May 9, 1983 |
Shizuoka City, Japan
|Other names||Tōbikan Jūdan (The Grand Master of Flying Submissions), The Baka Survivor|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Division||Featherweight (145 lb)
Lightweight (155 lb)
Welterweight (170 lb)
|Reach||72 in (183 cm)|
|Team||Evolve MMA (Singapore)
Nippon Top Team
|Trainer||Chatri Sityodtong, Yuki Nakai, Eddie Bravo|
Black Belt in |
Black Belt in Judo
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Shinya Aoki (青木 真也 Aoki Shin'ya?, born May 9, 1983) is a Japanese mixed martial artist competing currently for Rizin Fighting Federation, grappler, and former police trainee currently competing in ONE Championship's lightweight division. He is noted for being the DREAM Lightweight Champion, ONE Lightweight Champion, former WAMMA Lightweight Champion and former Shooto Welterweight Champion. Aoki holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Yuki Nakai, as well as a black belt in judo. As of 2008, Aoki, along with DEEP champion Masakazu Imanari, and Sengoku champion Satoru Kitaoka have founded the "Nippon Top Team" as a group of elite Japanese grapplers competing in MMA. As well as his MMA credentials, Aoki has garnered several submission grappling accolades including two All Japan Jiu-Jitsu championships, a Japan Open Jiu-Jitsu championship, a Budo Open championship, and an ADCC Japan Championship.
- 1 Mixed martial arts career
- 2 Poor sportsmanship accusations
- 3 Championships and accomplishments
- 4 Mixed martial arts record
- 5 See also
- 6 Footnotes
- 7 Sources
- 8 External links
Mixed martial arts career
Training in judo since chilhood, Aoki became a successful judoka and competed in national and international championships. However, interested in modalities like kosen judo which were away from him due to the Kodokan competition rules, he moved to other combat sports, until landing in mixed martial arts. Aoki initially joined the judo-based RJJ gym before moving to Team Roken along with his longtime friend Masakazu Imanari, though he later moved to Paraestra Shooto Gym, where he trained under former kosen representative Yuki Nakai. He got his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Nakai and became one of the team's main teachers.
DEEP and Shooto
Aoki has his MMA debut for DEEP in November 2003, winning a one night tournament by fast armbar submissions. He later would show further unorthodox grappling skills against veteran Seichi Ikemoto and Keith Wisniewski, who he defeated by breaking his arm with a standing wakigatame. He also would face legendary Hayato Sakurai in a Shooto event, losing a decision which was seen as controversial. Aoki went to compete in both companies until 2007, also defeating Akira Kikuchi to win the Shooto Welterweight Championship.
PRIDE Fighting Championships
In August 2006, Aoki made his PRIDE Fighting Championships debut at Pride Bushido 12, submitting American fighter Jason Black in under two minutes with a triangle choke. Following that win, Aoki was booked to face rising Lightweight star Gilbert Melendez at the following Bushido card, Bushido 13. However, prior to the fight Melendez received an elbow injury (a burst bursa sac) in training and was forced to pull out of the fight. Aoki's opponent was changed to Clay French. Aoki submitted French in just under four minutes with a triangle choke. Afterwards, Melendez was shown in the crowd with a sling, and announced he would like to face Aoki at Pride Shockwave 2006 on New Year's Eve. Aoki agreed.
For unknown reasons, the proposed fight with Melendez did not take place. Instead, Aoki faced highly ranked Lightweight fighter Joachim Hansen. Aoki submitted Hansen with a gogoplata—this was the second successful gogoplata in MMA competition (the first by Ryusuke Uemura).
After his win over Hansen, Aoki was set to rematch Kikuchi in Shooto, with Aoki's Shooto Welterweight title (previously won from Kikuchi) on the line. Aoki successfully defended his title against Kikuchi, winning via split decision.
Following his victory, Aoki announced that he was to be the Shooto representative in the forthcoming Pride Lightweight Grand Prix tournament. Aoki's next fight was at Pride 34, where he faced little known Dutch fighter Brian Lo-A-Njoe. At the event Aoki submitted Lo-A-Njoe in the first round with an armbar. Following the fight, Aoki once again confirmed his participation in the Lightweight Grand Prix. With the purchase of Pride by the majority owners of Zuffa LLC, the Pride Lightweight Grand Prix was cancelled.
