Shinya Aoki

At yesterday’s DREAM.11 post-fight press conference, Dream producer Keiichi Sasahara, announced that Shinya Aoki would defend his shiny new DREAM lightweight belt against Tatsuya Kawajiri on FEG’s NYE Dynamite card. Sasahara must have forgot to ask Aoki if he was cool with that first though, because Aoki didn’t sound too keen on fighting Kawajiri in his post-fight comments. Instead, he said he wants to fight BJ Penn.

“I don’t even want to say anything about (New Year’s Eve). I’ve been fighting one bout after another, so I’m exhausted. I was thinking this was my last fight. I just want to rest. After that, then maybe I can decide on something. I’d like to fight B.J. Penn.”

“I want to fight the best in the world, like B.J. Penn and Kenny Florian — strong guys like that,” he said. “I want to take them out and prove that Japanese are truly strong. I was told by someone that ‘you got the belt, now you’re number one in the world,’ but I don’t think so. Being top of the world isn’t something so trivial. If I could become like B.J. Penn, I could die (happy).”

This isn’t the first time Aoki has made such statements. It sounds great in theory, but unless Aoki is willing to completely sever his ties with DREAM for a year or so, which he hasn’t given any indication of doing, it’s never going to happen, so why do you keep bringing it up, Aoki? No one likes the guy who isn’t willing to put his money where his mouth is.