MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Shinya Aoki

DREAM 15 Aftermath: Aoki, Mousasi Go Back To Japan, Where the Competition is a Little Easier


(VidProps: YouTube/evilbyte)

Give the DREAM bosses some credit, these guys sure know how to build suspense into what otherwise might be a fairly straightforward and pleasing night of MMA fights. As it turned out, there was no surprise run-in from Alistair Overeem and the Japanese promotion with the fly-by-the-seat-of-its pants matchmaking style never found a fight for Ricco Rodriguez. We hope it paid for the flight and the sushi, at least.  On the bright side, DREAM finally did manage to convince Gegard Mousasi to put in the 31 seconds of work it took to defeat an overweight Jake O’Brien and Shinya Aoki likewise bounced back from an embarrassing loss in Strikeforce a few months ago to put a quick and typically stoic beating on Tatsuya Kawajiri.

Like “Sweet and Sassy,” Aoki called it an early night, withstanding some heel kicks to the face as he locked up an Achilles lock that secured the tap and appeared to damage his Kawajiri’s leg in just one minute, 53 seconds. A couple of days after possibly declaring his bi-sexuality at the event’s weigh-in (we assume he was being ironical), Aoki ditched his trademark colorful tights for relatively conservative board shorts and rushed from the ring following his win to get some lovin’ from his (possibly female) fiancé.

After the jump, O’Brien vs. Mousasi, where it will take you all of the first 15 seconds to see why the American had a little trouble making weight …

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MMA FightPicker Update: DREAM.15 Pools Open for Pickin’

Arianny Celeste Shinya Aoki
(That little son-of-a-bitch is at it again… / ‘Shop courtesy of urdirt)

Alistair Overeem won’t be beating anybody up, but this Saturday’s DREAM event — which will be broadcast live on HDNet at 3 a.m. ET / midnight PT — will still be good for some late-night thrills, so set those DVRs, kiddies. In the main event, Shinya Aoki defends his DREAM lightweight belt (and attempts to bounce back from his humiliation in Strikeforce) against fellow Japanese mainstay Tatsuya "Crusher" Kawajiri, who’s on a four-fight win streak and hasn’t been submitted in five years. Also on the card, Gegard Mousasi and Melvin Manhoef headline that kinda-pointless mini-LHWGP, Mitushiro Ishida makes his featherweight debut against Daiki Hata, Michihiro Omigawa gets fed a can, and Gesias Cavalcante looks for his first win in three years against Katsunori Kikuno. If you’d like to make it interesting, head over to fightpicker.cagepotato.com (or apps.facebook.com/fightpicker) to make your predictions. This week’s pool-questions are…

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DREAM.15 to Feature Overeem vs. Rodriguez, Mousasi vs. O’Brien

Ricco Rodriguez fat MMARicco Rogriguez thin weight loss
(Ricco Rodriguez: From flab to fab.)

Two months after his beatdown of Brett Rogers at Heavy Artillery, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will return to competition at DREAM.15 (July 10th, Saitama), where he’ll take on former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez in a non-title bout. While that may sound like Alistair is getting back to his Japanese squash-match roots, keep in mind that Rodriguez is on a seven-fight win streak since last July (six of which came by stoppage), including victories over veterans Travis Fulton and Moise Rimbon. He also looks a lot better physically these days (see above), and competed in the 218-pound division at last year’s ADCCs.

Can Rodriguez use Overeem as a springboard to a career rebirth? No, probably not — but he could impress a lot of people just by giving Overeem a tough fight and not spitting on anybody. In a related story, Ricco is no longer listed for that 7/18 Impact FC fight against Jeff Monson, which is unfortunate because you can bet that Paulo Filho and Ken Shamrock will be dropping out at the last minute…

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Strikeforce: Nashville — Live Results and Commentary, Y’all

Gegard Mousasi King Mo Muhammed Lawal Strikeforce Nashville weigh in photos
("You believe this guy? No towel between his head and hat. I will never understand some people as long as I live." Photo courtesy of the Strikeforce Weigh In Pics gallery on CombatLifestyle.com.)

