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Tag: Shinya Aoki

‘ONE FC: Reign of Champions’ Results + GIFs — Aoki, Askren, Huerta Score First-Round Finishes


(Roger Huerta destroys Christian Holley with the help of ONE FC’s “Sure, knee ‘em in the head when they’re down, we don’t really care” rule. / GIF via ZP)

ONE FC: Reign of Champions (aka ONE FC 19) went down today at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, featuring Shinya Aoki, Ben Askren, and the return of Roger Huerta after a two-year absence and four-fight losing streak. Quick results are below, and more GIFs are after the jump, via ZombieProphet.

- Shina Aoki def. Kamal Shalorus via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:15 of round 1; Aoki retains the ONE FC lightweight championship

- Ben Askren def. Nobutatsu Suzuki via TKO, 1:24 of round 1; Askren becomes the new ONE FC welterweight champion, and secures his second-straight first-round stoppage. How ’bout that!

- Jadamba Narantungalag def. Koji Oishi via unanimous decision; Narantungalag becomes the new ONE FC featherweight champion

- Roger Huerta def. Christian Holley via TKO (knees & punches), 3:13 of round 1

- James McSweeney def. Cristiano Kaminishi via KO (punch & soccer kick), 1:17 of round 1

- Herbert Burns def. Hiroshige Tanaka via unanimous decision

- Mohamad Walid def. Vaughn Donayre via submission (armbar), 1:05 of round 1

- Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke def. Ali Yaakub via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:34 of round 1

- Ann Osman def. Ana Julaton via split-decision

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The 21 Best Accessories in MMA History


(Alistair Overeem wielding Mjolnir / Photo via Getty)

Sometimes fans need more to remember a fighter by than just a performance or a gimmick. They need an accessory to associate that fighter with–and the very best fighters understand this and know how to accessorize.

We brainstormed at Castle CagePotato as to what accessory was the greatest of all time. After several thought-sessions ended in magic ice cream binges and Martin Luther cosplay sessions, we decided to just list off all the best ones rather than just decide which one among them was the best:

1. Fedor Emelianenko’s sweater.

2. Donald Cerrone‘s cowboy hat.

3. Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s Dagestani hat.

4. David Rickels’ caveman club and dinosaur.

Get the rest after the jump!

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Shinya Aoki on Survival, Rebounding From Defeat, And How PRIDE Changed His Life [Tokyo Dispatch #1]


(“I’m honored that anyone would watch me fight, but my goal isn’t to appeal to people.” Photo via MMAWeekly)

By Elias Cepeda

If it wasn’t for his cauliflower ear and your knowing how a person gets such a proud deformity, Shinya Aoki is the type of fighter you’d never suspect was, in fact, a fighter, just from looking at him or speaking with him outside of training or competition. To the untrained eye, Aoki looks like just another Tokyo hipster or backpack kid — slight in frame, stylish, with thick-framed glasses.

Sure, he’s got a gravely, action-hero voice but it delivers extremely humble words, for the most part. Shinya Aoki always appeared to be a mild-mannered, soft-spoken person from the interviews I’d seen of him over the years.

As he sits in a conference room in a Tokyo high-rise on this rainy late December afternoon, nothing I see on the surface changes that perception. For a half hour, Aoki is warm, engaging, quick with a smile and nervous laughter.

In just over one week’s time, however, Aoki will be in a ring, attempting to snap another man’s arm in half. The only reason he will not is because the opponent will smartly tap out before his limb breaks.

Like many great fighters, Shinya Aoki flips a switch, so to speak, from Clark Kent to a kind of malevolent Superman when it comes time to compete. Not only has the ordinarily calm and friendly Aoki not hesitated to break the bones and tear the ligaments of opponents, throughout his career, he also isn’t above standing over their prone bodies and flipping them the bird, as he did to Mizuto Hirota in 2009.

The submission wizard and MMA veteran of over forty professional fights, knows exactly when he makes that shift from civilian to ruthless warrior.

“From the moment I get in line to make my entrance [to the cage or ring],” he says. “That’s when it switches.”

