Shinya Aoki - Professional MMA World Champion

Shinya Aoki - Professional MMA World Champion

1. Shinya Aoki's Details

Name Shinya Aoki
Pro MMA Record 47-10-0
Nickname The Baka Survivor, Tobikan Judan
Date of Birth November 17, 1985
Nationality Brazilian
Born Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Height 6’2 ft
Weight 77 Kg
Stance Wrestling
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Shoot Fighting
Last fight N/A
Weight Class Light Weight
Rank 3rd Degree Black Belt in Judo
Career Disclosed Earnings  $133,638 USD
Fought out of Tanjong Katong, Singapore
College/University Waseda University
Trainer/Coach Yuki Nakari
Chatri Sityodtong
Team Team Roken
Evolve MMA
Nippon Top Team
Shooto Gym
Foundation Style Omoplata/ Heel Hook/ Southpaw
Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie Sr. -> Carlos Gracie Junior -> Yuki Nakai -> Shinya Aoki
 Tweeter Logo Instagram Logo

2. Shinya Aoki's Biography

Shinya Aoki, born on May 9th,1983 in Shizuoka, Japan, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Yuki Nakai, amazing judo and mixed martial artist. He is one of the most famous grapplers to have ever competed in MMA. Shinya has won tremendous victories and championship titles with DREAM, WAMMA, and Shooto. He is currently ranked Number 2 in the ONE lightweight rankings. He is widely recognized as the #1 pound-for-pound MMA fighter in Asia.

Shinya Aoki is still constantly training and spends a lot of time at Evolve in Singapore.

2.1. Shinya Aoki's Early life and Amateur Fighting

How did he start?

Shinya began training in judo while still in high school in Shizuoka. The type of judo practiced at Aoki's school was more a Kosen Judo style, which focused on ground control and submissions. After graduating from high school, Shinya began training professionally. He continued his judo training at Waseda University, where he made significant progress and competed in competitions.

Grappling Career

Since his eagerness to grapple and go for submissions was against judo's strict rules and restrictions, Shinya developed an interest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, and mixed martial arts (MMA) instead. He joined the Paraestra Gym, where he began his training under Yuki Nakai to further strengthen his grappling abilities.

Shinya Aoki's aggressiveness was an asset to his grappling game, and it was evident in the Reversal Cup in 2004 when Shinya dislocated his opponent's (Hironaka's) arm with a submission. Shinya's rapid progress in the grappling and mixed martial arts divisions earned him a position as an assistant trainer at the Paraestra Gym.

Shinya Aoki’s MMA Early Career

Shinya joined the Police Academy in March 2006 after graduating from university. Unfortunately for the sport of mixed martial arts, the strict discipline of the Japanese Police Force meant that Shinya would never likely compete again or, at the very least, it would be a long time before he could start again.

Photographs of Shinya practicing MMA at the TWIST gym went viral in an online blog after he had spent two months studying to become a law enforcement officer.

After a few weeks of conjecture, news spread that Sinya might be returning, leading Shinya to write on his blog, 

“‘Back already?’ Since April, I have learned how crucial it is for me to live my life as a mixed martial artist after getting a taste of it in the real world.”

Shortly after, he secured a lucrative contract with Pride FC, one of the world's largest and most successful MMA companies. Shinya's fast-paced and submission-focused fighting style earned him a vast group of followers as a result of the event's huge coverage, soon rising in status as one of the world's top lightweight MMA fighters.

3.1. Shinya Aoki's Historic Fights

PRIDE Fighting Championships Debut

Shinya Aoki vs. Jason Black

During Pride Bushido 12, Shinya defeated American fighter Jason Black with a triangle choke in under two minutes, marking Shinya’s first professional victory and his PRIDE Fighting Championships debut.

Shinya Aoki vs. Gilbert Melendez Withdraw

Shinya Aoki vs. Clay French

Shinya’s next opponent went by the name of Clay French. Using a triangle choke, Shinya was able to subdue Clay in just under four minutes. Later in the evening, Melendez was shown among the crowd with his arm slung across his shoulder, stating that he would like to face Shinya at Pride Shockwave 2006 on New Year’s Eve. Shinya accepted the challenge.

The fight scheduled with Melendez did not take place for reasons that are still unknown.

Shinya Aoki Multiple Consecutive Victories

Soon after, Shinya faced a highly ranked lightweight fighter named Joachim Hansen, who he defeated by unanimous decision. Shinya finished Hansen with gogoplata, which was the second time the style had been used successfully in an MMA competition.

