MMA  > General MMA  > Aoki Speaks on non finishers and BJ still being #1
September 10, 2010, 02:40 PM
When Shinya Aoki claimed the DREAM lightweight belt he ranked himself No. 2 behind his idol BJ Penn. With Frankie Edgar's second victory over Penn it is clear that there is a new top lightweight king, but Aoki isn't buying it.

"I am really a huge fan of BJ Penn, he is one of my favorite fighters. He lost by decision. When we look at martial arts in it's most extreme form, we need to win by submission or knockout. In that sense, he didn't lose. He lost that fight but he is still 'the man'. He is still my favorite fighter."

With Edgar holding the strap we once again have a fighter with a wrestling backbone at the top of the UFC lightweight division and with Gray Maynard being the next likely challenger, it doesn't look like that will change any time soon. This trend towards wrestling is another thing that Aoki has trouble with.
Japanese MMA is totally different. We go for knockouts and submissions from the beginning and going for the decision isn't an option.
-- Shinya Aoki
"The American wrestling style - punching a little bit, getting a takedown and moving to side control to win the round has no risk. It's an easier fight. It's just using the judges. They don't even have to worry about injuries or anything like that. There is no risk."

The fact that Aoki uses the lack of risk as a criticism is interesting considering that he also recently claimed that his own goal is "to win against my opponent without being in any dangerous situations" and that fighting with risk "makes the quality of MMA lower."

"Would you like to see Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard? Do you think it would be interesting?" Aoki asks.

I answer truthfully that I don't think it would be very exciting.

"Right! I'm a huge fan of the UFC, but I think that it hasn't been very interesting lately. There are good fighters of course but not so many interesting fights. They punch a little bit, then get a takedown and every round is just a repetition of that."

"I am a big fan of aggressive fighters like BJ Penn, Joe Stevenson, Kenny Florian, Melvin Guillard and Nate Diaz.. Everyone else is just wrestling and it's not interesting at all."

Aoki's thoughts on wrestling are eerily similar to those of Dan Hardy and like Hardy, Aoki has lost an important fight due to wrestling - Aoki was unable to takedown Gilbert Melendez while Hardy was unable to stop the takedown against Georges St. Pierre.

"Japanese MMA is totally different. We go for knockouts and submissions from the beginning and going for the decision isn't an option."
Comment #1 has been removed
September 10, 2010  02:45 PM ET

I love how he even says he doesn't deserve another shot at the belt yet... Not many fighters would say that. I agree with him on most of it...

September 10, 2010  05:19 PM ET

Yet another fighter speaking against what is happening.

I prefer watching Aoki's fights in DREAM, than watching Jon Fitch in the UFC... any day of the week.

Comment #4 has been removed
September 10, 2010  07:05 PM ET

heh. obviously you guys are not considering that:
a) Aoki is not an UFC fighter, so obviously it is good for him to throw a jab at UFC
b) Aoki's been exposed as much as Maia for their standup.
c) It is easier to bash a wrestler than to learn how to stop them.

I find it funny that when it serves your purpose, you take one fighter's cry as a prof that wrestling needs to be outlaw'd.

I find in amazing that none of said guys try to learn wrestling instead of crying like ****...

This is like when Gracie ruled with BJJ. Until people started to learn and be able to counter them.

If you can't stop a takedown or allow the other fighter to impose his will over you, I say it is YOUR problem, not the other fighter's style. Learn to deal with it!

Same as Sonnen has to learn not to get submited, a guy fighting him has to learn not to let him impose his will over them

September 10, 2010  07:05 PM ET

I love Japanese MMA.

I am so excited at the prospect of getting HD Net so I can watch more JMMA than US MMA.

September 10, 2010  07:05 PM ET

But all in all I agree with him. Just because Frankie beat BJ doesn't mean he is better than him.
IMO BJ is still the #1 LW in the world.

September 11, 2010  09:20 AM ET

Funny thing is that the lay 'n pray fighters can't even defend themselves. What are they going to say?

September 12, 2010  09:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I love Japanese MMA.I am so excited at the prospect of getting HD Net so I can watch more JMMA than US MMA.

The bad news is that this might be DREAM's last card, at least those are the rumors coming from Japan.

Comment #10 has been removed
September 13, 2010  09:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

The bad news is that this might be DREAM's last card, at least those are the rumors coming from Japan.

I would be kind of surprised if those rumors were true.

Remember, didn't they just borrow some obsecene amount of money from an Arabian bank? I doubt that bank will elt them close down before getting some of their investment back.

They should use the money to sing some huge fights and fighters and put on a short series of huge MMA shows. Get with M-1 and Strikeforce. Make fights like Fedor vs Overeem, Aoki Melendez II, Nick Diaz vs Mayhem and the like.

Get some cash cows to come over that are already established in the Japanese media like some Olympian's (like Ishii) and some pro wrestler that has a good shoot-style game who is popular.

This is how Pride got it's foot in the door, and in my opinion it is the best way to keep Dream at an elite level: Make some huge fight that no one else seems to be able to that people want to see (Rickson vs Takada= Fedor vs Alistair).

They could also do some dealings with orgs. like Shooto, Pancrase and K-1 to bring in some of their established fighters for short term crossover stuff. They had huge success with this before, and that is how Cro Cop got into MMA.

They need to do anything they can to make huge shows that people in Japan and Europe are really buzzing about. They need to do something big and risky with that money if they want a huge return that can not only pay off the loan but also allow them to stay big moving on.

September 13, 2010  11:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

But all in all I agree with him. Just because Frankie beat BJ doesn't mean he is better than him.

IMO BJ is still the #1 LW in the world.

I'll take being the Champion over being #1......especially after 2 straight wins over the #1...

Comment #13 has been removed
September 13, 2010  03:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I would be kind of surprised if those rumors were true.Remember, didn't they just borrow some obsecene amount of money from an Arabian bank? I doubt that bank will elt them close down before getting some of their investment back.They should use the money to sing some huge fights and fighters and put on a short series of huge MMA shows. Get with M-1 and Strikeforce. Make fights like Fedor vs Overeem, Aoki Melendez II, Nick Diaz vs Mayhem and the like. Get some cash cows to come over that are already established in the Japanese media like some Olympian's (like Ishii) and some pro wrestler that has a good shoot-style game who is popular. This is how Pride got it's foot in the door, and in my opinion it is the best way to keep Dream at an elite level: Make some huge fight that no one else seems to be able to that people want to see (Rickson vs Takada= Fedor vs Alistair).They could also do some dealings with orgs. like Shooto, Pancrase and K-1 to bring in some of their established fighters for short term crossover stuff. They had huge success with this before, and that is how Cro Cop got into MMA.They need to do anything they can to make huge shows that people in Japan and Europe are really buzzing about. They need to do something big and risky with that money if they want a huge return that can not only pay off the loan but also allow them to stay big moving on.

I have a friend of mine (Portuguese) who is living in Japan and he sent me some translated articles concerning DREAM's financial status.

Things are terrible.

First of all they don't have plans for more cards in the near future, after this next one.

Second they are paying purses of around 30 thousand US dollars. In Japan, for a fighter, that's nothing.

On top of that some fighters are not accepting to fight for them any longer because they haven't been paid for their previous fights. One example is Bibiano Fernandes, their FW champ, who hasn't been paid yet for his fight against Hellboy.

MMA in Japan is, I am afraid, in a comatose state.

 
September 13, 2010  03:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Unfortunately, they're all going to say, "Hey, look at my shiny new belt!"

Totally! :(

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