Shinya Aoki's Fight to the Top Includes Future Battle with B.J. Penn

Sterling SpiarsAnalyst IOctober 7, 2009

Jiu Jitsu practitioners throughout the MMA world were ecstatic to see Shinya Aoki pull off the arm bar on Joachim Hansen, to claim Dream's lightweight championship in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

With four bouts already under his belt in 2009, Dream officials are already showing interest in lining up his fifth fight for the year at a New Year's Eve show against Tatsuya "Crusher" Kawajiri.

When asked about this upcoming title defense, Aoki stated that he would consider it. Aoki went on to say that he would love to get some rest before he decides on his next fight.

Aoki, who is as proud as a fighter could become, went on to state that he still feels he needs to prove himself among the elite lightweights of the world.

"I want to fight the best in the world, like B.J. Penn and Kenny Florian—strong guys like that. I want to take them out and prove that Japanese are truly strong."

Despite a claim that "the top of MMA is Japan" after Zuffa purchased Pride FC, Aoki feels that in order to be considered the best, that he'll have to come into the states and battle number one ranked lightweight, B.J. Penn.

If this is the case, Aoki will surely have to work on his stand-up game if he looks to compete with the UFC's elite class of lightweights. Although UFC's top five lightweights are known for their grappling skills, each and everyone would dominate Aoki on the feet.

America has a way of taking something special and molding it into something spectacular, which is definitely the case for MMA. It's been several years since a fighter could come in with one style of fighting and dominate the division, and Aoki wouldn't be any exception to this rule.

Only father time knows if this will come to fruition or if it's just smoke blowing through a sunless cavern.

What is known, is that among the open minds of the MMA world, it would be a huge draw to land Shinya Aoki inside the cage, whether it's his hardcore fans watching or those that simply call him a "drama queen."

So if Aoki continues to express interest in a lightweight clash with B.J. Penn or any other American fighter, all Dana White needs to do is offer a reasonable contract and the next lightweight contender has already been determined.