Combat Sports

Japan vs Thailand: Shinya Aoki, Shannon Wiratchai to co-headline ‘ONE: Reign of Kings’ in Manila

Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Shizouka, Japan and Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, 29, of Bangkok, Thailand will co-headline “ONE: Reign of Kings” on July 27, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. They will compete in the lightweight division.

A former ONE Lightweight World Champion, holds a professional MMA record of 40 wins, 8 losses and 1 No Contest. On the other hand, Wiratchai has 9 wins, 2 losses and 1 No Contest.

Aoki is coming off a first-round submission victory over top contender Rasul Yakhyaev last May. Although the Japanese warrior hasn’t appeared to be his usual self in the past couple of years, dropping back-to-back losses to Eduard Folayang and Ben Askren, he still remains as dangerous as ever due largely in part to his high-level grappling game.

In mixed martial arts circles, Aoki is considered to be one of the most skilled pure grapplers in the sport. Out of 40 career victories, a whopping 25 have come by submission which represents over 63 percent of his overall wins. That is an impressive feat for sure, considering his career began in 2003 and spans 15 years of excellence.

Conversely, Wiratchai is in his career infancy, having had only 12 professional contests to date. He joined ONE Championship early on and has since put together an impressive streak, winning seven out of nine, including a stretch where he won six straight against high quality opponents.

Known for his charismatic entrances, Wiratchai is an absolute showstopper. Where Aoki is a grappling ace, Wiratchai is the opposite. He even developed his own style of martial arts called the OneShin Striking System, which is based off loose principles pulled from disciplines such as western boxing, Muay Thai, and the like.

The last time Wiratchai was in the cage was against Singapore’s Rahul Raju, who he knocked out with one punch in just 21 seconds of action. The 29-year-old certainly brings excitement to every one of his bouts and against a legend like Aoki, Wiratchai will be looking to make a statement.

Here is a clip from Aoki’s previous bout:

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

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