Toivonen (under) got a submission from opponent last Friday in Kuala Lampur match

It was a cozy minus 30 degrees when Aleksi Toivonen left the comforts of home in Finland. When he arrived in Singapore it was plus 30 degrees, and sweltering, and his whole world had changed.

“My head was spinning,” says Toivonen. “I thought I was going to have heat stroke and I didn’t really know what was going on.”

He certainly does now. On Friday night the 27-year-old flyweight from Lahti made a winning debut with the Singapore-based ONE Championship martial arts promotion having secured a contract that Toivonen says came right out of the blue.

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