This Friday, April 5th in Singapore the ONE FC promotion will run their latest event, called ‘KINGS and CHAMPIONS’. The event features a lot of well known international talent, as well as a lot of rising stars in Asian MMA. Without the presence of a Japanese show, ONE FC is currently the biggest MMA promotion in Asia, and this is their 8th event. The headliner of the event features the Lightweight title match between Kotetsu Boku and Shinya Aoki. There is also a pair of semi final bouts in the organization’s bantamweight tournament, and the card also features a superfight between Dutch slugger Melvin Manhoef and UFC veteran Brock Larson. Look for lines to start popping up at the sportsbooks throughout this week.
Larson versus Manhoef is a fight that features two veterans who both have roughly 40 fights each on their resume. Larson is a 10 plus year veteran of the sport who had a run with the UFC but has been on the circuit of smaller shows. He has maintained a good record, though he has not seemed at the level of sharpness he once had.
Manhoef has not changed yet in his career, and he likely never will. A lethal stand up fighter, he is still a fish out of water on the ground. Larson has won a good many fights along the way by submission, but it is doubtful that he will get Manhoef down, as the Dutchman does have decent takedown defense against most but the top wrestlers. Look for Manhoef to be favored in this fight.
In the title bout for the Lightweight title, veteran Kotetsu Boku, winner of 6 of his last 7, takes on Shinya Aoki. Aoki has won 9 of his ast 10 outings, and is in the running to be named ‘best pound for pound fighter not in the UFC’. He is tricky with submissions, is long and lanky and he has a mean streak. Since becoming a star, Aoki has only lost to the elite in the weight class, including Gilbert Melendez, Eddie Alvarez and Joachim Hansen.
Boku is a solid fighter, but he is a notch or two below Aoki in terms of elite skill. This will show in both the odds, which will see Aoki come in favored, and in the fight itself.