After an impressive unanimous decision victory over former ONE lightweight kingpin Eduard “Landslide” Folayang last Friday night, Chinese mixed martial arts star “The Warrior” Zhang Lipeng now aims his crosshairs at another former ONE Championship titleholder.
Riding high on a comprehensive performance, Zhang challenged former ONE lightweight champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, calling out Japanese legend and expressing his interest to meet his fellow combat veteran in the Circle.
“I want to fight Shinya Aoki for my next fight. I really like him, and I enjoy his fights. I am also a fan,” Zhang said in a video posted on social media. “It is my dream to meet him in the ONE Circle. Shinya Aoki, I want to fight you in ONE. Do you accept this challenge?”
It didn’t take long for Aoki to respond, and “Tobikan Judan” clapped back with a video message for the former TUF: China winner.
“Hi, Zhang Lipeng. Thank you for saying that you like me, and that you’re a fan,” Aoki said in his video. “I heard you want to fight against me? Even though I enjoy being mentioned, I need you to consider carefully. There are a lot of other fighters in ONE. There are a lot of outstanding fighters. They don’t say bad things [like me]. There are a lot of honest fighters. You should look to them as role models. You should fight and admire them. I would be grateful.”
It appears Zhang is looking to build on a comprehensive ONE Championship debut, by adding another big name among Asia’s greatest mixed martial arts icons to his resume.
Zhang vs. Aoki offers fans an interesting clash of styles, and appears to be one of the best fights to make in the lightweight division. The two experienced veterans complement each other’s styles very well in all areas.
ONE: EMPOWER announced
Earlier this year, ONE revealed impressive viewership metrics via an independent report by Nielsen. In the report, ONE was named the most-watched MMA promotion on TV, beating out even the UFC in terms of global TV viewership.
ONE Championship appears poised to continue this impressive run for the remainder of the year, as it just recently announced its historic all-women’s fight card, ONE: EMPOWER, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 3. The event kicks off a solid second half of the year for ONE, as it looks to close with a myriad of exciting shows, including the heavily rumored ONE X, the promotion’s upcoming 10th anniversary event.