The last time Shinya Aoki stepped in the cage, things did not go his way at all.
Aoki traveled to America for a rematch with former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez, and instead of going 2-0 against the Philadelphia native, he got finished by TKO early in the first round.
Looking back at the fight, Aoki isn’t making excuses and he isn’t trying to find some mystery reason why he lost. He knows exactly why he didn’t come away with a victory that night.
“It is very simple. I failed to execute the game plan for the fight,” Aoki told MMAWeekly.com via email. “I lost fairly and I have no excuses.”
The series between Aoki and Alvarez now stands and one win a piece with Aoki submitting Alvarez via heel hook in their first fight back in 2008.
There’s no longstanding grudge between Aoki and Alvarez, but the former DREAM lightweight champion would certainly enjoy one more fight to settle the rivalry at some point in the future.
“I would love a 3rd match with Eddie. He is a great fighter, but I know that I can beat him. I also know that the fans would love a 3rd fight,” said Aoki.
For now however, Aoki’s attention is directed at his new promotional home. The submission specialist recently signed a multi-fight deal with Asian promotion ONE FC where he will begin competing in August.
Following the downfall of DREAM and virtually every major MMA promotion in Japan, Aoki needed a new home and ONE FC gave him the perfect landing spot.
“I am thrilled to be a part of ONE FC. They gave me a very lucrative contract. It was the highest offer that I received by far. I am very happy and my family is too,” Aoki stated.
Aoki has been a part of some of the biggest fights and promotions during his time competing in his home country of Japan, He fought in both Pride and DREAM, but Aoki believes ONE FC is the next major player for MMA in Asia.
“I believe in ONE FC 100%. I did a lot of homework before signing with them. Without a doubt, it will become bigger than PRIDE ever was. ONE FC is Asia’s largest MMA organization today and it will only become even bigger in the future. ONE FC is the real thing,” Aoki stated.
The goal for Aoki now that he’s with ONE FC is to face the biggest names in the biggest fights. He’s not concerned with titles or accolades, Shinya Aoki just wants to be the best fighter he can be.
“I’d like to fight as often as possible on ONE FC. I don’t fight for titles or anything else. I am a martial artist,” Aoki stated. “I am driven simply by the desire to be the best fighter that I can be. I would love the honor to bring more glory to my team, Evolve MMA, which has helped me so much in my development as a fighter already. I hope to be a complete fighter in the future.”
Shinya Aoki next competes at the ONE FC: Pride of a Nation show in Manila on Aug 31.