Jake Shields questions Shinya Aoki’s warrior spirit
EliteXC is having a tough time finding legitimate talent for Jake Shields to defend his welterweight title against.
The problem is that Jake Shields is one of the most talented welterweights in the world, and fights outside of the organization that contains the rest of the legitimate welterweight talent. The UFC employs a good 80-85% of the most talented welterweights in mixed martial arts, and Shields fights for EliteXC.
It appears that EliteXC reached out to Japanese submission sensation Shinya Aoki, but apparently Aoki refused the fight. Jake Shields didn’t seem thrilled, and have the following to say:
â€œI guess they [EliteXC] were trying to get Aoki, but heâ€™s got no bushido,â€ Shields said. â€œI donâ€™t think Aoki wants to fight me. Heâ€™s got no warrior spirit. Heâ€™s from Japan, whoâ€™d have thought?â€
I can’t really say I blame Aoki, though. Shinya Aoki is hands down one of the best submission fighters in the game today. He has gogoplata, inverted gogplata, and flying triangle submission victories to his credit. I don’t think any other MMA fighter can say that. I didn’t even know an inverted gogoplata existed until I saw him choke out Katsuhiko Nagata.
That being said, Aoki fights at 155lbs and Shields is 170lbs. I don’t even know if Aoki has to cut much weight to get to 155lbs. Aoki’s stand up is not very good. He jumps guard a lot because he can submit you six ways from Sunday. In Japan, there are no elbows to a downed opponent, so MMA fighters have more of a chance to work submissions. When you don’t have to worry about blocking those pesky elbows, you can do a lot as far as submissions are concerned. I prefer those rules because I don’t like when a fight is ended by cut, which happens a lot in the US. Elbows inflicted on a downed opponent more often lead to fight ending lacerations rather then knockouts. If Aoki jumps guard in the US, he is going to get slammed to the canvas and eat a bunch of elbows and hammer fists for his efforts.
Can’t really say I blame the guy for not taking the fight. When you weigh in all the factors, it doesn’t make any sense at all.