A lightweight title match pitting champ Kotetsu Boku against ex-DREAM champ Shinya Aoki is drawing big attention in Singapore, according to ONE FC CEO Victor Cui.
Cui said the fight, which headlines ONE FC’s eighth event, “ONE Fighting Championship: Kings and Champions,” has prompted a sellout at the Singapore Indoor Stadium hosting the show.
“Everyone knows Aoki,” Cui recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “I can only describe it as a cult-like following.”
Aoki (32-6), who made his ONE FC debut this past October with a first-round submission win, attempts to halt the surging Boku (20-7-2), who upset Zorobabel Moreira to take the inaugural lightweight belt.
“The guy just does not give up,” Cui said of the champ, whose resume is heavy on decisions and knockouts.
That could provide a perfect foil for Aoki, who boasts a laundry list of submission wins. The once top-ranked fighter has been stopped by seasoned strikers who managed to avoid the mat.
“The thing that I really like about Aoki and Boku is that both of these guys are seasoned fighters,” Cui said. “They know everything about each other. They see each other fight, they know each others games, and they know what they’re stepping into the cage with. The buzz here has been crazy.”
In addition to the sellout, Cui said the fight has garnered attention from major newspapers in Singapore, which previously has hosted three ONE FC events.
But for those who aren’t able to make the trip, Cui said more people than ever will be able to watch online at the promotion’s website, which will stream the first two fights of the 10-bout card free.
The event’s co-main draw features K-1 and Strikeforce vet Melvin Manhoef against UFC vet Brock Larson, and former UFC champ Jens Pulver meets Japanese vet Masakatsu Ueda.
“We’ve always been live around the world, but now we’re going to be live on Star Sports in 28 countries in Asia, and a little over 70 worldwide,” Cui said. “The show this April 5 is in front of about 600 million (potential) viewers.”
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