This Friday, ONE FC will put on their most high-profile card in the promotion’s history. With former top lightweight Shinya Aoki and ex-Bellator champion Ben Askren competing on the card, this event should appeal to fans of the Asian and North American MMA scenes. Aoki will be defending his ONE FC lightweight title against Kamal Shalorus, while Askren looks to capture the organization’s welterweight title from Nobutatsu Suzuki. A third belt is on the line in the featherweight division as well, as Koji Oishi defends against Jadamba Narantungalag. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas released the betting odds for the three title fights today at 5Dimes Sportsbook today. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Internet PPV, 7am ET) ONE FC Lightweight Title Shinya Aoki -585 Kamal Shalorus +385 ONE FC Welterweight Title Ben Askren -1750 Nobutatsu Suzuki +850 ONE FC Featherweight Title Koji Oishi -120 Jadamba Narantungalag -120 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Despite having titles on the line, two of these bouts look more like showcase fights than anything. Shinya Aoki is most likely going to drag Kamal Shalorus to the ground in one way or another and find a submission. Even if it stays on the feet, he should be able to stay competitive. Shalorus has a very, very outside shot at winning this fight with a KO, and that’s it. He’s going to fade in the championship rounds even if he is able to keep Aoki from dragging him down early, and I don’t see this hitting the cards regardless of who gets their hand raised. Personally, I’m comfortable enough with Aoki avoiding the KO that if the line comes down a bit I might throw him in a parlay with someone from UFC 177. Whether the welterweight title bout hits the cards or not depends on how much Nobutatsu Suzuki is able to withstand from Ben Askren’s attack. Suzuki will have about 10 seconds at the beginning of each round to score a KO, and then he’s going to be in way over his head. If Suzuki’s submission defense has improved since his loss to Keita Nakamura, this will likely resemble Askren’s bouts against Andrey Koreshkov and Karl Amoussou. If not, Askren will likely put the ONE FC strap around his waist quickly. Either way, it’s hard to see Suzuki overcoming the odds in this one, but the massive pricetag on Askren makes it almost pointless to put him in a parlay. For those who have seen it, it’s nearly impossible to shake the image of Koji Oishi trying to block Nick Diaz’s punches with his own punches, but instead getting bludgeoned back at UFC 53. Thankfully he’s abandoned that strategy and turned into a pretty serviceable striker. The problem here is that it will prove very difficult for him to stop a very durable Narantungalag. Despite his K-1 background, the Mongolian is also the more dangerous fighter on the ground. Health is really the big concern for Narantungalag, and as long as he’s okay in that department I have to favor him to win this bout. It should be competitive, and I agree that the line needs to be close, but Narantungalag has more avenues to victory.
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