On November 21, 2007, Aoki's participation on the New Year's Eve MMA card Yarennoka! was announced. Originally, his opponent was to be two-time K-1 Hero's Middleweight Grand Prix champion Gesias "JZ Calvan" Cavalcante. Rumors that Cavalcante was injured surfaced only two weeks before the bout, though Cavalcante denied them before eventually admitting the injury and withdrawing from the fight. Aoki defeated Korean Olympic Judo silver medalist Jung Bu-Kyung, Cavalcante's replacement, via unanimous decision in what was Jung Bu-Kyung's mixed martial arts debut. Aoki had promised to use a never before seen submission in the match but was unable to finish the debut fighter.
Fighting and Entertainment Group
After the purchase of Pride by Zuffa LLC, most Japanese fighters signed to newly created mixed martial arts promotions, with Aoki signing to Dream. Here Aoki finally faced Cavalcante on March 15, 2008 at the opening round of the Dream Lightweight Grand Prix tournament. Early in the first round, the referee stopped the action when Cavalcante apparently landed illegal elbow strikes to the back of Aoki's neck. The ringside doctor announced that Aoki was unable to continue due to the injury and Cavalcante apologized for the incident. The fight resulted in a no contest. Elbow strikes to the neck and spine area are illegal under Dream rules. Aoki was later found to have sustained concussion of the cervical vertebra.
They had their rematch at Dream 2 on April 29, 2008. In that match, Aoki defeated Cavalcante via unanimous decision, and shocked the Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world with his use of the De La Riva guard to deliver multiple heel kicks to Cavalcate's Head. He sustained a severely bruised rib and tore cartilage in his costal area during the match. At Dream 4, Aoki defeated Katsuhiko Nagata via a mounted gogoplata (possibly the first ever in professional competition, later to be dubbed "the Aoki-plata") submission to advance to the semi-finals of the Dream Lightweight Grand Prix. At Dream 5, Aoki defeated Caol Uno by unanimous decision. Later that night, Eddie Alvarez was set to fight Aoki, but had to bow out due to injury from his previous match that evening. Joachim Hansen took his place and defeated Aoki by TKO (punches) at 4:19 round 1 to become the first Dream Lightweight Champion.
At Dynamite!! 2008 on New Year's Eve, Aoki finally squared off against American Eddie Alvarez for the WAMMA Lightweight Championship. Aoki started quickly, securing Alvarez's back after catching a kick, before being thrown to the canvas by the stronger American. In a scramble, Aoki latched onto the foot of Alvarez and applied a heel hook. Alvarez fought the hold, but tapped out shortly after Aoki adjusted his grip. Alvarez also suffered ligament damage in his knee.
Aoki defeated David Gardner at the March 8, 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix card at Dream 7 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan (this fight is remembered for Gardner waving to the crowd as Aoki was controlling his back and saying "Hello, Japan!", thus allowing Aoki to secure a rear-naked choke from that position). Aoki, who is still recognized by Shooto as its Welterweight (168 pounds (76 kg)) Champion, also moved back to that weight to fight in Dream's Welterweight Grand Prix at Dream 8 in 2009. His first match in the tournament was a rematch with Hayato Sakurai. Aoki lost the fight in twenty-seven seconds via TKO due to punches and knees following a Sakurai reversal from a takedown by Aoki. As a result of the match, Aoki did not advance in the DREAM 2009 Welterweight Grand Prix.
Aoki met Fedor Emelianenko during a five-minute "special exhibition" at an April 29 M-1 Challenge (presented by Affliction) event in Tokyo. Emelianenko made Aoki tap out from an Achilles lock.
Aoki defeated Vitor Ribeiro at Dream 10 on July 20, 2009, which earned him a title fight against Joachim Hansen. Aoki faced Joachim Hansen in a rematch for the DREAM Lightweight Championship at Dream 11 on October 6, 2009. Last time they met, Aoki previously fought a tough match against Caol Uno on the same night which went on for both two rounds (15 minutes) when Hansen only fought for 2 minutes 35 seconds previously. Aoki ended up defeating Hansen in the second round for the title shot via submission (armbar) to become the new DREAM Lightweight Champion.
On December 22, 2009, it was announced that Aoki would not be taking on fellow DREAM fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri, but would be fighting Sengoku Lightweight Champion, Mizuto Hirota. In his pre-fight interview Aoki stated that he felt insulted with the short notice changes as he was looking forward to battling it out with one of the world's other top lightweight competitors in Kawajiri. Aoki's opponent Hirota just came off a spectacular win over longtime friend of Aoki's, Satoru Kitaoka to become the new Sengoku Lightweight champion. The fight between Aoki and Hirota was considered to be one of the main events of the night along with Satoshi Ishii vs. Hidehiko Yoshida and the K-1 bout Masato vs Andy Souwer. Aoki defeated Hirota with a brutal submission (hammerlock) that broke Hirota's arm in the first round at 1:17. He then proceeded to get in the face of his downed opponent and give him the finger then, get up and run around the ring doing the same to the crowd before leaving the ring.
