Written by admin
Saturday, October 19th, 2013
Shinya Aoki emerged victorious from his first fight at featherweight Friday evening before a packed Singapore Indoor Stadium audience.
Aoki suffered a violent low-blow just minutes into the first round which set the stage for the fight. Shifting from his typical aggressive nature, the blow kept the champion in pain for the entire fight. However, Shinya continued on.
Just as he was able to continue, and somewhat proceed with the pain from the low blow, Aoki was struck in the back of the spine by Stephens, which penalized the American and again set Aoki back. Aoki continued to dominate the clinch and ground game, proving that the loss of strength due to the drop to 145-lbs was not a factor.
As with all new endeavors, Aoki’s foray into the 145-lb mix will likely prove to be a successful one. Aoki was extremely undersized at 155, with the likes of fighters such as Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler far outweighing him. Fighting on sheer skill and ability, Aoki – like Frankie Edgar – was able to make an extremely successful career at lightweight and even crept up to welterweight a time or two.
The win will likely set the stage for a higher profile fight that could see Aoki either defend his lightweight title or possibly compete for the featherweight title.. A fight with newly crowned champion Bibiano Fernandes is likely still down the road at some point.