Already widely considered as Asia's best lightweight, the Master of Flying Submissions will now be looking to reinvent himself and continue his career on a different division. Back in April, Shinya Aoki told us that he is targeting a move down to featherweight, with his coaches stating that he doesn't cut much weight to make 155 lbs.
"I will go to 145 lbs. I want to win all the world titles at featherweight," Aoki said.
Aoki, who currently holds both the DREAM and ONE FC lightweight titles, sent out an interesting tweet, signaling that the move will happen soon as he has already had a successful test cut to 145 lbs.
NOW!!!!!少し飲んで明日の朝の計量に備えるぜ！！！こんにちわ。フェザー級！！Hello !!! feather weight class !!!! pic.twitter.com/EnmWwQoHeu— 青木真也 | Shinya Aoki (@a_ok_i) June 22, 2013
The ONE FC featherweight title currently belongs to Koji Oishi after scoring a knockout win over Honorio Banario at ONE FC 9, and while nothing has been booked as of this writing, it looks like Aoki will be gunning for his belt and a chance to be a two division champion.
As his coaches told us before the test cut, they feel confident that this move to featherweight will be a huge advantage for Aoki who at 5-foot-11, would be one of the bigger and stronger guys at the weight class.
If Aoki does continue his campaign at 145 lbs and eventually vacates the lightweight title, it does create a lot of fresh match ups for both divisions. Apart from seeing how Aoki performs against top featherweights, it is also likely that we get to see a Lightweight Grand Prix to crown a new champion.
The field at 155 lbs is stacked as well with UFC vets Caros Fodor and Kamal Shalorus recently joining a line up that already has stars such as Kotetsu Boku, Zorobabel Moreira, Adam Kayoom, Lowen Tynanes, Ole Laursen, Eddie Ng, Peter Davis and Eduard Folayang among others.