Shinya Aoki Drop kicks His Way to Getting Dropped

| December 31, 2010 | 11:22 am | Reply

With K-1 Veteran Yuichiro Nagashima’s emphatic second round knockout of Lightweight grappling phenomenon Shinya Aoki, it seems the grappling-dominated stigma within MMA shifted a tad at Dynamite! 2010, FEG’s latest installment in their annual New Year’s Eve show.

Under modified rules (which included a round of Kickboxing, a round of Mixed Martial Arts, and a round of Grappling), The question was whether or not Aoki could survive the first five minutes in which Nagashima was given the clear advantage. After that, when the grappling ace was permitted to take Nagashima down, it was perceived that it would be an easy night and another flashy submission by Aoki. Surviving five minutes with a vastly experienced striker is no short order, though.

In usual fashion, Aoki found a cunning way to seemingly ensure his success: exploit the rules. Aoki resorted to constant drop kicks, which ate up time in the 5 minute round, and even using illegal rope grabs, takedowns and clinches. He was not deducted a point, and given multiple warnings for around a dozen offenses. Nagashima looked rightfully frustrated, as his time to dominate dwindled away.

The second round, the Mixed Martial Arts round, began and ended all too quickly. Aoki finally took a legal shot with oblivious confidence and ate a perfectly timed, brutal knee to the jaw. After rolling over dazed, he took some more punishment in the split second before the fight was stopped at 4:56 of the second round. This was Aoki’s first knockout loss since his 2009 Welterweight bout with Hayato Sakurai.

Nagashima had a look of amazement that stuck with him during his time to addressing the crowd. Aoki was not quick to get up in the slightest, and required a small army to get him to his senses. This was a “Freak Show Fight”, if you will, and may not have much impact on the overall view of Aoki’s ability, but it will definitely be harder for him to campaign for a rematch with Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez.

Nagashima, on the other hand, definitely has some bragging rights, as Aoki is regarded as a top-three ranked lightweight, and the very fact that it was in a theoretically even (though Aoki had the clear edge) round sanctioned by the rules puts an exclamation on his victory. There is no reason to expect him to make a serious run at MMA and disregard his mild success in K-1, but he can rightfully claim one of the biggest upsets in modern MMA.

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Category: Dream, MMA, Opinion

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