Aoki’s psychology going into a fight is simple and logical. In fact, it is the mindset one could easily imagine would develop in any other skinny teenager who started doing martial arts. Aoki may have developed into one of the world’s best fighters, but when he steps onto the mat, all that is on his mind is survival.

“When I’m out in normal street clothes, I’m a regular person,” he explains. “When I get in the ring, I’ve got to turn on that animal instinct. I’ve got to become a survivor. That’s what switches in my head.”

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Beware the Bowing, Humble Man: 5 Things We Learned Over 5 Days in Japan

By Elias Cepeda 

I spent last week in Tokyo, Japan, to cover the Glory year-end championship kickboxing event and interview and train with luminaries of Japanese MMA. I’m only now beginning to process everything I experienced and saw but here are five immediate take aways.

1. Japanese Fans are No Longer Silent During Fights, But They are Still Hella Observant

Watching Pride events on television years ago, I used to marvel at how attentive and respectful the Japanese fans in live attendance seemed. During most of the action, it seemed as though you’d be able to hear a pin drop in even the largest of super arenas because the fans watched in almost complete silence.

Then, a fighter might make a minor adjustment towards a submission that most American fans would not be able to recognize as the offense it was, and the previously silent Japanese crowd would “ooohh,” and “ahhh.” In my American fight world of boorish booing, louder t-shirts and indifference to any aspect of fighting that wasn’t a competitor being knocked unconscious, Japan seemed like a magical place where people watched fights live with the understanding and respect they deserved.

This past Saturday, I watched a Glory kickboxing event live inside the Ariake Coliesum in Tokyo, Japan. It wasn’t MMA, but I was still excited to not only watch the great strikers on the card, but to experience a Japanese crowd in person for the first time.

Well, they are no longer silent during fights. Apparently that part of fight-viewing culture in Japan has changed in the past ten years or so.

Fans shouted throughout bouts and hooted and hollered. Still, they seemed to know what was going on much more so than American crowds I’ve been a part of or witnessed. Little bits of the fight were still appreciated by the crowd and they showed tremendous support to anyone who showed perseverance and heart in a fight, even if it wasn’t the crowd favorite.

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OneFC 11 Full Undercard Replay & Results: Aoki Dominates in Featherweight Debut, Fernandes Unifies Bantamweight Belts


(Via OneFC’s Youtube page.)

After a shoulder injury sidelined him for most of 2012, OneFC bantamweight champion Soo Chul Kim finally returned to action this morning to take on former DREAM bantamweight/featherweight champion and current OneFC interim bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes at OneFC 11. Unfortunately for the South Korean, his underdog status heading into the fight turned out to be well deserved, as the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt successfully unified the belts with a grapple-heavy unanimous decision victory in this morning’s main event.

As was the case with his interim belt-earning defeat of Koetsu Okazaki in May, Fernandes’ victory was marked by long periods of top control that could be described as “Askrenian” in its… timidity lack of offense let’s go with “execution.” Save a brief rally by Kim in the fourth round, this one was all Fernandes, who has now scored 14 wins in his past 15 fights.

In the co-main event, current OneFC lightweight champion Shinya Aoki dominated Ohio-native Cody Stevens en route to a decision victory of his own. Again, it wasn’t the most entertaining affair, but Aoki did catch a nasty knee to the groin in the first. Someone should gif that so I can set it as my background.

The full results for OneFC 11 are below. Additionally, we’ve thrown a full video replay of the OneFC 11 undercard above. We’ll make sure to throw up videos of the main card as soon as they are made available.

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CagePotato Roundtable #26: What Is the Greatest Comeuppance in MMA History?


(Bro, you need a male nurse.)

