SINGAPORE: Singapore will be the stage for the biggest Asian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight between two Japanese superstars on April 5.
The bout will feature Shinya Aoki against current champion Kotetsu Boku for the lightweight championship title.
The Mixed Martial Arts Asian base is clearly shifting to Singapore from its traditional venue in Japan.
The easy access to the best trainers in the various MMA disciplines and the growing popularity of the sport in Singapore have contributed to the shift.
So it’s no surprise that two of the biggest names in the sport from Japan are slugging it out in Singapore.
Shinya Aoki is spending two months preparing in Singapore for the fight at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
"I came earlier as I wanted to be well prepared and build my confidence and have no regrets," he said.
Aoki, the best pound for pound professional MMA fighter, defeated Frenchman Arnaud Lepont in his debut in Singapore last October.
The former police trainee, however, knows Boku will provide stiffer opposition.
Heath Sims, coach of Professional Fight Team, said: "We are expecting a hard fight and he is training like it’s going to be a hard fight. And you know title fight, big! A lot on the line and no one is sleeping on this fight."
Boku who won his title at the same Singapore event last year, is expected to arrive a week before the bout.
And for the first time, organisers are expecting the biggest crowd of 15,000 spectators to watch the fight in Singapore, including at least 3,500 fans from Japan.
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