Zhang Lipeng got his ONE Championship career off to a perfect start with a win over Eduard Folayang last Friday. The Chinese fighter already has his sights set on another former lightweight champion.

After the fight he called out Shinya Aoki in a video posted on the ONE Championship Instagram account:


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Lipeng improved his record to 31-11-2 with the decision win over Folayang at ONE: ‘Battleground’ Part II. Speaking after the fight he made it clear he wanted to be matched with Aoki next,

“I want to fight Shinya Aoki for my next fight. I really like him and enjoy his fights. I am a fan. Shinya Aoki, I want to fight you in ONE.”

Lipeng is likely to break into the top five at lightweight after his win over Folayang. Aoki is currently #2 and riding a four fight winning streak.

A bout between the two could potentially be a title eliminator and would potentially generate a lot of interest in China and Japan. ONE Championship has never had a male Chinese title holder.

Aoki responded to the callout in his own inimitable style. The comments were translated on the official ONE Championship website but his motives for making them remain somewhat opaque:

“I heard you want to fight against me? Even though I enjoy being mentioned, I need you to consider carefully. There are a lot of other fighters in ONE. There are a lot of outstanding fighters. They don’t say bad things (like me). There are a lot of honest fighters. You should look to them as role models. You should fight and admire them. I would be grateful.”

It appears that Aoki is warning Lipeng he should stay well clear because he is a bad man. This is unlikely to deter Lipeng from taking the fight or the ONE Championship matchmakes from booking it so this could be one to watch.