It appears you can add Dream lightweight champ Shinya Aoki to the ever expanding list of peeps growing tired of watching superior wrestlers take over mixed martial arts matches. The submission specialist claims USA MMA is slowly milking all the fun out of the world’s fastest growing sport, one boring unanimous decision at a time.
“The American wrestling style – punching a little bit, getting a takedown and moving to side control to win the round has no risk,” Aoki told MMAFighting.com. “It’s an easier fight. It’s just using the judges. They don’t even have to worry about injuries or anything like that. There is no risk.
“Japanese MMA is totally different. We go for knockouts and submissions from the beginning and going for the decision isn’t an option.”
While it’s not the most aesthetically appealing thing to witness, ground control has become increasingly important as this young sport continues to sprout. The UFC may have a new king sitting atop the 155-pound throne, but Aoki isn’t about to hop a plane to kiss his rings anytime soon.
“Would you like to see Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard? Do you think it would be interesting?” the controversial grappler asks.
No need to answer…
“Right! I’m a huge fan of the UFC, but I think that it hasn’t been very interesting lately. There are good fighters of course but not so many interesting fights,” he matter-of-factly stated. “They punch a little bit, then get a takedown and every round is just a repetition of that.”
If you aren’t a big fan of the reigning champ or his impending challenger, whose MMA game do you appreciate, Shinya?
“I am a big fan of aggressive fighters like BJ Penn, Joe Stevenson, Kenny Florian, Melvin Guillard and Nate Diaz … Everyone else is just wrestling and it’s not interesting at all,” Aoki said.
Florian didn’t appear too aggressive in his top contender showdown with Maynard last month at UFC 118. Then again, he wrestled his way to an uneventful – yet convincing – unanimous decision victory. So it clearly doesn’t count (in Aoki’s book).