After an already-decorated career at lightweight, MMA notable Shinya Aoki is apparently aiming for a dual-division run as he enters his 30s.
Officials today announced Aoki (33-6), ONE FC’s lightweight champion, will drop to featherweight to fight Cody Stevens (11-5-1) in a non-title bout at “ONE FC 11: Total Domination.”
The event takes place Oct. 18 at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Aoki and Stevens co-headline the event, which streams via online pay-per-view.
“I am dropping down to featherweight for the first time in my career in this fight,” Aoki stated. “I feel stronger and faster at this weight, and I have my sights set on competing against all the top featherweights and lightweights that ONE FC puts in front of me. The weight cut will not be a problem for me, and I am definitely ready for this challenge.”
Aoki, a former DREAM and Shooto champion, recently claimed the ONE FC belt with an April submission victory over Kotetsu Boku. The 30-year-old Japanese veteran, who’s posted 22 submissions in 33 career wins, is now 10-1 in his past 11 fights, and the lone defeat came to Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 66.
Stevens, who turned pro in 2008 after a lengthy amateur career, has won two straight on the regional circuit. Most recently, the 31-year-old wrestler, who was born in Ohio and now trains out of Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand, scored a submission victory over former UFC fighter Dustin Neace in August.
Also announced for the ONE FC 11 card were featherweights Mitch Chilson (4-1) vs. Shannon Wiratchai (2-1) and flyweights Rene Catalan (0-1) vs. Khim Dima (0-0).
The latest “ONE FC 11: Total Domination” lineup now includes:
For more on ONE FC 11, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Shinya Aoki)