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"ONE is taking the initiative to put it on the mainstream" - Shinya Aoki on the submission grappling spotlight in the circle

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Shinya Aoki (third from left) and Team [Credit: Getty Images]
Shinya Aoki (third from left) and Team [Credit: Getty Images]

Shinya Aoki gave a candid opinion about submission grappling, addressing that ONE “is taking the initiative to put it on the mainstream.”

It’s an exciting time for Brazilian jiu-jitsu fans, especially those who have been following the sport for decades when the Gracie family first introduced it to the U.S.

As we approach ONE 157 with Shinya Ayoki vs. Kade Ruotulo, the veteran gave his thoughts about the early stages of the sport to Dylan Bowker, saying:

"Submission grappling has kind of struggled to make it to the mainstream. As a sport it hasn’t been receiving as much attention as it could, so the fact that ONE is taking the initiative to put it on the mainstream is something that’s really exciting for me for sure.”

When asked about his own future in the sport, specifically on whether he would go back and forth between MMA and grappling, he said:

"I just want to continue competing as much as I can, whatever comes my way.”

That’s the beauty of ONE. The sport has become so broad in its competitive pursuits that it's not limited to one type of martial art, but many.

As Shinya Ayoki confirmed, ONE has even surpassed PRIDE with regards to having more production value.

He said:

"PRIDE was kind of centered in Japan. ONE has athletes from different countries participating and it’s really on a global scale.”

No other martial arts promotion has taken strides to include submission grappling so far. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is in its early building stages at ONE. It is expanding its roster already, which has included world-class grapplers like Gordon Ryan, Danielle Kelly, the Routolo brothers, and Shinya Aoki respectively.

Check out the interview below:

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Keep Shinya Aoki's conversation going: Does ONE also "surpass" the UFC?

To keep Shinya Aoki's conversation going, is it contentious to say ONE Championship surpasses even the UFC?

The conversation between founder and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong and Brazilian jiu-jitsu pioneer Renzo Gracie on MMS Hoje brought the numbers to enlighten fans with this topic.

"When Mikey Musumeci beat [Masakazu] Imanari…what was crazy was that fight did 7 million video views, which is the most in the history of jiu-jitsu." (35:54)

Not only do martial arts enthusiasts want to watch MMA, they are also passionate about submission grappling as well. The only promotion currently bringing it to the mainstream is ONE Championship. What do you believe?

Watch the full interview below:

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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