(I guess humiliation makes you an angry man.)
If you haven’t seen the clip of Shinya Aoki’s achilles lock win over Tatsuya Kawajiri at DREAM 15, it really was impressive, but as usual, Mr. Rainbow pants had to go and taint the victory by spouting off about wanting to seriously injure his opponent.
Check out the video after the jump and we’ll catch you up with what Aoki said following the match.
"When I grabbed him, I felt that I could finish it. When I caught him and tried to submit him, I heard a loud crackle sound. He did not tap so I thought ‘Ok, this match just became a death-fight,’ and I was going to [have to] destroy his leg. I knew Kawajiri never taps so I could not win without breaking his bone. I was hoping for an open-fracture."
In an effort to lessen the blow of his ill-timed remarks, Aoki commended Kawajiri on his composure and resilience.
"No one could have endured [that submission] like Kawajiri," he said. "His heart is iron."
This isn’t the first time Aoki has willfully injured an opponent. You may recall his arm-snapping victory over Mizuto Hirota at the New Years Eve Dynamite! show and followed up the gesture by flipping off his injured opponent.
After the fight he apologized for the rude gesture, but not for breaking Hirota’s arm, explaining that he was being a company man and was told to break one of Hirota’s limbs by DREAM’s seemingly sleazy producer, Keiichi Sasahara.
"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. When I had his arm behind his back, I could feel it popping," said Aoki. "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."
"When Sasahara tells me to go and do something, I do it, and that’s how I live my life. If Sasahara tells me to go to Strikeforce and take them out or ‘Go and kill that guy,’ I’m going to do it. Even if he tells me to go take out [FEG executive Sadaharu] Tanigawa, I’d do that too."
He later maintained his stance in an interview with MMAJunkie that he wasn’t sorry in the least bit for the injury he caused Hirota.
So why is he not punished for his comments or actions? The argument can be made that his opponents should have tapped, but Aoki himself said that if the referee hadn’t intervened, he would have done more damage to Hirota than the original fracture to his humerus.
If a fighter contracted by an American promotion came out and spoke about wanting to break bones or gloating that they seriously injured an opponent, they would likely be reprimanded by the organization they were contracted to or the athletic commission.
Look at what happened to Renato "Babalu" Sobral for holding the choke too long on David Heath at UFC 74. It wasn’t the choke that got him into trouble, it was his comments afterwards that he was teaching Heath a lesson that elicited him a hefty fine for the infraction. If he had said nothing and pled ignorance and let on he didn’t feel the tap or the referee and that his adrenaline boost slowed his reaction time, he likely would still be in the UFC.
Ask Frank Mir about the repercussions of publicizing your desire to maim or kill an opponent in the cage.