According to reports today former DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki has signed for the ONE FC promotion.
Aoki has long been seen as one of the most notable lightweights outside of the UFC as well as being one of the most compelling Japanese fighters competing today which makes him a good fit for a burgeoning Asian promotion like ONE FC.
The blot on his copy book is that he’s struggled to match his impressive form in his native Japan when competing overseas. In 2010 he faced Gilbert Melendez in the Strikeforce cage and was comprehensively beaten over five rounds, while in April of this year Eddie Alvarez TKO’d him in the first round of a Bellator event.
That’s more than likely why one of those promotions, or indeed the UFC haven’t made a more aggressive push to sign him, though it should be noted that beyond those two losses Aoki has won his last 10 fights and is a very respectable 30-6 (1nc) for his career overall.
He’ll certainly be a marketable star for ONE FC though and they now intend to put him to work as soon as possible at their next event which takes place in the Philippines on August 31st.