JAPANESE mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Shinya Aoki ended his trilogy with fellow former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang with a first armbar round submission “ONE on TNT IV” on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

Folayang had success in the opening moment of the fight, landing a two-punch combination to the body and the head.

The 37-year-old Folayang also looked impressive with his takedown defense and thwarted Aoki’s first two takedown attempts.

Aoki was relentless and finally took down Folayang to the ground. He transitioned to a full mount and landed some vicious elbows that cut Folayang.

Aoki quickly grabbed Folayang’s left arm for an armbar finish in the 4:20 mark of the opening round.

The 37-year-old Aoki, who’s 2-1 against Folayang, improved to 47-9, while Folayang lost his third straight bout and dropped to 22-11.

Folayang lauded Aoki for his ground game and was very positive despite the defeat.

“This is MMA, anything can happen. I prepared for the takedown, but he got me. A huge congratulations to Shinya. He was just like a snake, very tight and very calm on the ground,” he said. “I will rest and need to see how it goes. I just want to thank my teammates, especially my coach, he’s there to support me. To all my kababayans, I wasn’t able to give the best performance this day, but I thank God for our safety. Congratulations to Shinya and mabuhay because despite this pandemic I know we’ll be able to rise up again.”

On the other hand, Filipina-American Jackie Buntan continued to impress after beating another contender in her second fight inside the ONE Championship cage.

The 23-year-old Buntan (22-5) walked away with a majority decision over three-time Muay Thai world champion Ekaterina Vandaryeva (26-12).

Vandaryeva used her long reach to keep Buntan at bay. An overhand right by Vandaryeva round bloodied Buntan’s nose in the second round.

Buntan, however, finished strong and rocked Vandaryeva with a three-punch combination in the third. (EKA)