One of the best lightweights outside the UFC has likely turned a few heads today throughout MMA, as Shinya Aoki is reporting that he’s made a successful cut to featherweight. The ONE FC and DREAM lightweight champ has tweeted a picture of two feet sitting on a scale that reads 65.8 kilograms (that’s approximately 145 pounds), as well as “Hello!!!! Featherweight Class!!!!”.
Aoki just laid claim to the ONE FC belt in April by submitting Kotetsu Boku in the second round with a rear-naked-choke. The victory was the “Tobikan Judokan’s” third in a row, since he was stopped by Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 66 last April. The only other man to defeat the BJJ and Judo black belt since 2009, and in 15 fights, is former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez.
During that run the 30 year-old vet has defeated established vets like Rich Clementi, Lyle Beerbohm, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Mizuto Hirota, Antonio McKee and Saturo Kitaoka. So, if you’ve never watched Mr. Aoki compete, you’ve deprived yourself from watching one of the sport’s most feared grapplers and more interesting personalities.
ONE FC hasn’t made any announcement recently regarding Aoki or his next bout, so it will be interesting to see whether he plans to defend his lightweight belt. At 5’11, Aoki could be a pretty formidable force at 145.
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