LEGEND VS. LEGEND TRILOGY— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 12, 2021
Shinya Aoki will now face Eduard Folayang in the final chapter of their historic rivalry on 28 April! @a_ok_i @efolayang #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEonTNT4 pic.twitter.com/v8HClJw49m
Lingering COVID-19 symptoms have forced Sage Northcutt out of a proposed clash with Shinya Aoki at One on TNT 4.
As a result, Eduard Folayang will step in and face Aoki on the April 28 card at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Promotion officials announced the change on Monday. Folayang was initially slated to face Yoshihiro Akiyama on the same card, but Aikyama pulled out of the event due to injury. One on TNT 4 airs on live on TNT in the United States at 10 p.m. ET and is headlined by a light heavyweight title tilt between Aung La N Sang and Vitaly Bigdash.
The 37-year-old Folyang has fallen on hard times of late, losing four of his last five appearances under the One Championship banner. Most recently, he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Antonio Caruso at One “Inside the Matrix” on Oct. 30. Folayang previously defeated Aoki via third-round TKO to claim the promotion’s lightweight belt in November 2016, but Aoki regained the title with a first-round submission in March 2019.
A former One, Dream and Shooto champion, the 37-year-old Aoki enters the matchup with Folayang on a three-bout winning streak. “Tobikan Judan” last appeared at One “Unbreakable,” where he submitted James Nakashima in the opening stanza on Jan. 22. Aoki is 46-9 with 29 submission victories over the course of his career.
Northcutt, who tested positive for the virus in January, hasn’t fought since suffering a 29-second knockout defeat in his One Championship debut against Cosmo Alexandre on May 17, 2019. As a result of that bout, Northcutt was forced to undergo a nine-hour surgical procedure to repair multiple fractures in his face. Prior to that loss, Northcutt went 6-2 during a UFC stint from 2015 to 2018.