Shinya Aoki is one of the better lightweights in MMA. He doesn’t fight in the UFC or even Bellator, but he was a top lightweight for a long time and has an extensive resume of high quality wins over the course of his career. However, at thirty years of age, it looks like his career may be starting a new chapter.
Aoki took to Twitter to announce that he had successfully completed a trial weight cut to 145lbs, the limit for featherweights in MMA. With the tweet came a picture of the weight being made on a scale, as well as him saying “Hello featherweight class!!!”
With it looking like Aoki’s next fight will be at featherweight, a bunch of possibilities open up. Currently he is the lightweight champion of One FC, having won that title in April by submitting Kotetsu Boku in the second round at One FC 8 – Kings and Champions. One FC’s featherweight champion is Koji Oishi, and Tatsuya Kawajiri, now a featherweight, has also fought for the promotion.
Aoki is on a three fight win streak right now, finishing all of those fights by submission, though it should be noted that the win over Antonio McKee was via verbal submission from punches. His last loss came via the hands of Eddie Alvarez in April of 2012.