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Shinya Aoki: ‘I’d like to fight B.J. Penn’

After a last second submission to secure the DREAM lightweight title on Tuesday, it appears Shinya Aoki is asking for the UFC to take notice.

After the win, questions arose about his first title defense against Tatsuya Kawajiri, who subsequently asked for a title shot after his TKO win against Melchor Manibusen earlier in the night. Initial speculation was an Aoki vs. Kawajiri title fight to be held on K1’s New Years Eve event, later this year.

However, after taking time to poke fun at “The Crusher”, Aoki turned his attention on the UFC’s lightweight division, “I was thinking, ‘why is he here?’ I can’t reply immediately. I don’t even want to say anything about New Year’s Eve. I’ve been fighting one bout after another, so I’m exhausted. I was thinking this was my last fight. I just want to rest. After that, then maybe I can decide on something. I’d like to fight B.J. Penn.”

The “Tobikan Judan” continued, “I want to fight the best in the world, like B.J. Penn and Kenny Florian — strong guys like that. I want to take them out and prove that Japanese are truly strong. I was told by someone that ‘you got the belt, now you’re number one in the world,’ but I don’t think so. Being top of the world isn’t something so trivial. If I could become like B.J. Penn, I could die happy.”

Though it’s highly unlikely we’ll see the newly crowned champion in the UFC, it’s still worth noting he has a desire to compete with the pound for pound best. This is the first time Aoki has spoke publicly about the UFC and it could be for his own self-reverence, but at the very least, it may raise a few eyebrows within the premier MMA organization.

34 COMMENTS
  • shotokai_ says:

    Penn would destroy him. So please make it happen. He wouldn’t even get to the title shot if he came to the UFC though, so it’s wishful thinking.

  • YetiLee says:

    I don’t doubt that Penn would win, but I really don’t think he would destroy him.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I enjoy watching Aoki fight because he personifies the phrase “slick submissions.” I’d pay good money to watch him fight BJ, but BJ would pound him into mush.

  • Starforsaken says:

    Hard to picture Penn being submitted, unless he’s gassed. Penn is a terrible match for Aoki, in my opinion.

  • dpk says:

    Aoki ain’t going to take him down and out grapple him, and BJ would pound him in the stand up.

    I don’t think Aoki wouldn’t even make it through guys like Florian, Sherk, Edgar, and Maynard if he came to UFC.

  • s13 says:

    Shinya would get crushed by the top 5 possibly top 10 in the ufc. Here is a quick list of those that I think would run right through him:

    BJ
    Roger Huerta
    Gray Maynard
    Tyson Griffin
    Efrain Escudero* He’s young but his power and skill are undeniable
    Kenny Florian
    Sean Sherk
    Frankie Edgar

    This is in no particular order but just guys i feel would mop the floor with Shinya, and yes I like Shinya alot and admire the fact that he wants to fight the best unlike some Heavyweights considered p4p best in the world.

  • s13 says:

    Oh yeah….where is my boy edub?!?!?!?! Looking to see his opinion on this as well. :)

  • xtreme_machine says:

    i agree with S13 but i dont think that Escudero could beat him

    alos, Aoki LOST the Hansen figh in my mind

    he has KO with the fist heel kick but the second one was illegal

    i guess DREAM just really wanted a Japanese title holder

  • David Andrest says:

    I seriously question if Aoki would be a .500 fighter in the UFC under unified rules.

    Aoki vs. any stud wrestler dropping elbows on him……………..not pretty

  • s13 says:

    Yeah he’s awsome till he gets hit in the face…unfortunately most top tier’d ufc guys are experts at just that.

  • joe mo mma says:

    top lightweights in the UFC are just way too big for japanese fighters… Aoki is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but he would be pummeled in a standup fight against BJ… BJ vs. Aoki would just be a better version of the the Spencer Fisher vs. Caol Uno fight… japanese fighter constantly looking for the takedown.. while the american fighter punishes him on the feet.

  • Aoki wins this fight easily.

    Not really but after reading all the comments, I felt bad for the little guy. He couldn’t hang with Penn, Sherk, Maynard, Florian, Edgar, etc.

  • Niv says:

    Aoki is far better than most are giving him credit for here.

    I think he’s better than most LW’s in the UFC and his submission game is world class.

    Having said that I think as good as his submissions are, he’d be in way over his head against BJ Penn. Penn would take him out relatively quick, in my opinion.

  • edub says:

    Hahaha whaddup s13. I really think he would be takin out by BJ, Florian, Sherk, Griffin, and Edgar. Maynard is kind of a dark horse here. I think he’s got the most talent besides Penn it just seems like he has been thinking too much in the ring recently. Sort of like how Nate Marquardt was fighting
    a couple of years back.

    Niv: Aoki is far better than most are giving him credit for here.I think he’s better than most LW’s in the UFC and his submission game is world class.Having said that I think as good as his submissions are, he’d be in way over his head against BJ Penn. Penn would take him out relatively quick, in my opinion.

    Ill give it up to him he has beaten the best Japan has had to offer, and a lot of experts seem to think Japan has the best LWs in the world. However as Andrest alluded to earlier the unified rules are hard to fight with for Aoki. He wont be able to take down the fighters in the UFC as easily because of the great wrestling base of most of the LW division, and playing the guard game when your not used to elbows and you dont like to get hit is a recipe for disaster.

    In closing Id still like to see him in the UFC, and I wouldnt have a problem with him getting a title shot right away. However if the UFC wanted to put him in one fight first Id say put him and Sherk in together. Sherk would prolly get his first stoppage in 4 years.

