Following yet another dominant victory which notched Shinya Aoki another submission finish, there has been talk about next step for the "Master of Flying Submissions". Even before ONE FC 8, Aoki was already talking about dropping down to 145 lbs, but after taking the promotion's lightweight title from fellow Japanese star Kotetsu Boku, will these plans still push through?
Shortly after the win in Singapore Bloody Elbow asked Aoki about the potential move, and he simply said, "I can cut down to 145, but I will leave the matchmaking to my coach."
As Aoki motioned to his coach, Chatri Sityodtong, the founder of Evolve MMA tells us that they will finalize the decision soon.
"You know, if Shinya does go down to 145 lbs, we'll test it out the next few months. We'll do test cuts," said Sityodtong, "If Shinya can go to 145 and feel strong, he is going to be like a Jon Jones at featherweight. His wingspan will be unbelievable. He's 5-foot-11 or 6-feet tall, and I think he will just be a monster at 145."
"His striking, his grappling, everything will be at a huge advantage (with the move) so he will be a monster at featherweight. I think he can beat any featherweight in the world. It doesn't matter what organization," he exclaimed, "That's what I believe, but let's see if he can do it healthily, safely, and if he can maintain his strength."
While it's still very early to tell if it will indeed happen, it looks like the move is already being planned out by Aoki's camp. If you ask his promoter though, Victor Cui has a different opinion on the situation.
"I like Shinya at 155. I want to see him defend the title there," the ONE FC CEO said, "Boku was a great champion, but that was textbook Shinya right there. 155 is a pretty stacked division. We have a lot of options there for him."
Who eventually gets their wish? Well the two parties may have different viewpoints, but a lot can happen in the next few months that may change either opinion.
Personally though, the idea of a top ranked lightweight in Aoki competing at 145 lbs is certainly intriguing. It potentially creates a bunch of interesting match ups, and it would even bring a renewed interest in seeing how such a talented and polarizing figure does at a different division.
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