After spending last week’s roundtable discussion paying tribute to the most foul people associated with our sport, this week we’ll be focusing on great comeuppances — cases when a fighter got too cocky and karma caught up with him mid-match. Some of our picks are knockouts, some are submissions, and all are extremely satisfying to relive. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future CagePotato Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Ben Goldstein


(Props: Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

It’s one of the most well-known (and feared) unwritten rules in baseball: You never jinx a no-no. When a pitcher has gone a few innings without giving up a hit, you shut the fuck up about it. Teammates aren’t supposed to acknowledge it in the dugout, broadcasters aren’t supposed to mention it on air. These days, you’re not even supposed to tweet about it. If you even so much as whisper the words “no hitter” into your sleeve from the bleachers, the baseball gods will smite you for your hubris and it’ll all come crashing down.

MMA offers all kinds of painful penalties for celebrating early, and you’d think that everyone would have learned the lesson by now. But every once in a while, some asshole comes along and claims that he’ll achieve some lofty feat way before he has any right to. Call it a jinx, call it karmic retribution, but those fighters tend to fall on their face, while the rest of us revel in their defeat. You shouldn’t have tempted fate, buddy. You should have stayed humble. You shouldn’t have jinxed the no-no.

If you’ve been following the UFC for a long time, you might remember a former lightweight champion by the name of Benson Henderson. (He was the guy who held the belt between Frankie Edgar and Anthony Pettis? Long, curly hair? He could do all things through Christ who strengthened him? Does any of that ring a bell?) Anyway, this Benson Henderson guy was known for edging out very close decision wins in title fights — the kind of fights that could have gone either way, but kept falling in his favor. He got a reputation as a point-fighter who never went in for the kill, who only took risks involving toothpicks.

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Successes, Straw Men & False Choices: Looking Back (And Forward) in the Aftermath of Metamoris II


(Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu discusses his disappointing draw against Brendan Schaub, backstage after the event. Video via YouTube.com/CagePotato)

By Elias Cepeda

The six-match Metamoris II Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational card from two weekends ago produced some good action in a number of matches and not great action in others.

The main event, however, left everyone but Shinya Aoki satisfied. The Japanese MMA lightweight and submission ace went up against one of the top submission grappling competitors in the world, Kron Gracie.

The match produced the event’s only submission, with Shinya losing fast to Kron via guillotine choke. With how effective Aoki has been with submissions in MMA, it is fascinating to see him lose to Kron in a similar way to how he lost to all-time great Marcelo Garcia a few years ago at ADCC.

Shinya knows he can make his submissions work against guys who punch and kick him, whereas Kron and Marcelo have less assurance of that right now given their limited MMA experience. However, with strikes removed, Aoki is no match for the likes of Gracie and Garcia, likely because they are able to spend all of their training time on grappling, instead of having to split their time between that and the many other things you need to do in MMA.

The main event finished furiously and in exciting fashion but Kron and Aoki did spend the opening few minutes on their feet, hand fighting with not much happening. Apparently Kron wanted it to go to the ground, however, because eventually he chose to jump full guard in order to get it there.

Once Kron forced it to the ground, he made short work of the MMA fighter Aoki.

Stalling – The Controversy

Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu could have done the same against the vilified Brendan Schaub, but did not. I’m not saying that Schaub was going for the win in his match and one could criticize him for that, but he certainly isn’t the only one to blame for he and Abreu’s uneventful match.

“Cyborg” told us after the match that he was angry. Hell, he told everyone as much while still on the mat, criticizing Schaub for not engaging with him enough.

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[EXCLUSIVE] Metamoris II Headliner Kron Gracie Carries on Family Legacy


(Kron & Rickson Gracie | Photo via Moskova)

By Elias Cepeda

How do you ask a grown man to talk about a time you saw him cry? It can’t be easy, and maybe it’s not even polite. Surely an interviewer can think of other questions to ask someone — especially a fighter.

Unfortunately, in the day or so before speaking with Kron Gracie, that was the main thing I could think to ask, and to ask first. To be clear, I saw Kron cry when he was still a child, and then only from a distance.

Maybe I was mistaken and he wasn’t even truly crying.

Yeah, maybe that’s how you ask a man to talk about it — tepidly and with plenty of qualification. Probably not, but that’s how I broached the subject with the man.

It was the summer of 2000. Rickson Gracie, the champion of his family, was hosting an international Jiu Jitsu invitational. There were tournaments for every experience and ability level, as well as famous champions competing in super matches as well as milling around the arena as a part of the crowd.

And then there was little Kron Gracie. He had to have been just eleven or twelve.

Kron presumably could have chosen to enjoy the whole event as a child — that is, running around with family and friends, playing. Instead, he was in a gi and on the mats.

Kron’s older sisters were pretty and did fun demonstrations with their father. Kron’s older brother, Rockson, walked around the tournament with his head shaved, tattooed and an air of seriousness, the obvious heir apparent to Rickson Gracie’s fighting legacy.

Whatever pressures his siblings surely felt, Kron was the one on the mats that day, competing.

Kron competed that day and, when I saw him, he had just lost.

It couldn’t have been easy, and Rickson’s youngest child was visibly upset. Losing is never fun but when everyone is watching you because your dad is the best fighter in fighting’s first family, it has to be miserable. Rickson, walked over to Kron, put his arms around him and consoled his young son.

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Shinya Aoki vs. Kron Gracie to Headline Metamoris Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational II on June 9th; Braulio Estima, Brendan Schaub Also Featured


(Props: metamoris.com)

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu — it’s so hot right now. And for fans of the so-called “Gentle Art,” Metamoris’s next tournament on June 9th will be required viewing. The promotion announced its second Pro Jiu Jitsu Invitational today, which will be headlined by highly decorated BJJ champion Kron Gracie against MMA submission expert (and new OneFC lightweight champ) Shinya Aoki. The event is slated to place at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, and will be available for viewing online through a live HD pay-per-view stream on Metamoris.com.

Since launching last October, Metamoris has set itself apart with marquee names from the worlds of BJJ and MMA, and a competition system that focuses only on submissions. “Jiu Jitsu tournaments have devolved, especially at the elite level, to a game based on who can score points with a sweep or dominant position in the last few seconds of a match to win,” said Metamoris founder Ralek Gracie in a press release distributed today. “I founded Metamoris to create a tournament where submissions are the only goal, not points. With the introduction of judges, we will avoid draws. Someone in a fight is always sharper. And now, the fighter who controls the bout with technique, the fighter who shows more varied and frequent submission acquisition, will get his hand raised.”

Five more bouts have already been booked for the 6/9 lineup. They are…

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‘OneFC 8: Aoki vs. Boku’ Spoiler-Free Results + Videos: _______ Subs _______, _______’s Downward Spiral Continues


(Aoki vs. Boku, courtesy of Youtube user mike devro. Check it out before it gets taken down.)

______’s smothering grappling game was once again on display at OneFC 8, which transpired early this morning from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Looking to exact some revenge for his fallen friend/training partner, ______, who was defeated by ______ back at OneFC 6, ______ utterly dominated the 20-8 _____ en route to a second round submission via _____-_____ choke. With the win, ______ secured the OneFC lightweight title, which will fit nicely on his mantle alongside his DREAM strap.

In the night’s co-main event, a UFC and WEC veteran whose name sounds a lot like Block Arsen survived some dicey moments to secure a decision victory over renowned kickboxer _____ ___hoef. Featuring some truly impressive, albeit sparse exchanges in the first two rounds, ______ was able to brave the storm and use his patented ground-n-pound game to work over the Dutchman, who was clearly gassed by the time things hit the third round.

Now, onto ______. In the past five years, we have seen the career of the former _FC lightweight champion go from the staggering lows of a five-fight losing streak in the WEC (with 4 of those coming by stoppage), to a 2-0 win streak over a couple of cans in smaller promotions, to the current 3-4 stretch that concluded with a second round loss via, you guessed it, submission, in the One FC Bantamweight Grand Prix ___finals this morning. We can’t really say anything about _____ that we haven’t already said; he’s a great guy and a once great fighter who shouldn’t still be fighting but is for the simplest of motivations: money. It could be a lot worse, but it still breaks our hearts to see him continue to drift in the bowels of mediocrity.

A video of the ______/______ fight and the full list of results are after the jump. 

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