A note before we get started: The CBS broadcast of tonight’s Strikeforce event may not be live in all areas, so please check your local listings before you run headlong into spoilerville. Now then, we’ve got a short but sweet lineup of fights in store for us, with three titles on the line: Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez defends his belt against invading DREAM champ Shinya Aoki, Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal attempts to steal the crown from reigning light-heavyweight ruler Gegard Mousasi, and middleweight champ Jake Shields faces off against PRIDE/UFC legend Dan Henderson in the biggest fight of his career. Live Strikeforce: Nashville results await you after the jump, beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for round-by-round updates and the usual jokes about Frank Shamrock’s braces and Stephen Quadros’s clown-makeup. 

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Friday Link Dump


(King Mo tries, unsuccessfully, to get Mousasi to do something interesting.)

– Strikeforce: Nashville weigh-in results. (Heavy)

– Kurt Pellegrino’s guide to getting autographs from fighters. (UFC.com)

– Dana White, BJ Penn at odds over new book. (The Rumble)

– War Machine not fighting this weekend, and the promoter is pissed. (TMZ)

– Mousasi re-signs two-year deal with Strikeforce. (Sherdog)

– Ben Askren’s funky finish. (Fight Magazine)

– The first pictures of Shinya Aoki in EA Sports MMA. (Middle Easy)

– Shields ready to let his fighting do the talking. (Cagewriter)

– 10 fighters who could drop a weight class. (Bleacher Report)

– Phillies fan makes a great catch. (Total Pro Sports)

– 5 favorite GIFs for a Friday afternoon. (Maxim)

– Police officer in Roethlisberger case resigns. (Scores Report)

– Church erects Jesus painting with foot-tall penis. (Asylum)

– A detective film at its finest. (Ask Men)

– 25 insane book covers. (Holy Taco)

– 10 films begging for a sequel. (Screen Junkies)

– 6 literary heroes you should know. (Made Man)

– Samsung 500 odds. (All Left Turns)

– Crazy opening day fight at Dodgers-Marlins game. (Nothing Toxic)

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MMA FightPicker Head-to-Head: Strikeforce – Nashville Edition

Tango & Cash. Pancho & Lefty. Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA. All great duos, and yet none can last forever. So it is with Cage Potato’s own Ben & Ben. But before we break up the team for good, we’re getting together one last time to go head-to-head on Strikeforce: Nashville picks in this week’s MMA FightPicker (Heavy Hitter Pool 10 #1517, stand up!). If you haven’t made your picks yet, get to it. Time waits for no man, and neither does the UFC/Pride prize pack.

Henderson vs. Shields @ Strikeforce: Nashville…
BG: I don’t think he’ll run away with it, but Dan Henderson clearly holds more advantages in this matchup and should be able to take the victory. Hendo has serious knockout power, and unlike Shields’s past opponents, he won’t be manhandled on the ground.
BF: Agreed. Shields isn’t going to submit him and definitely can’t hold him down for five rounds. It’s a bad, bad matchup for him.

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This Is Why Shinya Aoki and American MMA Need Each Other

Shinya Aoki
(There’s a reason the Japanese version of The Fonz was never as popular.)

Because of his limited English skills and the general lack of western media access to him, we don’t get to hear from Shinya Aoki in his own words all that often. As a recent interview with Japan’s Gong Magazine (then translated for Fighter’s Only) confirms, that’s a damn shame. Aoki more or less refused to get bogged down in the normal/boring technical discussion about how his style matches up with Gilbert Melendez’s, and instead cut right to what he feels the stakes are in this bout:

“Japan’s best comes to USA. This is amazing…my technical side is evidenced by my long career. It is the same as my old fights so it does not need to be discussed. Instead, the most important point is this: ‘If Aoki loses, it is over for Japan’
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Threat of the Day: Watch Your Arm, Gilbert

Shinya Aoki Mizuto Hirota arm break Dynamite!! MMA
(Sure, you’ll save a few bucks going to an unlicensed chiropractor, but you wind up paying for it in other ways.)

