Shinya Aoki Is The Real Deal

Shinya Aoki was not an unknown coming into 2008, but 2008 was his year.  He exploded onto the scene during the DREAM lightweight grand prix.  Two stars emerged from that tournament: Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez.  The two earned their way to the lightweight grand prix finals, but an injury forced Alvarez to withdraw.  Joachim Hansen stepped in and defeated Aoki for the DREAM lightweight title.  However, the finals bout that should have been and that everyone wanted was Aoki vs. Alvarez.  K-1 Dynamite saw that fight take place.  Most people expected Alvarez to dominate.  The bloggers and expertc figured Alvarez’s stand up, strength, size, and all around ability would be the difference. 

I hope that you have watched the video.  If not it is posted below in the previous blog entry.  I believe this fight showed us several things about Aoki.

1. He is the number 2 lightweight in the world behind B.J. Penn.  Right now there is very little debate on that.  He just beat a tough dude in Eddie Alvarez.

2. Shinya Aoki may be the craftiest MMA fighter as far as submissions go.  He sat down and crab walked to Alvarez looking for a leg to take him down.  Then he locked in that heel hook and didn’t let go.  And who can forget the “Aokiplata” he put on Nagata.  He is crafty.  If he develops his striking he may become the best. 

3. Anyone want to see Aoki in the cage against some of the best in the UFC?  How would he do against a Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, Joe Stevenson or Gray Maynard? 

What is next for Aoki?  Time will tell, but I have a feeling he has to be considered for a shot at the DREAM lightweight belt.   A move to the U.S. could happen, which is what I am hoping for.  Here is why:  He is the number 2 lightweight in the world.  There are still several interesting matches he could have in Japan.  He could fight Gomi, a rubebr match with Hansen, or fight Kawajiri.  However, the options are limited.  He could reall become a star in the U.S.  He ought to put himself in there against some fresh meat. 

Anyways, Shinya Aoki proved he is no fluke, but he is the real deal.

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Eddie Alvarez vs Shinya Aoki Fight Video

The video from the Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki Fight at January 31st’s K-1 Dynamite card. It is well worth the watch.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Eddie Alvarez vs Shinya Aoki Fight Vi…“, posted with vodpod

 

K-1 Fields Dynamite!! Results

Quick Results:

  • Gesians Cavalcante vs. Joachim Hansen Cancelled (see below)
  • Shinya Aoki def. Eddie Alvarez by Heel Hook in Round 1 (1:32)
  • Mirko Cro Cop def. Hong Man Choi by TKO in Round 1
  • Kiyoshi Tamura def. Kazushi Sakuraba by Unanimous Decision
  • Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Katsuyori Shiabata by TKO in Round 1
  • Daisuke Nakamura def. Hideo Tokoro by Armbar in Round 1
  • Bob Sapp def. Akihito Tanaka by TKO in round 1
  • Melvin Manhoef def. Mark Hunt by TKO in round 1 (:18)
  • Semmy Schilt def. Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga by Triangle Choke Round 1
  • Ikuhisa Minowa def. Errol Zimmerman

Notes:

  • The Joachim Hansen vs. Gesias Cavalcante bout was cancelled because of an apparent failed medical test by Joachim Hansen with a possible head injury of some type.  For more info check out Sherdog.com’s Article on The Cancellation
  • Gegard Mousasi, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Alistair Overeem all won their respective K-1 rules bouts.

My K-1 Fields Dyanamite!! Predictions

Joachim Hansen vs. Gesias Cavalcante

This is a re-match in which Hansen won a close deicision, but many felt Cavalcante should have won.  This is a great match up between two really good lightweights.  Most likely the winner is a consensus top 10 whereas the loser is just outside the top 10.  These guys are evenly matched, but I have to think JZ will pull out the decision here.

Shinya Aoki vs. Eddie Alvarez

This fight is for the WAMMA lightweight title.  That is dumb because neither guy is the number 1 lightweight in the world.  The number 1 guys is B.J. Penn.  Aoki is my #3 and Alvarez is my #2.  This is the fight that should have been the DREAM lightweight grand prix final.  Aoki has incredible submission skills, but Alvarez has great striking and is very strong.  I think Alvarez will be too strong for Aoki and will win by TKO in round 1.

Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Kiyoshi Tamura

For old times sake.  Sakuraba by decision.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Hong Man Choi

Hong Man Choi is 7 foot tall plus some.  That will be a problem for Cro Cop.  Can his head kick reach Choi?  The body kicks will do just fine.  I think Cro Cop wins this fight in round 1 by TKO and we will see him back in the UFC. 

Mark Hunt vs. Melvin Manhoef

Manhoef takes this fight on one days notice replacing Jerome LeBanner who caught the flu.  Manhoef has had a wild year.  He has retired and come out of retirement.  Now he fights a much heavier Mark Hunt.  I think Manhoef has good enough striking to still win this fight.  It will be tough for him though.

Hayato “Mach” Sakurai vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Semmy Schilt vs. Mighty Mo Silaga

Daisuke Nakamura vs. Hideo Tokoro

Some interesting bouts under K-1 rules featuring Alistair Overeem, Gegard Mousasi, and Tatsuya Kawajiri

Why Are U.K. Fans Upset With UFC 95?

