Shinya Aoki is widely considered to be one of the very best submission grapplers in all of MMA. He may even be the best when it comes to using techniques rarely seen in the highest levels on the sport.
Submission victories have been a key to Aoki having the most rewarding accomplishments of his career, including winning the WAMMA lightweight championship and Dream lightweight championship.
His next bout will come against Lyle Beerbohm this Saturday at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley.
Aoki has a 26-5 record with 16 submission victories. This slideshow will chronicle his five greatest submission victories.
This WAMMA lightweight championship bout between Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki took place at Dynamite 2008.
Aoki had rebounded from a recent defeat to Joachim Hansen, and Alvarez was riding a five-fight win streak including a win over Hansen. Aoki didn't waste any time in submitting the current Bellator lightweight champion with a footlock in the very first round.
With both fighters currently being top lightweights, this bout proves to arguably be the biggest win of Aoki's career.
This was the third bout between Shinya Aoki and Norwegian fighter Joachim Hansen. Both fighters had previous victories over each other, and the rubber match would prove who was the better fighter overall. The first was won by Aoki by gogoplata, and the second was won by Hansen due to knockout.
The 2009 bout was held at Dream 11 and was for the Dream lightweight championship. Aoki submitted Joachim for the second time with a quick and beautiful armbar submission.
This is one of Shinya Aoki's more brutal submissions, if you can even call them anything but that. Aoki's aggressive attack proves to be one of his greatest attributes, and this fight definitely proves that.
This was Aoki's fifth bout and took place in 2005 at a Shoot event versus Keith Wisniewski. After falling into a clinch against the ropes, Aoki quickly adjusted to a standing armlock, and the grimace on Wisniewski's face is more than enough to know that the damage was done.
Fans don't see many gogoplata's in MMA. The most notable one is the one Nick Diaz secured on Takanori Gomi. Shinya Aoki has had two gogoplata victories in his career, and this was his most impressive one.
What makes this one special is that Aoki pulled it off from the mount and submitted Katsuhiko Nagata in the Dream lightweight grand-prix quarterfinals in 2008. He would make it to the finals before losing to Joachim Hansen in the final bout.
This submission is arguably Aoki's greatest, but also most controversial because of his post-fight antics. While securing a hammerlock on Japanese fighter Mizuto Hirota, Aoki had no choice but to break his arm after he decided not to tap. Aoki went out of control and started giving everyone the middle finger including his opponent.
"When I had his arm behind his back, I could feel it popping, I thought, 'Well, this guy's pride just won't let him tap, will it?' So without hesitation, I broke it. I heard it break, and I thought, 'Ah, there, I just broke it.' I was stopped afterward, but even if I hadn't been, continuing to break it more would have been fine by me."
"After my fight, I was excited, and so I did something rude that I should apologize for. But that showed just how excited I was over that fight."