Over the past decade, several mixed martial artists have made Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a popular sport. Among them are Renzo Gracie, 51, of Brazil, Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Japan and Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon, 26, of the United States, who are all set to compete in an upcoming ONE Championship event in the Philippines.
Filipino fans of the grappling sport are in for a treat on July 27, 2018 when ONE Championship hosts “ONE: Reign of Kings” at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, featuring three legendary figures in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The biggest name on the card is Gracie, who is a sixth-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and is of the famed Gracie fighting family.
Gracie is a former 2-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) World Champion and a pioneer of mixed martial arts, having faced legends of equal stature since the early 1990s. At “ONE: Reign of Kings,” he will face Japanese veteran Yuki “Sora” Kondo, 43, in what is being billed as the final farewell fight for both fighters.
It should come as no surprise that Gracie is considered a living legend as he is from the first family of martial arts. Throughout his time, he faced an impressive list of fellow legends and mixed martial arts pioneers experiencing great success, and along the way, he has also produced and trained many world champions in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts to leave an immortal legacy.
At “ONE: Reign of Kings,” Aoki will take on rising Thai superstar Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, 29. Sporting a sensational number of 25 submissions out of 40 total victories, the Japanese martial arts legend is widely considered one of the greatest pure grapplers in all of mixed martial arts.
An iconic figure, Aoki is best known for his ground game, which had already won him titles at WAMMA, DREAM, and Shooto before his ONE career exploded. He has defeated some of the biggest names in the world, including Tatsuya Kawajiri, Caol Uno, and Eddie Alvarez.
Once Aoki has opponents on the mat or grabs a hold of an opponent’s limbs, it is extremely difficult to escape and survival is highly unlikely. Like him, Tonon is also a submission grappling superstar currently signed with ONE Championship.
“ONE: Reign of Kings” will mark Tonon’s return to the ONE Championship cage following a successful MMA debut. He will take on Singapore-based Indian fighter Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju, 26, in a lightweight contest.
Tonon is a multiple-time No Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion known for his unparalleled technical expertise of the grappling arts. He began wrestling when he was just 14 years old, and eventually took up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu shortly after under world-renowned trainer Tom DeBlass and
In 2008, Tonon won his first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world title at the age of 16. Throughout his grappling career, he was recognized as one of the top competitors in the world at every belt level.
In 2013, Tonon earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He continues to participate in the biggest grappling competitions today most notably the Eddie Bravo Invitational.
Gracie, Aoki and Tonon will all see action at “ONE: Reign of Kings.” Fans can expect a very high-level and very technical feast for the senses in Manila when ONE Championship hits town.
Previously, Aoki and Tonon competed in the ONE Championship cage. Here is a clip from their bout: