Shinya Aoki says he’s been proving people wrong by showing he is far from done in his career

Shinya Aoki with arms raised after a fight
Shinya Aoki [Image credits: ONE Championship}

Shinya Aoki recently reflected on the evolution of his fighting in ONE Championship after reaching his tenth anniversary.

Aoki’s career is slowly coming to an end. ‘Tobikan Judan’ has spent the last decade of his career with ONE Championship and picked up several memorable wins.

The Japanese MMA legend appeared for an interview with the promotion to discuss his evolution over the last decade, and had this to say:

“To be honest, I’m not a rising star anymore. I still remember an interview in the circle after the fight, it was in 2018. I was losing three in a row in 2016 and 2017, and the interviewer told me 'people say Aoki is done.' For me, I thought it’s none of your business. Some people are so shallow that they can only see this sport in wins or losses. But I overcame that even after people said I’m done.”

‘Tobikan Judan’ lost two consecutive MMA fights and one grappling match in 2016/2017, which led to ONE Championship fans assuming his career was almost over. Aoki bounced back with four first-round finishes to silence the doubters, leading to an extended career that has reached ten years with ONE.

Watch a legendary Shinya Aoki moment below:

Shinya Aoki breaks Mizuto Hirota's arm and gives him the finger..... Video

Shinya Aoki says he will quit MMA when he’s not enjoying it anymore

After losing to Yoshihiro Akiyama in March, Shinya Aoki must prove that he can still be a top contender. The number five-ranked lightweight spoke with ONE Championship about still enjoying his MMA career:

“For now, it’s still really fun, and I’m enjoying this sport. And I can still see my future as well. At training, I feel my energy is not as much compared to when I was younger. The thing I was able to do multiple times in one training a few years ago, I can only do once now. So, every single training is really precious for me and so fun. I want to have fun because I cannot do so many times. If I cannot enjoy this, I will quit…”

ONE Championship has faith that Aoki is still a contender. The 39-year-old has been matched up against rising title contender Saygid Izagakhmaev for ONE 163. Regardless of the outcome, ‘Tobikan Judan’ seems content with how his MMA career has played out.

In the most notorious mixed rules bout, Japanese MMA royalty Shinya Aoki took on K-1's Cosplay King Yuichiro Nagashima at Dynamite!! 2010. Aoki did his best to waste away time in the Kickboxing round, but got finished just seconds into the MMA round.

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Edited by David Andrew
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