DREAM and Strikeforce
Aoki lost his US debut against then Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez on April 17, 2010 at Strikeforce: Nashville. The fight was broadcast live to a North American audience on CBS. After Aoki's defeat to Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce he has expressed interest to train at Cesar Gracie's camp in northern California.
He then competed again at Deep: 50th Impact on October 24 against former PABA and WBA boxing champion Yokthai Sithoar. Aoki won by submission (americana) 1:00 into the first round against Sithoar.
After the proposed rematch with Melendez fell through due to contract issues on Melendez's part, Aoki faced K-1 kickboxer Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima in a special rules exhibition bout at Dynamite!! 2010. In the first 3-minute kickboxing round, Aoki evaded Nagashima's offense by breaking the rules via excessive clinching, falling to the ground, and going for takedowns in order to run out the clock and move onto the 5-minute mixed martial arts round. Aoki was warned repeatedly by the referee, however no points were deducted as there could not be a decision winner. The commentary team of Michael Schiavello and Frank Trigg were openly criticising Aoki for his rule breaking during the first round, while the Japanese crowd uncharacteristically booed him. At 0:04 of the second MMA rules round, Aoki was knocked out immediately as he went for a double leg takedown via flying knee and subsequent grounded strikes. Since the bout was contested as an exhibition, the loss is not reflected on Aoki's professional mixed martial arts record.
Aoki was expected to face Willamy Freire on May 29, 2011 at Dream: Fight for Japan!. Freire reportedly had trouble getting a visa, and it then appeared that he would be facing Antonio McKee instead, but then McKee chose to pull out of the card. It was then announced that Shane Nelson would fight Aoki, but he was quickly replaced with Rich Clementi. Aoki defeated Clementi by way of Neck Crank/Rear Naked Choke at the 2:32 minutes mark of the second round.
On June 27 it was revealed that Aoki had signed an exclusive contract with ONE Championship and would be making his debut at ONE Fighting Championship: Pride of a Nation in Manila on August 31. On August 16 it was revealed that Aoki would be fighting Arnaud Lepont in a lightweight super fight in the main event at ONE Fighting Championship: Rise of Kings He won the fight via triangle choke at 1:25 of round 1.
Aoki faced Kotetsu Boku at ONE Fighting Championship: Kings and Champions on April 5, 2013 for the Lightweight Championship. He stated that win or lose, he will be dropping to the Featherweight division after the fight. Aoki defeated his opponent at 2:01 of round 2 via rear-naked choke, successfully avenging his Evolve teammate Zorobabel Moreira.
Aoki later returned to lightweight and picked up a victory in the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye promotion before successfully defending his ONE Lightweight Championship against Kamal Shalorus by submission in the first round at ONE FC: Reign of Champions on August 29, 2014.
RIZIN Fighting Federation
Rizin Fighting Federation announced Aoki will compete on December 29, 2015 vs Kazushi Sakuraba in the main event. Fedor Emelianenko will headline the NYE Rizin FF main event on December 31, 2015.
Poor sportsmanship accusations
Aoki has received criticisms by the mixed martial arts community for his disrespectful victory celebrations and perceived lack of care for his opponents, often causing injuries which are seen as needless. He firstly became known for breaking Keith Wisniewski's arm, then doing the same with Kuniyoshi Hironaka via flying armbar in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu bout, sidelining him for a year. In 2009, controversy would come when he faced Mizuto Hirota in a super bout. After Aoki won by breaking Hirota's arm in a brutal fashion, he gave the middle finger to the downed fighter and the crowd while running excitedly.
"When I had his arm behind his back, I could feel it popping, I thought, 'Well, this guy's pride just won't let him tap, will it?' So without hesitation, I broke it. I heard it break, and I thought, 'Ah, there, I just broke it.' I was stopped afterward, but even if I hadn't been, continuing to break it more would have been fine by me."
