After his victory over Joachim Hansen at DREAM 11 yesterday Japanese star Shinya Aoki wasted no time in sizing up future opponents.
Speaking to sherdog.com the fighter said “I want to fight the best in the world, like B.J. Penn and Kenny Florian — strong guys like that.” He continued, “I want to take them out and prove that Japanese are truly strong.”
The black belt in brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo would certainly be an interesting addition to the UFC’s lightweight division, though there are doubts whether he would match up well with the UFC’s top level competition.
His striking is a weak point and there are bigger, stronger opponents in the division who would cause the fighter significant problems. In 27 career fights to date Aoki (22-4-0-1) has also yet to fight outside his home soil and is unfamiliar with fighting in a cage.
Despite that the 26 year old remains confident. Speaking earlier in the week at the DREAM pre-fight press conference he stated:
“I acknowledge their major league status, financial power, the caliber of their fighters, but I do not consider them the number one. I think I am the better fighter and capable of beating their fighters…”