Following his victory over Hansen, Shinya was scheduled to face Kikuchi in Shooto for the Shooto Welterweight Title, which Aoki had won from Kikuchi. Shinya was successful in his championship defense against Kikuchi, winning by a narrow margin of one vote.

Upon his victory, Shinya declared that he will be representing Shooto in the upcoming Pride Lightweight Grand Prix event in Japan.

Shinya fought at Pride 34 where he faced a Dutch fighter Brian Lo-A-Njoe. Lo-A-Njoe was subdued by an armbar in the open round of the event. Shinya once again confirmed his inclusion in the Lightweight Grand Prix but due to Zuffa LLC’s takeover of the Pride by the majority of its owners, the PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix was canceled. 

Shinya Aoki vs. Calvan Cavalcante Withdraw

In November 2007, it was revealed that Shinya will be appearing on the New Year’s Eve MMA Card Yarennoke. Gesias “JZ Calvan” Cavalcante, a two-time K-1, Hero’s Middleweight Grand Prix Champion, was set to face Shinya in the main event. Two weeks before the fight, rumors arose that Cavalcante was injured. Cavalcante denied the rumors but soon before the fight, Calcavante admitted his injury and withdrew from the fight.

Cavalcante was replaced with a Korean Olympic judo silver medalist Jung Bu-Kyung. Shinya defeated him via unanimous decision. Despite promising to use a previously unseen submission technique in the encounter, Aoki was unable to complete the victory against the debuting fighter.

Dream - Mixed Martial Arts Promotions

Following Zuffa LLC’s takeover of Pride, the majority of Japanese fighters signed with newly formed Mixed Martial arts promotions, with Shinya signing with Dream Promotions

Shinya Aoki vs. Calvan Cavalcante Replay

In March 2008, Shniya finally met Cavalcante in person for the first time, fighting in the opening round of the Dream 1: Lightweight Grand Prix tournament. Cavalcante used illegal elbow attacks to strike the rear of Aoki's neck, resulting in the referee stopping the fight early in the first round.

In response to the injury, the frontline doctor indicated that Shinya would be unable to continue and Cavalcante expressed regret for his actions. Following Dream regulations, elbow strikes to the neck and spine were prohibited. The bout ended in a draw as a result of a no contest. Later, it was confirmed that Shinya had suffered a concussion on the cervical vertebrae.

They had a rematch in April 2008 at Dream 2. Shinya won by unanimous decision over Cavalcante. He sustained a severely damaged rib and tore cartilage in his coastal area.

Shinya Aoki vs. Katchuhiko Nagat

At Dream 4, Shinya won over Katchuhiko Nagat using a mounted gogoplata submission to reach the semi-finals of the Dream Lightweight Grand Prix Tournament.

Shinya Aoki vs. Caol Uno and Joachim Hanen

At Dream 5, Shinya won the match against Caol Uno by a unanimous decision.

The same night, Shinya was set to fight Eddie Alvarez but his opponent had to withdraw due to an injury he sustained in the last match. Eddie Alvarez was replaced with Joachim Hanen and beat Shinya by TKO in the first round.

3.2. WAMMA Lightweight Championship

Shinya Aoki vs Eddie Alvarez

On New Year’s Eve, Shinya finally faced off against Eddie Alvarez for the WAMMA Lightweight Championship, which he won by unanimous decision. While Alvarez was able to secure his back after landing a kick, Aoki was forced to the canvas by the larger and more powerful American. While everyone was scrambling, Aoki hooked onto the bottom of Alvarez's foot and executed a heel hook. Alvarez attempted to resist the hold, but he was forced to submit as Aoki shifted his grip. He also sustained a ligament injury in his left knee.

Shinya Aoki vs David Gardner

In March 2009, Shinya defeated David Gardner at the Dream 7 Featherweight Grand Prix at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

This bout is remembered for Gardner yelling to the audience as Shinya was dominating from his back, “Hello, Japan!” As a result, Shinya was able to secure a rear-naked choke from that position.

Shinya Aoki vs Hayato Sakurai

In May 2009, Shinya was well known by Shooto as its Welterweight (168 pounds) Champion at the time and went back to fight in Dream’s Welterweight Grand Prix at Dream 8.

His first bout in the tournament was a rematch with Hayato Sakurai. In the first 27 seconds, Shinya lost the fight via TKO, Sakurai utilizing a reversal in response to a slam by Shinya, resulting in Shinya losing the fight via TKO.

Shinya Aoki vs Vitor Ribeiro

In 2009, at Dream 10, Shinya won against Vitor Ribeiro, granting him a chance at a title fight against Joachim Hansen.

