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Aoki looks to fight fear when he defends One title against Folayang

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Shinya Aoki admitted he is wary of what Eduard Folayang can bring to the table when they clash for the One lightweight title in Singapore on Nov. 11.

"I’m not confident at all. I’m very scared," the defending champion from Japan said ahead of his title defense against the Filipino challenger.

In particular, he added, "If I have one thing to point out, it’s his striking skills. I don’t want to get his punches."

But Aoki wants to shrug the lack of confidence off immediately.

"I would like to fight the fear today," he continued.

He also downplayed the level of confidence Folayang could have right now.

"He hasn’t experienced more fear than me," Aoki insisted.

Aoki cited some examples of his fearful moments, "I’ve fought against the current UFC champion Gilbert Melendez. There are other big losses I’ve experienced. In the One cage, I fought [Koji] Ando and [Kamal] Shalorus. My strongest advantage is that I have gone through huge losses."

In the end, however, he uttered no harsh words to Folayang but vowed to let his MMA prowess do the talking.

"I will try my best to go into the fight with good condition, so likewise I hope you prepare for the fight well," Aoki directed to Folayang.

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