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Canadian Psycho 04-05-2013 10:18 AM

Shinya Aoki will one day "dominate the UFC"


Shinya Aoki is widely-considered one of the best lightweight mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the world.

Competing professionally since the age of 19, the now 29 year-old Japanese fighter has won world titles with DREAM and Shooto, putting his jiu-jitsu black belt to good use, racking up one submission win after another.

Competing for ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) this Friday (details here), Aoki will look to add another world title to his trophy case as he takes on Kotetsu Boku at ONE FC 8: "Kings and Champions" for the promotion's 155-pound title in Kallang, Singapore.

Chatri Sityodtong -- Aoki's head trainer -- tells MMA Fighting he sees the submission specialist dominating the Asian promotion before he potentially turns his attention to the biggest MMA stage of them all, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

His words:

"The bigger perspective is Shinya definitely wants to win the ONE FC world championship title when he faces Kotetsu Boku on April 5. I think, longer term, he's definitely willing to take anybody in the world at lightweight. He wants to fight the best. He wants to beat the best. That's his [goal] in his entire life. This is what he loves to do and what he wants to do. You heard him, he's going to fight until he's 45 years old. So, you know, I see him dominating ONE FC, and then potentially dominating the UFC as well."

While no one can negate Aoki's skills, he hasn't had much luck when stepping out of his comfort zone in Japan.

In 2010, Gilbert Melendez dominated "The Tobikan Judan" for five rounds in their Strikeforce lightweight championship fight. After submitting Lyle Beerbohm at Strikeforce: "Diaz vs. Daley" in San Diego a year later, Aoki was knocked out by former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 66 in 2012.

Shinya, winner of nine of his last 10, says he is inspired by 48-year old record-breaking boxing champion Bernard Hopkins and is determined to compete until the age of 45. Before he calls it a career, he's considering taking his talents to the UFC's Octagon.

Should he ever make the move, will Aoki find the same success he's enjoyed fighting overseas? Or will the sharks of the UFC's lightweight division prove to be too much for him to handle?
I've always enjoyed watching Aoki fight, and I'm looking forward to him dropping to 145. I know he didn't fare too well against Gilbert, and that strong wrestlers would likely eat Shinya's lunch all day long, but he'd still be a fun addition to UFC's featherweight division. He has some glaring holes in his arsenal, but I'd like to think he's been drilling TDD over and over since Gilbert exposed that part of his game.

He could very well flop, but I like seeing international names given a chance. What do you think? Overrated? Contender? One and done in the UFC?

UFC_OWNS 04-05-2013 10:26 AM

no he would not dominate anything except cans

John8204 04-05-2013 10:30 AM

Yeah, I don't think he could even cut it in Bellator. His chin just really isn't good enough. Now he could end up like Gomi and get "good fights" but if they give him the Lombard treatment and throw the worst possible fights at him, he'll be 1 or 2 and done.

OU 04-05-2013 10:36 AM

I think Aoki would roll up alot more people then some of you guys think. He would beat the majority of guys in the UFC at 145 and 155.

LL 04-05-2013 10:51 AM

If Melvin Guillard and George Sotionedimensional can be one win away from a title shot I really don't see why Aoki can't. Now that Frankie and Pettis have left Lightweight really is the worst division out there.

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DanTheJu 04-05-2013 10:53 AM


Originally Posted by OU (Post 1959274)
I think Aoki would roll up alot more people then some of you guys think. He would beat the majority of guys in the UFC at 145 and 155.

As long as they dont know how to wrestle, or stop a guy from pulling guard. He would have massive issues against a good wrestler that can strike.

BWoods 04-05-2013 11:03 AM

Aoki has never really performed well outside of Japan. His only win outside of his home country was against Lyle Beerbohm, a guy who is pretty much a can in my eyes. Aoki's resume is mostly padded with cans with a few mid-level fighters sprinkled here and there.

He may be able to make an impact at 145 but I doubt he'll ever dominate the UFC. Without the special rules matches, the rainbow pants, and the Japanese judging/reffing bias he won't be able to do much.

joshua7789 04-05-2013 12:27 PM

The longstanding tradition of Japanese fighters succeeding in the UFC agrees with him...oh wait...He is just another one trick pony and those guys always end up getting exposed in the big leagues (which already happened when he fought Gil and rematched Alvarez).

jonnyg4508 04-05-2013 12:33 PM

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I sort of find what he does as interesting. But he is highly overrated by a lot of people.

He is perhaps a little better version of Palhares.

John8204 04-05-2013 12:35 PM

Shinya Aoki vs Benson Henderson
Shinya Aoki vs Gilbert Melenedez
Shinya Aoki vs Anthony Pettis
Shinya Aoki vs Gray Maynard
Shinya Aoki vs Nate Diaz
Shinya Aoki vs Jim Miller
Shinya Aoki vs Donald Cerrone
Shinya Aoki vs TJ Grant
Shinya Aoki vs Rafael Dos Anjos
Shinya Aoki vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
Shinya Aoki vs Joe Lauzon
Shinya Aoki vs Jose Aldo
Shinya Aoki vs Chad Mendes
Shinya Aoki vs Ricardo Lamas
Shinya Aoki vs Frankie Edgar
Shinya Aoki vs Chan Sung Jung
Shinya Aoki vs Cub Swanson
Shinya Aoki vs Dennis Siver
Shinya Aoki vs Dustin Poirier
Shinya Aoki vs Clay Guida
Shinya Aoki vs Nik Lentz
Shinya Aoki vs Erik Koch

I think at 145 he might do alright, I think he could beat Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone

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