Shinya Aoki vs. Joachim Hanen Rematch

In the rematch for the Dream Lightweight Championship 2009 at Dream 11, Shinya faced Joachim Hansen. Shinya became the new Dream Lightweight Champion after defeating Hansen in round 2 via submission.

Shinya Aoki vs. Mizuto Hirota

In December 2009, it was announced that Shinya will not be fighting against Tatsuya but against Mizuto Hirota, the Sengoku Lightweight Champion. The fight between both fighters was considered the match of the night as Shinya defeated Hirota with a brutal hammerlock (submission) that broke Hirota’s arm in round 1.

Strikeforce Lightweight Championship

In April 2010, at Strikeforce, Nashville, Shinya lost his U.S. debut against Gilbert Melendez (the Strikeforce Lightweight Champion at the time).

At Dream 15, in July 2010, Shinya successfully achieved his Lightweight Title against Tatsuya Kawajiri via an Achilles lock submission in just two minutes of round 1.

ONE Fighting Championship

In June 2011, Shinya Aoki signed a contract with ONE Championship. At ONE Fighting Championship: Pride of Nation in Manila, he would be making his first debut. Shinya fought against Arnaud Lepont in a lightweight super fight in the main event, Rise of Kings. He defeated Lepont via triangle choke in round 1.

In April 2013, Shinya faced Kotetsu Boku at Kings and Champions for the Lightweight Championship. He announced that he will step down from the Featherweight Division after the fight. Shinya won against Zorobabel Moreira via rear-naked choke in the second round.

In October 2018, Shinya made his featherweight debut at ONE FC: Total Domination when he fought against Cody Stevens and won via unanimous decision.

Returning to the Lightweight Division, Shinya achieved a victory in the Inoki-Bom-Ba-Ye promotion. In round 1 at ONE FC: Reign of Champions, Shinya defended his Lightweight Champion Title against Kamal Shalorus and again at ONE Championship 28: Warrior’s Quest in 2015 against Koji Ando.

  • In November 2016, to defend his title for the third time, Shinya fought against Eduard Folayang. He lost the fight via TKO.
  • In November 2017, Shinya battled against Ben Askren and lost the bout via TKO in the first round.

  • In October 2018, Shinya fought for ONE Championship: Kingdom of Heroes against Ev Ting and won via arm triangle.

  • In 2019, the previous victory secured him matches against Eduard Folayang and Amir Khan in a promotional event in Tokyo.

  • In September 2020, at Road to One 3, Shinya battled against Kimihiro Eto and won the bout via unanimous decision.

  • In January 2021, at ONE Championship: Unbreakable, he fought against former LFA Welterweight Champion James Nakashima and won via submission in round 1.

  • In March 2022, at ONE Championship X, Shinya faced Yoshihiro Akiyama. Shinya lost the bout via TKO in round 2.

3.3. Shinya’s Controversial Fight

Shinya Aoki against Yoshihiro Akiyama

Shinya has publicly called out “Sexyama” multiple times in recent years, causing some tension between the two fighters.

In March 2022, Shinya Aoki and Yoshihiro Akiyama aka “Sexyama” fought in a lightweight battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, at ONE X: Grand Finale. Yoshihiro defeated the legendary grappler via TKO in round 2 of their battle.

3.4. Shinya Aoki’s Controversies

Shinya Aoki has received plenty of criticism from the MMA community for his unethical and disrespectful winnings, for causing needless injuries, and for his lack of empathy for his opponents.

Shinya was heavily criticized for breaking the arm of Keith Wisniewski by waki-gatame and repeating the same with Kuniyoshi Hironaka by flying armbar.

In 2009, Shinya won by breaking Mizuto Hirota’s arm brutally and giving the middle finger to the crowd and the opponent. He later apologized for it as many trainers from the MMA background found it offensive.

3.5. Shinya Aoki's Championships and Accomplishments 

Submission Grappling

  • ADDC Japan Winner
  • Deep X Superfight Champion
  • Shooto Grappling Champion
  • Dumau/Kansai Cup Champion
  • All Japan Jiu-jitsu Champion
  • Rickson Gracie’s Budo Champion
  • Rickson Gracie Invitational Champion

Mixed Martial Arts(MMA)

  • DEEP West Chofu Winner
  • DREAM Lightweight Champion
  • ONE Lightweight Champion
  • Shooto Middleweight Champion
  • WAMMA Lightweight Champion
  • 2x MMA Submission of the Year
  • Grappler of the decade
  • MMA Lightweight Champion
  • Six Title Defenses

Professional Wrestling

  • 3x DDT Extreme Champion
  • 3x Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion
  • 1x KO-D 8-Man Tag Team Champion

