Although he holds the ONE FC lightweight and DREAM lightweight belts, renowned veteran Shinya Aoki appears to heading to the featherweight division. The 30 year-old “Tobikan Judan” recently tweeted a picture of somebody’s feet (one would believe they were Aoki’s…) resting on a weight scale that read 65.8 kilograms. Yes, that works out to around 145 pounds. The picture was also accompanied by the statement “Hello featherweight class.”
ONE FC hasn’t made any recent announcement regarding Aoki, who captured the promotion’s lightweight championship in April by submitting Kotetsu Boku with a second round, rear-naked-choke. The victory was the feared grappler’s third straight, and the only man to defeat Aoki (33-6) in his last ten bouts is former Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez. During that stretch Aoki has defeated established vets like Antonio McKee, Satoru Kitaoka, Rich Clementi, Lyle Beerbohm and Tatsuya Kawajiri. The only other man to defeat Aoki since 2009 is former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez.
The reigning ONE FC featherweight champ is veteran Koiji Oshi, who KO’d Honorio Banario in May to become the promotion’s 145 pound champion.
Dropping to featherweight could be an interesting move for the 5’11 tall Aoki, who has long been one of the planet’s best lightweights, not to have stepped foot in the Octagon. He’s also one of the more fascinating personalities in MMA as well. Of course, it remains to be seen what Aoki’s plans are exactly, and whether he intends to defend his lightweight championships in the coming months.
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