Japan is well known for “freak fight” matchups that made many fighters famous from Bob Sapp and Hong Man Choi to the crowd pleasing Minowa. Now it appears the “Land of the Rising Sun” going to America’s playbook, as Japan has matched its top lightweight mixed martial arts fighter Shinya Aoki with former WBA Super Flyweight champion Yokthai Sithoar. This bout was made official by the DEEP organization and The MMA vs. Boxing Showdown will take place at DEEP 50 which is scheduled to take place Oct. 24th at the JCB Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Aoki has long been regarded as the No. 2 ranked lightweight in the world for until he suffered a five round domination defeat to current Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez at Strikeforce: Nashville. Since Aoki’s stateside loss the man referred to as “The Tobikan Judan” has been on a tear in his homeland of Japan as he has looked unstoppable in his back to back fights under the Dream banner when he submitted Tatsuya Kawajiri and handily defeated Marcus Aurelio at Dream 16 both of which are very impressive victories.
While Aoki has been on a winning streak in MMA, he did suffer a crushing defeat in a “special rules” MMA vs K-1 bout at Dynamite!2010. In a match up that pitted him against Yuichiro Nagashima, the 1st round was kickboxing under K-1 rules which Aoki made a fool of himself as he was terrified to engage Nagashima and flailed like a fish out of water to get out of the round without and K-1 action. Round 2 was under MMA rules in which Aoki knew he would win by submission. Aoki shot in for a takedown as soon the round started and Nagashima uncorked a knee to Aoki’s chin that left him motionless on the mat for about 7-10 minutes. Aoki since contemplated retirement until this bout came along with Sithoar. The former boxer Sithoar, hasn’t had the same type of luck as Aoki recently as he has found zero wins in his last five fights and he hopes to change his fortunes in his mixed martial arts debut.