4. Shinya Aoki's Main Achievements

Year Event Position/Achievement 
2007 Deep X Superfight Champion
2006 Budo Challenge Champion
2006 Shooto Grappling Champion
2005 Damau/Kansai Cup Champion
2005 ADCC Japan Trial Champion
2004 Reversal Cup Champion
2004 All Japan Champion

5. Shinya Aoki's Main Achievements

Year Event Belt/Weight Position/Achievement
2005 All Japan Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Champion
2004 All Japan Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt Champion

6. Shinya Aoki's Professional Record Breakdown

6.1. Mixed Martial Arts Record

Professional Record Breakdown
58 Matches 47 Wins 10 Losses
By Submission 31 0
By Knockout 3 8
By Decision 11 2
By Advantages 0 0
Other 0 0
By OT 0 0
By DQ 2 0
No Contests 1

6.2. Mixed Rules Record

Professional Record Breakdown
1 Match 0 Wins 1 Loss
By Knockout 0 1

6.3. Shinya Aoki's MMA Fights history

Submission Grappling Record

Year Event  Opponent W/L/D Method Weight Class
2020 Road to ONE 2nd: Aoki vs Sera Tomoshige Sera D Decision N/A
2018 ONE Championship: Kings of Courage Marat Gafurov W Submission (rear-naked choke) N/A
2017 ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes  Garry Tonon L Submission (heel hook) N/A
2013 Metamoris II: Gracie vs Aoki  Kron Gracie L Submission (guillotine choke) N/A
2007 DEEP X Pedro Akira W Submission (rear-naked choke) N/A
2006 Budo Challenge  Cameron Earle W Submission (ankle hold)  –77 kg
2006 Budo Challenge  Ali Abdelaziz W Submission (armbar)  –77 kg
2006 Shooto  Hiroshi Tsuruya W Submission (gogoplata) N/A
2005 Professional Jiu Kansai  Naoyoshi Watanabe W Decision (points) N/A
2005 ADCC  Roger Gracie L Submission (ankle hold)  Absolute
2005 ADCC Marcelo García L Submission  –77 kg
2005 ADCC  Marcos Avellan W Submission  –77 kg
2005 ADCC Japan Qualifiers Masato Fujiwara W Submission (armbar) N/A
2005 ADCC Japan Qualifiers  Mateus Irie Nechio W Submission (heel hook) N/A
2005 ADCC Japan Qualifiers  Jung Changyoru W Submission (spinning choke) N/A
2004 Campeonato Japonés de
Jiu-Jitsu Abierto
 Koji Komuro W Submission (flying armbar) N/A
2004 COPA Reversal
〜Festa do Jiu-Jitsu
 Kuniyoshi Hironaka W Submission (flying armbar) N/A
2004 Professional Jiu Ground Impact
〜Gi-05〜Midday War
Naoyoshi Watanabe L Decision (points) N/A

