Aoki is Fighting for a Lot of Things
For the first time, he will defend his title against a Japanese opponent. Everything is starting to get serious with Aoki.
For the First time at DREAM.15, Shinya Aoki – the one that has a reputation of a clown during his trainings – did not have any open training sessions and did not even granted any press for an interview. It’s not just on foreign media though, even the Japanese media got the same treatment from Aoki. We cannot help but ask, could it be possible that his hostility towards foreign press has something to do with the fact that he’s fighting more and more foreign fighters?
After the signing ceremony for his title fight against Tatsuya Kawajiri at Dream.15, he commented that he’s fighting for a lot of things. When he was asked what are those things, he replied, “Anything and everything. Including things I am not able to share with you.” It seems that as his fight gets more tougher, he has become more serious. Though it doesn’t explain his odd behavior, there is one noticeable thing about Aoki: He had been fighting more and more foreign opponents.
Since 2008, when DREAM began, he had fought against nine foreign fighters and just four Japanese fighters. It showed an obvious national pride when he said that Japan will become an American MMA colony if he lost the battle against Gilbert Melendez. Aoki’s comments regarding Japan as a colony of MMA resulted to a number of adverse reactions against him. It motivated Hayato Sakurai to fight against Nick Diaz, while Keiichi Sasahara bring back the cage. It also drive Daisuke Sato to create a World War II themed Dream.14 video.
Now, Aoki had to defend his lightweight belt for the first time against a Japanese rival that has been in the background for years. Having a deep scowl on his face since the start of his training, the pressure is present on Aoki.
Japan has started to turn on Aoki, and he has turned on them.View Article Source »