From a new report on MMA Junkie:

Shinya Aoki is not sorry he broke Mizuto Hirota’s arm this past New Year’s Eve, nor is he sorry about his actions afterward. Aoki (23-4 MMA, 0-0 SF) caught Hirota’s right arm in a ghastly hammerlock in the first round of their "Dynamite!! 2009" bout and cranked until the limb visibly – and audibly – broke. As Hirota grimaced in pain on the mat, Aoki stood overhead and flipped the bird at his opponent. And though he faced a wave of condemnation that included his dismissal from a teaching position at the gym in which he belongs, Aoki has no regrets.

"No (I don’t) because it happened during the fight," Aoki told MMAjunkie.com through his translator during a media day promoting his upcoming fight with Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (17-2 MMA, 7-1 SF) at Strikeforce: Nashville…"Sometime in the future, it may happen," Aoki said. "I can’t deny that it will happen again."

Of course, it had already happened twice before during Aoki’s combat career: When he snapped Keith Wisniewski’s arm in Shooto, and when he dislocated Kuniyoshi Hironaka’s arm in a grappling match. The man is very disrespectful towards arms, basically, and he refuses to feel bad about it. Of course, what really got Aoki in hot water after the Hirota fight was his Stockton-style celebration, which I can’t really see him doing in the U.S. against a guy he has no personal history with. But the bottom line is this: Don’t be a hero, Gilbert. If Aoki has your arm, just tap, unless you want to spend the rest of the year in recovery. Aoki’s already pissed off about the shorts situation. But for a Strikeforce championship belt? Dios mio, he gonna carve you up real nice.

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Photo of the Day: Shinya Aoki Misses His Tights


(Photo courtesy of Esther Lin at AllElbows.com)

Sometimes in life we must give up that which we love in order to pursue our dreams. It isn’t easy, and often it rips out some part of our soul, but we suck it up and do it anyway because that’s how badly we want to prove that the top of the MMA world is Japan. Just look at Shinya Aoki up there, stripped of his magic tights and forced to wear shorts like some narcissistic American surfer. Imagine the shame his family must feel. The utter disgrace. And yet, this is what the man is willing to go through to fight Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce next Saturday. That’s called sacrifice, people.

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Three Title Fights Slated for April Strikeforce Show; Overeem vs. Rogers Likely for May

Gegard Mousasi Sokoudjou Strikeforce
King Mo Strikeforce energy drink

While the date of Fedor Emelianenko‘s return is still uncertain, Strikeforce is moving ahead with plans for a monster CBS card in Nashville on April 17th, which is expected to feature three title fights. Along with the headlining middleweight title scrap between Dan Henderson and Jake Shields, MMA Weekly has reported that Gegard Mousasi will defend his light-heavyweight belt against top contender Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. Mousasi, who is riding a 15-fight win streak, hasn’t officially defended his Strikeforce strap since winning it from Renato Sobral last August, but has scored wins over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (in a Strikeforce non-title fight) and Gary Goodridge (in a Dynamite!! 2009 squash match) since then. King Mo is 6-0 in his relatively short MMA career, and wrecked Mike Whitehead at his Strikeforce debut in December, but is facing a massive leap in competition against the Young Vagabond.

Also on the Shields vs. Henderson card, a lightweight title fight between Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez and DREAM champ Shinya Aoki has been booked, according to Sherdog; Aoki’s title will not be on the line. Melendez recently regained the Strikeforce belt in a rematch against Josh Thomson. Aoki became DREAM’s lightweight champ by submitting Joachim Hansen last October, then followed up that performance by breaking Mizuto Hirota’s arm.

Meanwhile, in the heavyweight division…

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