Not many mixed martial artists get to share the cage with their idol. One of the few fighters given this opportunity is Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, 29, who will compete in the lightweight division at “ONE: Reign of Kings” against Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Japan.
“Shinya Aoki is a great legend and he is my idol,” Wiratchai stated. “I have watched and followed his career for the past 15 years. He is the reason I got into mixed martial arts and started to become an athlete in the first place.”
On July 24, 2018, Aoki and Wiratchai had their face-off at the “ONE: Reign of Kings” at the City of Dreams Manila in Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The event was attended by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, Globe chief commercial officer Albert de Larrazabal, Globe’s Content Business Group senior vice president Nikko Z. Acosta, City of Dreams Manila senior vice president and chief operating officer Kevin Benning, Games and Amusements Board chairman Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra.
Wiratchai holds a professional MMA record of 9 wins and 2 losses while Aoki has 40 wins and 8 losses. For the Thai contender, it is a huge privilege to be able to share the cage with the Japanese martial arts legend.
“As such, he deserves nothing but my best,” Wiratchai said of Aoki. “I am prepared to give him the greatest performance of my life. I hope one day I can inspire other people with my performance, just as he inspired me. (I) can’t wait for this Friday night when I am able to live my dream of competing against Shinya.”
“ONE: Reign of Kings” will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila on July 27, 2018. Meanwhile, here are Aoki and Wiratchai at the press conference: