Thirty year old Japanese submission master Shinya Aoki has recently done what very few other professional mixed martial artists would do during their careers: reject an offer from the Ultimate Fight Championship.
According to a Facebook post by Chatri Sityodtong, the Japanese-Thai self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur and founder of Evolve MMA, Aoki turned down an offer from the UFC due to financial concerns.
“The rumors are true. UFC offered contracts to 3 fighters on the Evolve Fight Team: Shinya Aoki, Eddie Ng, and Leandro Brodinho. After careful reflection, Shinya and Eddie have both decided to stay in ONE FC due to more favorable economics.”
He later posted that Brodinho eventually accepted the UFC’s offer.
Since beginning his professional career in 2003, Aoki has compiled thirty-four wins and only six losses under his belt. Of his thirty-four victories, a staggering twenty-two of them have been achieved by submission. The Japanese featherweight is highly regarded as one of the best submission fighters in the world, and unless the UFC offers him more money, we’ll probably never see him compete under their banner.