Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki left his submission prowess to one side and showed off his ground and pound skills in his co-main event bout at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.
“Tobikan Judan” was up against Thailand’s Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai in a match that had the potential to determine the next contender for the ONE Lightweight World Title.
As the first round began at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines, Aoki closed the distance immediately and pushed Wiratchai against the cage.
Seconds later, the match hit the canvas, as Aoki dropped straight into half guard, and wasted no time in advancing his position.
The Japanese icon’s ground game proved to be on another level as he transitioned to mount, despite Wiratchai’s desperate attempts to stay out of danger.
He immediately began striking against the cage with punches, but the most significant damage came when he put the Thai flat on his back and landed clean, powerful elbows.
That singled the beginning of the end for “OneShin,” who covered up as Aoki rained down bombs, forcing the referee to end the contest with just 2:16 on the clock.
As soon as the match ended, an excited Aoki rushed out of the cage and into the crowd to show his appreciation for the fans.
The victory in the 35-year-old’s 50th mixed martial arts contest improved his record to 41-8 (1 NC), and put him on a two-bout win streak.
He has had his hand raised on both occasions after dominant first-round stoppages, strengthening his case to be the number-one contender to challenge Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen for his lightweight belt.