Two former champions will face off in a grappling match at ONE: Kings of Courage on Jan. 20. Shinya Aoki and Marat Gafurov will share the cage for a submission-only bout at the Jakarta Convention Centre.
A “super fight” between the two was long mooted while they were the dominant champions in their respective divisions. However, Gafurov is coming off his first ever defeat, while Aoki recently experienced back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.
Gafurov (14-1) holds a black belt in BJJ and 11 of his 14 wins have come by way of submission. His second round knockout defeat at the hands of Martin Nguyen last August ranked as a major upset and he has not been seen inside the ring or cage since.
Aoki (39-8-0-1) also holds a black belt in BJJ and has 24 submission wins in his MMA career. However, if you include the grappling match with Gary Tonon, held under the ONE Championship banner, he has now been stopped in each of his last three bouts.