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Hiroyuki Takaya, Shinya Aoki added to April 9 Strikeforce event

With title-defenses already expected from champs Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz, Strikeforce’s upcoming card on April 9 is continuing to take final form with recent news Japanese fighters Shinya Aoki and Hiroyuki Takaya are expected to be dressed for action in San Diego although against who remains a mystery.

Word of their addition was first reported by MMAWeekly where it was also mentioned discussions are ongoing to possibly air preliminary bouts on HDNet and Sky Perfect TV in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Aoki’s last official MMA fight occurred in October and resulted in an opening round submission of Yokthai Sithar. However, the colorful, often polarizing lightweight old suffered a knockout in the Mixed Martial Arts portion of a “special rules” feature against kickboxer Yuichiro Nagashima on New Year’s Eve at Japan’s annual “K-1 Dynamite!!” extravaganza. He holds an overall record of 26-5 including highly respectable wins over Gesias Cavalcante, Joachim Hansen, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Eddie Alvarez. The 27-year old has fought once before under the Strikeforce banner in a one-sided outpointing by Melendez a little more than a year ago.

Unlike Aoki, Takaya will be making his promotional debut on the California card. The 15-8-1 striker is currently riding a three-fight winning streak including a recent unanimous decision victory over Bibiano Fernandes. He has also beaten standouts like Hansen, Yoshiro Maeda, Hideo Tokoro, and Hatsu Hioki over an eight-year career.

PHOTO CREDIT – ESTHER LIN / STRIKEFORCE

20 COMMENTS
  • fanoftna33 says:

    This is good news for the card, leaving off the GP has made SF scramble and add some good fighters. Looking forward to Aoki fighting again.

  • Rece Rock says:

    KJ Noon has said he will be fighting 4/9… so who knows.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Noons vs Takaya- no way they feed him to Aoki.
    Aoki vs Gurgel would be good, or J Z, or Thompson. All good fights.

  • KTru says:

    feed him to Aoki? I think Noons would actually beat him. The article says Gil outpointed Aoki, more like a 1-sided butt kickin.

    sorry but Japanese MMA is horribly overated

  • Rece Rock says:

    Yeah Aoki looked like shit his last time in a SF cage

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I think K J would do well against Aoki standing but it would hit the mat for sure, unlike Diaz who can stand or grapple Aoki knows he needs to grapple and he would get it to the ground. Noons has shown good defensive grappling to be sure but I belive Aoki would be to much for him.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    japanese mma is horribly overated?
    i cant even begin to comment on such a dumb statement

    i thought UFC were on the brink of signing Takaya? or was that Hioki?

  • KTru says:

    now, I have to respond to your dumb comment.

    UFC is signing these such fighters to make a return to Japan, not because these are top of the heap fighters. Show me one fighter from Japan that has had substantial success over here in the States, aside from Okami…… Go ahead I’ll wait……
    Akiyama 1-3, really 0-4
    Kid and Omigawa…..
    Aoki not only got owned by Gil, but loses to a K1 guy in MMA
    Gomi 1-2 in UFC, not even top 15 in UFC LW division.

    sure they are talented, but cannot hang with top talent in the U.S.

    so try again

  • hindsightufuk says:

    aoki fought once and lost sure, the k1 fight was in japan, that makes him overated? cos i can think of a long list of injured fighters who would say otherwise
    gomi has long since been the force he was, we all know that
    kid was out of action for 18 months, and asides from Warren hasnt fought anyone of note in 3 years (and warren wasnt a fighter of note back then)
    omigawa has some very respectable wins in the last couple years with losses against two quality opponenets, nothing to be ashamed about.
    so from that you say ALL japanese MMA is overated? not japanese fighters, but japanese MMA? that doesnt even make sense
    i’d agree that the UFC has signed some poor quality japanese fighters, who are either past their best or cant adapt to non japanese rules, but thats the UFC’s fault. The UFC doesnt own any talented japanese fighters

    all japanese mma is overated is such a ridiculous generalisation, it just doesnt make sense
    why does a japanese fighterr need to be succesful in the US to be rated highly?
    you know how many US fighters have been shown up in japan?
    do you ever watch shooto or deep?

  • KTru says:

    For clarification Japanese fighters in todays MMA is overated. To say it’s not is ridiculous. Maybe I should have been more clear on that. Yes they have great fights and have exciting fighters. But to where they can compete at the highest level against western MMA, it’s not even a discussion.

    I can put 2 roosters in a cage and call it great and exciting. Doesn’t mean a wolf won’t come in and devour both.

    yes they have to be successful outside of fighting other Japanese fighters. Most would agree, over rating them as a whole is unfair. But no out of context

  • Sykotick says:

    Ktru I kind of agree with your statement because A LOT of Japanese MMA fighters are overrated, but I think I know why:
    In the us, the big thing to do to show that you know what you’re talking about as far as MMA goes is to pick a good fighter from Russia, Japan, wherever and say “this dude is the best, by and far” in hopes that some person is going to hear you and say “holy crap he knows a fighter who isn’t in the UFC, he must know what he is talking about.”
    Hence why so many people thought Gegard Mousasi was a top 3 light heavy, or that Shinya Aoki was the #1 or #2 Lightweight.
    Then they fight and people realize that they are nowhere near as good as so and so said.
    Now here is where I partially disagree, if you’re basing the “overrated” comment on the fact that they can’t compete in say the UFC or Strikeforce, then you need to rethink this because you’re probably thinking they can’t hang with Silva, GSP, Shogun, Hendo, Overeem, etc and truth be told, who can?
    I’m willing to bet any Japanese fighter can hang with the back of the pack to the middle of the pack in both companies, meaning they probably can hang in western MMA.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Sorry Ktru but Aoki has beaten many “western MMA” practitioners like Alvarez, Hansen, Aurelio, Ribeiro, JZ and many others. Kawajiri just beat Thomson and Takaya just beat 3 guys from Europe and the states. TK was a pretty good example and Okami is Japanese so he counts and then Akiyama who has beaten 7 western guys including Belcher and Kang. Sakuraba was known as the Gracie killer and beat many fighters from the US (Rampage) and the west. Sakurai beat guys like Trigg, Menne, Pulver and Danzig. Gomi has beaten Ludwig, Griffin, Pulver, Bennet and Brennan. In the early days names like Funaki and Kondo were at the top of the heap beating Shamrock, Schilt, Mezger and Vernon White.
    The thing that many Japanese fighters find difficult to adjust to is that in the US the rules are different and they score take downs as if they mean something. In Japan it is just a way of getting your opponent down but in the US it is thought of as a big scorer. Why? I don’t know, it is fighting not wrestling.
    If I was to rate countries on their MMA I would go Brazil, USA, Japan, Russia, England, Holland.
    Aoki has beaten 12 westerners and 6 Americans and has only ever lost to 1 westerner in Japan.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Gegard Mousasi is 30-3 and has only been beaten by Mo at LHW and many people think Mousasi actually did more damage than Mo. Why do you think he is nowhere as good as people thought. He took out O’Brien faster than Arlovski, Jon Jones or Valasquez did.

  • Sykotick says:

    Because I look at Mr. Mousasi’s record and only 2 (maybe 3) names jump out, Sobral (maybe), but its been shown that anyone with a semi heavy hand can drop him.
    Ronaldo Souza, solid win, can’t fault him there, excuses like “he is a much bigger fighter” are just that, excuses.
    And finally Mr. Lombard. Now his name jumps out because he has been beating the crap out of people in BFC but upon closer inspection when he fought Gegard he was still very inexperienced at 6-2-0-1, while I believe Gegard was 14-2 (just saw it and I can’t remember lol).
    Other than that he doesn’t have very many big names behind him.
    Kind of like Overeem, yet people deem him the best, yet to be honest he hasn’t been tested at heavyweight in his last 10.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    ANYBODY with semi heavy hands can drop Sobral???????
    Lawler couldnt do it and I would call his hand a bit more than Semi Heavy.

  • Sykotick says:

    Ok so heavy hands and flush connection

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I see where you are coming from Syk but Babalu does hold wins over very classy opponents like Shogun, Lawler, Sonnen, Prangley, TK, Illoukhine, Horn, Wiuff and Diabate.
    He is a good fighter. He was never #1 but he has been up in the top 15 for a decade.
    As for Mousasi he is very well rounded and holds wins over Manhoef, Kang, Babalu, Sobral, Souza and Lombard. What impresses me is how he wins. He has 30 victories and 28 stoppages. 17 via TKO and 11 by submission. His striking is amongst the best at LHW and his submission game is very good. He just lacks a great take down defense but I assume he has made huge progress after the Mo fight in that area. I really like that Mousasi and Shogun kind of fighter and would love to see those 2 lock horns.

  • Sykotick says:

    Yeah, I’m not sayin he is a bad fighter, cuz you and I both know only a complete moron would say that, but he doesn’t have very many big recognizable names under him, but it could change with time.
    Tho, just for hahas, I do disagree on saying he has some of the best hand in the LHW division. IMO the LHW div is stacked anx its stacked with heavy, technical, good footwork having strikers, Page, Sugar, T. Silva, Shogun, Bones, Machida, hell Liddell has hella good hands, just np chin anymore. Mousasi may not have some of the best hands, but he still has very good hands.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    He is a dutch boxing champ and is trying out for the 2012 OLYMPICS boxing for the Netherlands. He is 5-0 in kick boxing and 2-0 in K1. He beat a guy who is coming off wins over Aerts, LeBanner, Saki, Musashi, and Manhoef. With all due respect, I think he has better striking than T. Silva, Bones, Sugar and probably page too. His striking is up there with Liddells best and he would give Shogun and Machida a very difficult fight.

  • Sykotick says:

    Idk Logic, I’ll agree that he is technically more sound than Bones, but that’s only because Jonny Bones is the most untechnical Striker ever, that being said, that’s one dude I don’t want to take a punch from lol, and idk if his boxing is better that Shad’s, while Sugar has very little chin to speak of his boxing is extremely crisp and he is extremely quick.
    If you think Liddell’s boxing is either better or on par with Mousasi’s then remember that Sugar completely outclassed the iceman on his feet.
    Page I think would go either way as to who is the better striker,
    And T. Silva I’ll give you that Mousasi’s striking is probably better Than but my money would be on Thiago,

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