Despite the crowd actually cheering him back, pundits found the act as extremely offensive and unsportsmanlike, among them Dream executive Keiichi Sasahara and Aoki's trainer Yuki Nakai. Yahoo Sports labelled it as on "the top of the all-time list for worst display of sportsmanship in the history of sports". Aoki would later apologize for his behavior in his post fight interview:
"After my fight, I was excited, and so I did something rude that I should apologize for. But that showed just how excited I was over that fight."
In 2015, after submitting Yuki Yamamoto, Aoki again taunted his opponent and the crowd with a middle finger, while Yamamoto had to be restrained by his cornermen. Shinya left the arena without putting down the taunt.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|45 matches||38 wins||6 losses|
|Kazushi Sakuraba||Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2015||December 31, 2015||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Openweight fight.|
|Win||38–6 (1)||Koji Ando||Decision (unanimous)||ONE Championship 28: Warrior's Quest||May 22, 2015||5||5:00||Kallang, Singapore||Defended the ONE Lightweight Championship|
|Win||37–6 (1)||Yuki Yamamoto||Submission (twister)||Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2014||December 31, 2014||1||1:21||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||36–6 (1)||Kamal Shalorus||Submission (rear-naked choke)||ONE FC: Reign of Champions||August 29, 2014||1||2:15||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Defended the ONE Lightweight Championship|
|Win||35–6 (1)||Toshikatsu Harada||Technical Submission (triangle armbar)||Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013||December 31, 2013||1||0:49||Tokyo, Japan||Return to Lightweight|
|Win||34–6 (1)||Cody Stevens||Decision (unanimous)||ONE Fighting Championship: Total Domination||October 18, 2013||3||5:00||Kallang, Singapore||Drops to Featherweight|
|Win||33–6 (1)||Kotetsu Boku||Submission (rear-naked choke)||ONE Fighting Championship: Kings and Champions||April 5, 2013||2||2:01||Kallang, Singapore||Won the ONE Lightweight Championship|
|Win||32–6 (1)||Antonio McKee||Submission (punch)||Dream 18||December 31, 2012||2||0:24||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||31–6 (1)||Arnaud Lepont||Technical Submission (triangle choke)||ONE Fighting Championship: Rise of Kings||October 6, 2012||1||1:25||Kallang, Singapore|
|Loss||30–6 (1)||Eddie Alvarez||TKO (punches)||Bellator 66||April 20, 2012||1||2:14||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||Lost Lineal MMA Lightweight Championship|
|Win||30–5 (1)||Satoru Kitaoka||Decision (unanimous)||Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011||December 31, 2011||5||5:00||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Defended DREAM Lightweight Championship|
|Win||29–5 (1)||Rob McCullough||Submission (neck crank)||Dream 17||September 24, 2011||1||4:57||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Non-title bout|
|Win||28–5 (1)||Rich Clementi||Submission (neck crank)||Dream: Fight for Japan!||May 29, 2011||2||2:32||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Non-title bout|
|Win||27-5 (1)||Lyle Beerbohm||Submission (neck crank)||Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley||April 9, 2011||1||1:33||San Diego, California, United States|
|Win||26–5 (1)||Yokthai Sithoar||Submission (americana)||Deep: 50 Impact||October 24, 2010||1||1:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||25–5 (1)||Marcus Aurélio||Decision (unanimous)||Dream 16||September 25, 2010||2||5:00||Nagoya, Japan||Non-title bout|
|Win||24–5 (1)||Tatsuya Kawajiri||Submission (Achilles lock)||Dream 15||July 10, 2010||1||1:53||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Defended DREAM Lightweight Championship Won Lineal MMA Lightweight Championship|
|Loss||23–5 (1)||Gilbert Melendez||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce: Nashville||April 17, 2010||5||5:00||Nashville, Tennessee, United States||For Strikeforce Lightweight Championship|
|Win||23–4 (1)||Mizuto Hirota||Technical Submission (hammerlock)||Dynamite!! The Power of Courage 2009||December 31, 2009||1||1:17||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||DREAM vs. SRC: Champion vs. Champion; Non-title bout|
|Win||22–4 (1)||Joachim Hansen||Submission (armbar)||Dream 11||October 6, 2009||2||4:56||Yokohama, Japan||Won DREAM Lightweight Championship|
|Win||21–4 (1)||Vitor Ribeiro||Decision (unanimous)||Dream 10||July 20, 2009||2||5:00||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Return to Lightweight|
|Loss||20–4 (1)||Hayato Sakurai||KO (knees and punches)||Dream 8||April 5, 2009||1||0:27||Nagoya, Japan||DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|Win||20–3 (1)||David Gardner||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Dream 7||March 8, 2009||1||5:58||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Welterweight bout|
