki is one of the world’s most decorated athletes. A DREAM lightweight champion and former Shooto Welterweight Champion, the 34-year-old Aoki is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under the famed Yuki Nakai and has won multiple grappling tournaments all over the world.

This will be Aoki’s second grappling scrap with ONE after tapping to Garry Tonon last May.

ONE: Kings of Courage takes place on 20 January at the Jakarta Convention Center and sees top female strawweight Tiffany Teo face Chinese martial artist Xiong Jing Nan for the inaugural women’s strawweight world title.

In addition, the co-main event sees Stefer Rahardian battle Muhammad Imran in a flyweight title eliminator bout.

The ONE: Kings of Courage card includes:

Tiffany Teo vs. Xiong Jing Nan
Stefer Rahardian Muhammad Imran
Vitaly Bigdash vs. Leandro Ataides.
Marat Gafurov vs. Shinya Aoki
Sunoto vs. Rin Saroth
Yusup Saadulaev vs. Masakazu Imanari
Iryna Kyselova vs. Miao Jie
Victorio Senduk vs. Yohan Mulia Legowo
Riski Umar vs. Arnol Batubara
Rene Catalan vs. Peng Xue Wen
Priscilla Hertati Lumbangaol vs. Audreylaura Boniface