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Shinya Aoki: 'I think I am the better fighter and capable of beating' UFC lightweights


Props: DREAM Channel


"I am not concerned about my opponent. It does not matter who I face -- as long as I let my style shine and fully express myself in the ring, everything will be fine. Yes, I want a belt. Actually, let me rephrase that: I just want to win and do not want to lose. For every fight, it simply boils down to my wanting to win, or rather, my dogged determination to win. The belt will follow my victory, so I am focused solely on winning and do not allow myself to be distracted by belt or all the other frivolous stuff.... I am interested in fighting in a cage since a lot of the major promotions hold their fights in the cage nowadays. I am aware that some people raise the question about my viability in the cage -- it upsets me whenever I hear them say that I will not succeed fighting in the cage under a different set of rules. I think I will not be beaten by anyone. It is often said that UFC is the pre-eminent force in the MMA world with the best fighters and BJ Penn is number one: (Raising his voice) It does not anger me, but it makes me want to challenge the assertion. I acknowledge their major league status, financial power, the caliber of their fighters, but I do not consider them the number one. I think I am the better fighter and capable of beating their fighters... so yeah, regardless of the opponent, I cannot afford to lose."

Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard Shiny Aoki is reluctant to elaborate on his impression of his upcoming opponent, DREAM Lightweight Champion Joachim Hansen, at DREAM 11 on Oct. 6. Aoki, however, is not as shy when it comes to talking about caged competition in the west. He acknowledges the UFC is a major force in the MMA world; however, he sounds rather irate with the constant trumpeting of its number one status. He states that he would love to challenge the fighters in UFC and implicitly harbors a "me against them" mentality. He certainly has his work cut out for him against "Hell Boy" on Tuesday night, but is it possible that "Tobikan Judan" could someday take on top fighters outside "The Land of the Rising Sun" such as Penn in the future, and if so, is he well rounded enough to win? Thoughts, please. Share them below.

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