6.4. Shinya Aoki's Mixed Martial Arts Fight History

Year Event  Opponent W/L/D Method Weight Class
2022 ONE: X Yoshihiro Akiyama L TKO (punches) N/A
2021 ONE on TNT 4 Eduard Folayang W Submission (armbar) N/A
2021 ONE: Unbreakable James Nakashima W Submission
(rear-naked choke)
2020 Road to ONE 3:
Tokyo Fight Night
Kimihiro Eto W Decision (unanimous) N/A
2019 ONE: Century Part 2 Honorio Banario W Submission (D’Arce choke) N/A
2019 ONE: Enter the Dragon Christian Lee L TKO (punches) Lightweight
2019 ONE: A New Era Eduard Folayang W Technical Submission
(arm-triangle choke)
2018 ONE: Kingdom of Heroes Ev Ting W Submission
(arm-triangle choke)
2018 ONE: Reign Of Kings Shannon Wiratchai W TKO (punches and elbows) N/A
2018 ONE: Unstoppable Dreams Rasul Yakhyaev W Submission
(triangle choke)
2017 ONE: Immortal Pursuit Ben Askren L TKO (punches) Welterweight
2016 ONE: Defending Honor Eduard Folayang L TKO (knees and punches) Lightweight
2015 Rizin Fighting Federation 1 Kazushi Sakuraba W TKO (corner stoppage) Welterweight
2015 ONE: Warrior's Quest Koji Ando W Decision (unanimous) Lightweight
2014 Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2014 Yuki Yamamoto W Submission (twister) N/A
2014 ONE FC: Reign of Champions Kamal Shalorus W Submission (rear-naked choke) Lightweight
2013 Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013 Toshikatsu Harada W Technical Submission
(triangle armbar)
2013 ONE FC: Total Domination Cody Stevens W Decision (unanimous) Featherweight
2013 ONE FC: Kings and Champions Kotetsu Boku W Submission
(rear-naked choke)
2012 DREAM 18 Antonio McKee W TKO (submission to punch) N/A
2012 ONE FC: Rise of Kings Arnaud Lepont W Technical Submission
(triangle choke)
2012 Bellator 66 Eddie Alvarez L TKO (punches) N/A
2011 Fight For Japan:
Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011
Satoru Kitaoka W Decision (unanimous) Lightweight
2011 DREAM 17 Rob McCullough W Submission (neck crank) N/A
2011 DREAM: Fight for Japan! Rich Clementi W Submission (neck crank) N/A
2011 Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley Lyle Beerbohm W Submission (neck crank) N/A
2010 DEEP: 50 Impact Yokthai Sithoar W Submission (keylock) N/A
2010 DREAM 16 Marcus Aurélio W Decision (unanimous) N/A
2010 DREAM 15 Tatsuya Kawajiri W Submission (Achilles lock) Lightweight
2010 Strikeforce: Nashville Gilbert Melendez L Decision (unanimous) N/A
2009 Dynamite!!
The Power of Courage 2009
Mizuto Hirota W Technical Submission
2009 DREAM 11 Joachim Hansen W Submission (armbar) Lightweight
2009 DREAM 10 Vítor Ribeiro W Decision (unanimous) Welterweight
2009 DREAM 8 Hayato Sakurai L KO (knees and punches) Catchweight
2009 DREAM 7 David Gardner W Submission (rear-naked choke) Lightweight
2008 Fields Dynamite!! 2008 Eddie Alvarez W Submission (heel hook) N/A
2008 DREAM 6: Middleweight
Grand Prix 2008 Final Round
Todd Moore W Submission (neck crank) Lightweight
2008 DREAM 5: Lightweight
Grand Prix 2008 Final Round
Joachim Hansen L TKO (punches) Lightweight
2008 DREAM 5: Lightweight
Grand Prix 2008 Final Round
Caol Uno W Decision (unanimous) Lightweight
2008 DREAM 4: Middleweight
Grand Prix 2008 Second Round
Katsuhiko Nagata W Submission (gogoplata) Lightweight
2008 DREAM 2: Middleweight
Grand Prix 2008 First Round
Gesias Cavalcante W Decision (unanimous) Lightweight
2008 DREAM 1: Lightweight
Grand Prix 2008 First Round
Gesias Cavalcante NC NC (illegal elbows) N/A
2007 Yarennoka! Jung Bu-Kyung W Decision (unanimous) N/A
2007 PRIDE 34: Kamikaze Brian Lo-A-Njoe W Submission (armbar) Middleweight
2007 Shooto: Back To Our Roots 1 Akira Kikuchi W Decision (split) N/A
2006 PRIDE FC: Shockwave 2006 Joachim Hansen W Submission (gogoplata) N/A
2006 PRIDE Bushido 13 Clay French W Submission
(flying triangle choke)
2006 Shooto: Champion Carnival George Sotiropoulos W DQ (groin kick) N/A
2006 PRIDE Bushido 12 Jason Black W Submission
(triangle choke)
2006 Shooto:
The Victory of the Truth
Akira Kikuchi W Decision (unanimous) Middleweight
2005 Shooto 2005:
11/6 in Korakuen Hall
Kuniyoshi Hironaka W TKO (doctor stoppage) N/A
2005 Shooto: Alive Road Hayato Sakurai L Decision (unanimous) N/A
2005 Shooto 2005: 7/30 in Korakuen Hall Shigetoshi Iwase W DQ (groin strike) N/A
2005 Shooto:
1/29 in Korakuen Hall
Keith Wisniewski W Technical Submission
(standing armlock)
2004 DEEP: 16th Impact Jutaro Nakao L KO (punch) N/A
2004 DEEP: 15th Impact Seichi Ikemoto W Submission (armbar) N/A
2003 Deep:
clubDeep West Chofu
Yasutoshi Ryu W Submission (armbar) N/A
 2003 N/A Dai Okimura W Submission (armbar) N/A

7. Video Links

Shinya Aoki’s Top 5 Fights | ONE Full Fights

Shinya Aoki vs. James Nakashima | ONE Championship Full Fight

Shinya Aoki vs Eddie Alvarez

Dream2 Shinya Aoki vs. JZ Calvan II

Christian Lee vs. Shinya Aoki | ONE: Full Fight | Passing The Torch | May 2019

Photo credit: @evolve-mma , @shinya050983

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