|Win||19–3 (1)||Eddie Alvarez||Submission (heel hook)||Fields Dynamite!! 2008||December 31, 2008||1||1:32||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Won inaugural WAMMA Lightweight Championship|
|Win||18–3 (1)||Todd Moore||Submission (neck crank)||Dream 6: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round||September 23, 2008||1||1:10||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||17–3 (1)||Joachim Hansen||TKO (punches)||Dream 5: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round||July 21, 2008||1||4:19||Osaka, Japan||DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Final; For inaugural DREAM Lightweight Championship|
|Win||17–2 (1)||Caol Uno||Decision (unanimous)||Dream 5: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round||July 21, 2008||2||5:00||Osaka, Japan||DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Semifinal|
|Win||16–2 (1)||Katsuhiko Nagata||Submission (mounted gogoplata)||Dream 4: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round||June 15, 2008||1||5:12||Yokohama, Japan||DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal|
|Win||15–2 (1)||Gesias Cavalcante||Decision (unanimous)||Dream 2: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 First Round||April 29, 2008||2||5:00||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|NC||14–2 (1)||Gesias Cavalcante||NC (illegal elbows)||Dream 1: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 First Round||March 15, 2008||1||3:46||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|Win||14–2||Jung Bu-Kyung||Decision (unanimous)||Yarennoka!||December 31, 2007||2||5:00||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||13–2||Brian Lo-A-Njoe||Submission (armbar)||Pride 34 - Kamikaze||April 8, 2007||1||1:33||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||12–2||Akira Kikuchi||Decision (split)||Shooto: Back To Our Roots 1||February 17, 2007||3||5:00||Yokohama, Japan||Defended Shooto Welterweight Championship|
|Win||11–2||Joachim Hansen||Submission (gogoplata)||Pride FC - Shockwave 2006||December 31, 2006||1||2:24||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||10–2||Clay French||Submission (flying triangle choke)||Pride - Bushido 13||November 5, 2006||1||3:57||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||9–2||George Sotiropoulos||DQ (groin kick)||Shooto: Champion Carnival||October 14, 2006||2||0:05||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||8–2||Jason Black||Submission (triangle choke)||Pride - Bushido 12||August 26, 2006||1||1:58||Nagoya, Japan||Drops to Lightweight|
|Win||7–2||Akira Kikuchi||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: The Victory of the Truth||February 17, 2006||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan||Won Shooto Welterweight Championship|
|Win||6–2||Kuniyoshi Hironaka||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Shooto 2005: 11/6 in Korakuen Hall||November 6, 2005||1||2:10||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||5–2||Hayato Sakurai||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto: Alive Road||August 20, 2005||3||5:00||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||5–1||Shigetoshi Iwase||DQ (groin strike)||Shooto 2005: 7/30 in Korakuen Hall||July 30, 2005||1||0:35||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||4–1||Keith Wisniewski||Technical Submission (standing armlock)||Shooto: 1/29 in Korakuen Hall||January 29, 2005||1||2:22||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||3–1||Jutaro Nakao||KO (punch)||Deep: 16th Impact||August 30, 2004||1||4:29||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||3–0||Seichi Ikemoto||Submission (armbar)||Deep: 15th Impact||July 3, 2004||2||0:52||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||2–0||Yasutoshi Ryu||Submission (armbar)||Deep: clubDeep: Challenge in Club Ozon||November 24, 2003||1||0:51||Tokyo, Japan||clubDeep West Chofu Tournament Final|
|Win||1–0||Dai Okimura||Submission (armbar)||Deep: clubDeep West Chofu||November 24, 2003||1||3:14||Tokyo, Japan||clubDeep West Chofu Tournament Semifinal|
Mixed martial arts exhibition record
|Exhibition record breakdown|
|2 matches||0 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||0–2||Yuichiro Nagashima||KO (Flying Knee)||Dynamite!! 2010||December 31, 2010||2||0:04||Chūō-ku, Saitama City, Japan|
|Loss||0–1||Fedor Emelianenko||Submission (Achilles lock)||M-1 Challenge||April 29, 2009||1||2:50||Tokyo, Japan|
- List of current mixed martial arts champions
- List of male mixed martial artists
- List of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners
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|2nd DREAM Lightweight Champion
October 6, 2009 – present
|Shooto Middleweight Chanmpion
February 17, 2006 – May 21, 2010
Title last held byShinya Aoki