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Folayang-Aoki 3 set for ONE on TNT 4

Eduard Folayang is set to face Shinya Aoki again as they seal their trilogy. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Two Asian mixed martial arts legends will face off possibly for one final time.

Filipino superstar Eduard Folayang will once again face off with Japanese sensation Shinya Aoki at ONE on TNT 4 on April 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

ONE Championship announced on Monday night that Aoki and Folayang will slug it out for the third time as they can finally settle the score on who is better among the two.

The fight was settled after their initial ONE on TNT 4 fights have been scrapped.

Aoki was scheduled to face Sage Northcutt, but according to ONE, Northcutt was pulled out of the card "due to lingering COVID-19 issues."

Northcutt was tested positive for COVID-19 last month, but the symptoms have persisted that the doctor opted not not clear him for the fight.

"This is disappointing for ONE, Turner, but most importantly Sage and his family as they were looking forward to this and spent months training," ONE Championship further stated.

On the other hand, Folayang was scheduled to face another Japanese fighter in Yoshihiro Akiyama, but Akiyama begged off from the fight due to injuries sustained during training.

Both of Aoki and Folayang's first two fights did not last long.

Folayang pulled off what would be his biggest victory of his career after knocking out Aoki on Nov. 11, 2016 at ONE: Defending Honor to win the ONE lightweight title.

Aoki, however, got back at Folayang by submitting him at ONE: A New Era on March 31, 2019 to reclaim the said championship belt.

Despite being a non-title fight this time, championship implications are still at stake.

Aoki lost the ONE lightweight belt to Christian Lee at ONE: Enter the Dragon on May 17, 2019 but has since won his last three fights, including one against Folayang's Team Lakay ally Honorio Banario.

A win against Folayang could possibly bring Aoki closer to another title shot.

Lee will defend his title against Timofey Nastyukhin at ONE on TNT 2 scheduled to air this Thursday.

On the other hand, Folayang looks to snap a slide of four losses in his last five fights as he looks to prove that he is still at the top of his game.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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