Props: Gong Magazine (via Fighter's Only)
"Japan’s best comes to USA. This is amazing ... my technical side is evidenced by my long career. It is the same as my old fights so it does not need to be discussed. Instead, the most important point is this: ‘If Aoki loses, it is over for Japan. I love Japan and it is certain that if I lose, Japan will become a colony of US MMA. Some [fans] say that USA's MMA is the best but I do not worship U.S. MMA so this is big war to me, just like my fight against [Sengoku champion] Hirota [on New Year’s Eve]. Yes, this is a high risk, high return proposition. If I get the return, I give it to DREAM because I am a son of DREAM. The same as in the New Year's Eve fight I am thinking ‘OK, I kill you!' ... I can risk my life if needs be. I am a warrior.... I am really serious about MMA. So I do not talk about technique now, because this fight is not about technique but about instinct and heart! One tough guy will stand, another tough guy will fall. Everyone, look upon this scene."
DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki talks about defending his legacy, his country, his promotion and of course, his right to wear pants when he fights. "The Tobikan Judan" is hoping to follow up his bone-crunching win over Mizuto Hirota at FieLDS Dynamite!! 2009 with a big victory over Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez at "Saturday Night Fights" on April 17 in Nashville. If Aoki falls, does Japanese MMA fall with him? Or will "El Nino" be tapping before that ever comes to be?