Popular Japanese MMA fighter Shinya Aoki recently turned down an offer to join the UFC, opting to stay with the Singapore-based promotion, OneFC. It shocked fans when he it made headlines in late November, but many want to know, why?
In an interview with Yahoo’s CageWriter, Aoki explained that he wanted to stay loyal to the company who’s taken care of him. “OneFC has taken care of me,” he said. “They’ve treated me well. I know the fighters there and I’m comfortable in OneFC. I think I have more to gain from fighting there.”
The 30-year-old is relatively unknown to U.S. fans, mostly because he’s almost exclusively fought in Asia. Following a four-fight win streak, the UFC came a knocking. Aoki, however, doesn’t have a desire to become more known to American fans, though he appreciates anyone who enjoys his fights.
“I’m happy that any fans from anywhere would watch me fight,” he said. “I’m honored that they are watching but it isn’t my goal to appeal to everybody.”
According to Wikipedia, Aoki has a 34-6 career MMA record overall. But, hasn’t fared as well when fighting in America, as he has done in Asia. In 2012, he lost to Bellator’s Eddie Alvarez by TKO, and in 2010 in a lopsided decision to Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce.
His next fight takes place on New Year’s Eve, taking on Toshikatsu Harada on the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013 card.