If you look at UFC 95 on paper it is quick to see that it is not the best UFC card by a mile.  I have heard it said that U.K. fans are less than pleased with the card so far.  I understand their feelings.  However, I am not too upset because it airs free on SPIKE TV.  I would be hesitant to spend $44.00 on this card.  However, let me say this: UFC 95 is one fight away from being a dynamic card.  The problem with UFC 95 is a lack of a main event.  Also, for many in the U.K. it may be the absent Michael Bisping.  Diego Sanchez’s lightweight debut against Joe Stevenson may be interesting, but it is not main event interesting.  Both guys are super talented, but not main event talented.  Co-main event? Maybe.  So, my theory is that UFC 95 is a main event short of being a great card.  Imagine with me for a second that UFC 95 featured a main event with a big name fighter that is main event worthy.  Then the televised portion would follow with…

2. Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson

3. Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen

4. Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia

5. Junior Dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve or Dan Hardy vs. Rory Markham

If they find a solid main event UFC 95 would stack up against any other card.  Here is the importance of this:  The UFC has openly seeking to go international.  Their largest fan bases outside the U.S. are in Canada and the U.K.  They do not want to disappoint those fans.  Reward them for their loyalty.  Find a good main event.  See if you cannot bribe Rashad Evans to fight Quinton Jackson here.  See if you cannot get a Randy Couture vs. Nogueira fight chalked up.  Bump Liddell up from UFC 96.  Whatever it takes.  Dana White and Joe Silva must realize that the U.K. is the gateway to the European market.  Give them a better main event that Sanchez vs. Stevenson.  This is a better card than some will credit it for being, but it does lack a main event.  You can breeze by with a solid main event and a less than solid rest of the card, but a solid rest of the card without a solid main event may be tough to sell.

UFC News: Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen Set For UFC 95

Okay, the UFC 95 card sucks royally (that may be a pun seeing as how the card is in London) but, at least there will be a few good fights.  One of those fights that is exciting is going to be a middleweight match up between Demian Maia and Chael Sonnen.  Both of these names were tossed around as possible opponents for Anderson Silva.  The winner of this fight would surely be considered for a title shot.  The problem is the UFC suddenly thickened things a top the 185 lb. division.  It is strongly rumored that Thales Leites will leap frog numerous contenders and get a title shot.  Meanwhile, Dana White has pretty much assured that Yushin Okami will get a title shot.  That makes a contender and one in waiting.  We figure that this summer the two TUF 9 coaches will fight, witht the winner getting a title crack by year end.  Therefore if Silva fights 4 times in 2009, we know his opponents.  They will probably be: Thales Leites, Yushin Okami, The winner of the Sonnen vs. Maia fight, and the winner of the Bisping vs. TUF 9 coach. 

    Anyways as for the Sonnen-Maia fight that is a good one.  Maia is incredible on the ground.  Sonnen comes over from the WEC with a great wrestling pedigree and improving stand up.  Sonnen surely will want to use his wrestling to keep the fight standing.  If he takes it to the ground at any time he is on very dangerous ground even when he is on top.

Who Will Sign With the UFC in 2009?

  • I am pretty sure these guys are on the UFC’s radar.  Obviously these guys could get into the UFC and have a career there.  They would all be good adds.  Some of the UFC future signings depends on things like the future of ProElite and Affliction. 

Jeff Monson

 

Nickname

Snowman

Weight class

Heavyweight

MMA Record

27-8

Ranking

Credentials

·          UFC veteran

·          World class grappler

Mike Russow

 

Nickname

Weight class

Heavyweight

MMA Record

11-1

Ranking

Credentials

·          Solid heavyweight prospect

Alistair Overeem

 

Nickname

Demolition Man

Weightclass

Heavyweight

MMA Record

29-11

Ranking

Credentials

·          Good name recognition

·          Good all around fighter

Mirko Filipovic

 

Nickname

Cro Cop

Weightclass

Heavyweight

MMA Record

23-6-2

Ranking

Credentials

·          A legend in the sport

·          Huge popularity (would be great for the Germany card)

·          Great striking ability

Rafael Cavalcante

 

Nickname

Feijao

Weight class

Light Heavyweight

MMA Record

7-1

Ranking

Credentials

·          One of the best light heavyweight prospects

·          Trains with Anderson Silva and Nogueiras

Antwain Britt

 

Nickname

The Juggernaut

Weight class

Light Heavyweight

MMA Record

Ranking

Credentials

·          TUF 8 cast member who won his way into the house, but an injury forced him out

 

Yoshihiro Akiyama

 

Nickname

Weightclass

Middleweight

MMA Record

12-1

Ranking

Credentials

·          Top ten middleweight in the world

·          Huge Japanese fan base

David Lousieau

 

Nickname

The Crow

Weightclass

Middleweight

MMA Record

16-8

Ranking

Credentials

·          A solid Canadian fighter

·          Trains with St.Pierre and Cote

·          UFC vet and former number 1 contender

Joey Villasenor

 

Nickname

Smokin’

Weightclass

Middleweight

MMA Record

26-6

Ranking

Credentials

·          Has fought everywhere

·          Can hang with the best middleweights in the world

Jake Sheilds

 

Nickname

Weightclass

Welterweight

MMA Record

22-4-1

Ranking

Credentials

·          EliteXC Welterweight Champ

·          11 fight win streak

·          Great Jiu Jitsu Skills

·          A Top 5 welterweight

T.J. Grant

 

Nickname

Weightclass

Welterweight

MMA Record

13-2

Ranking

·          The best Canadian fighter not signed to a major promotion

·          A great prospect

Credentials

Gilbert Melendez

 

Nickname

Weightclass

Lightweight

MMA Record

Ranking

Credentials

·          A top tier lightweight

·          Would challenge for title right away