  • s13 says:

    I can’t add anymore to what edub said…spoken like a true MMA officianado!!

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    i wish he would fight Penn. he would get humiliated and probably cry afterward.

  • nope says:

    I think they would have to develope him slowly into the UFC, get him used to the octagon, give him a tomato can warm up. Then see if he could hang w/ a Mid tier guy. I think Nate Diaz for his second fight.

  • RoadsideGraphix says:

    Lots of UFC homers here these days. Aoki vs Penn would be a good fight.

    If the UFC ever goes back to Japan Aoki vs Penn would be a sell out headliner.

    I would think Aoki better suited to fight the likes of Miguel Torres or Faber over in the WEC. Aoki looks like he weighs about 20 lbs soaking wet.

  • edub says:

    You really had to try a sh*t on guys who are making valid points in their argument Roadside. DO you really think Aoki would put up any fight against Penn. BJ is better in all areas of mma. Even the only area Aoki is good at. Aoki just doesnt match up well with the top 5 or 6 UFC LWs. Sorry.

  • “Lots of UFC homers here these days. Aoki vs Penn would be a good fight.”

    This is exactly how the fight will go.

    Rounds 1 and 2 will be a grappling clinic. In Round 3, Penn will force stand-up and it’ll end with Aoki unconscious and Penn licking blood on his gloves.

    So yeah, I guess it would be a good, if obviously predictable, fight.

  • edub says:

    Hahaha if your comments get hidden because of 5 dislikes then Big Daves are never gonna show up.

  • David Andrest says:

    Sergio Hernandez: “Lots of UFC homers here these days. Aoki vs Penn would be a good fight.”This is exactly how the fight will go.Rounds 1 and 2 will be a grappling clinic. In Round 3, Penn will force stand-up and it’ll end with Aoki unconscious and Penn licking blood on his gloves.So yeah, I guess it would be a good, if obviously predictable, fight.

    Sergio you forgot to mention that the action would be stopped every 90 seconds due to a complaint from Aoki that he was hit in the nuts, hit in the back of the head, took a mystery poke to the eye, …..name your cro copesque excuse to stop it and hope for the NC

  • True, David, true.

    Aoki’s antics grate on my nerves to no end.

  • TURKISH says:

    David Andrest: I seriously questionifAoki would be a .500fighter in the UFCunder unified rules.
    Aoki vs.any stud wrestler dropping elbows on him……………..not pretty

    Right because it would be impossible for Aoki with his average jiu jitsu to submit anyone from the bottom.

  • edub says:

    Hey Turkish is back yayy!

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    “This is the first time Aoki has spoke(n) publicly about the UFC”

    He didn’t speak about the UFC (at leat not in the quotes you gave) or p4p best, he spoke about BJ and Florian.
    You guys hear what you want to hear.

    S13 I think all 4990001299 of the UFCs top p4p bestest guys would get beaten by everyone of the strikeforce ring girls. Here is a list
    Candy
    Cindy
    Lisa
    Betty (she is young but has great legs)
    Bruce
    Anna Nicole

  • Austin says:

    The japanese are too weak. They are coddled by their refs. Tyson Griffin, Gray Maynard, or Sean Sherk would keep aoki up, and then he would get Sakurai’ed.

    Infact, all 3 of those guys, when rehydrated, are as big as sakurai.

    Sakurai pretty much gave everyone in the UFC a blueprint to beat Shinya Aoki.

  • lemonheadzzz says:

    Aoki needs to develop some stand up before he moves to the ufc. His bjj is second only to Penn, but Penn’s striking is much better. I think wrestlers like Maynard and Sherk could neutralize his bjj and would be able to dominate him with their striking.

  • RoadsideGraphix says:

    RoadsideGraphixI would think Aoki better suited to fight the likes of Miguel Torres or Faber over in the WEC.

    Maybe your missed the real selling point of my post.

    Sorry I struck a nerve calling out the homers but I just call em’ how I see them.
    To say the top 10 of the UFC Light weights could beat Aoki easy is just a big blanket statement.
    I guess we will see soon enough when the UFC bring Aoki into the mix.

  • RoadsideGraphix: Maybe your missed the real selling point of my post. Sorry I struck a nerve calling out the homers but I just call em’ how I see them.To say the top 10 of the UFC Light weights could beat Aoki easy is just a big blanket statement.I guess we will see soon enough when the UFC bring Aoki into the mix.

    I can almost guarantee Aoki will never fight in the UFC and is only calling out UFC fighters as a way to leverage a better contract from Dream.

    Aoki knows what happens when he’s in the ring/cage with someone bigger than him (Sakurai), which all the UFC LWs will be come fight time. He doesn’t want any part of that. Plus, no rainbow pants.

  • metalmulisha says:

    Aoki wants no part of the UFC because he’s Dream’s number 1 guy and wants more money from them and his comments here are a ploy he has no intentions of fighting in the UFC.
    Has nothing to do with being worried about the Tyson Griffin’s or Gray Maynard’s of the UFC either.

  • twyg says:

    The japanese fighters have heart I will give them that, But Aoki would not stand a chance against BJ and he knows this deep down. I agree with everyone who says this is a ploy to get more money from Dream, because he would get smashed by BJ, Kenflo, Maynard, Griffin, Guida, Sanchez, Sherk, Edgar, ect…

  • Austin says:

    Sergio Hernandez:
    Plus, no rainbow pants.

    LACK OF MAJIK PANTZ IN THE UFC is pretty much a guarantee reworking of his entire game.

  • akaisoras says:

    Aoki would whoop Bj, Bj is a very average fighter

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