It appears that 11 MMA fights in a two-year span is Shinya Aoki’s breaking point. Dream’s lightweight champion has amassed an 8-2 record during that stretch, including a No Contest, en route to capturing the title. The eccentric one states that it’s time for a break.
“I don’t even want to say anything about (New Year’s Eve),” Aoki recently stated. “I’ve been fighting one bout after another, so I’m exhausted. I was thinking this was my last fight.”
As we all know, Japan is notorious for putting on spectacular New Year’s Eve MMA action, something that Aoki has participated-in on multiple occasions. However, it appears that he’s content on ringing in the New Year by himself this year.
“I just want to rest. After that, then maybe I can decide on something. I’d like to fight BJ Penn,” Aoki stated following last week’s Dream.11 victory over Joachim Hansen.
“I want to fight the best in the world, like BJ Penn and Kenny Florian — strong guys like that,” he added. “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 BJ Penn, I could die (happy).”
Aoki’s popularity is booming in Japan, so a move to the UFC isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. However, with Aoki, you never know.