After reports of Japanese submission phenom Shinya Aoki (35-6) turning down an offer to join the UFC, the 30-year-old signed a fight contract opposite Toshikatsu Harada (11-10) who clings to a .500 record as Aoki submitted him in under a minute in the first round.
The bout took place on New Years Eve in Japan at the IGF – Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013 event with the MMA portion headlined by Satoshi Ishii beating Kazayuki Fujita by unanimous decision.
Aoki is 5-0 in his previous five, all of which against proverbial journeyman. His last loss came at the hands of current Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in a first round trouncing.
The submission Aoki used was a beautiful one for what it’s worth as he synched up a quick triangle choke while standing, using a whizzer to lock up one arm and close the submission in immediately.
Aoki has long come under scrutiny for fighting perhaps a bit below his rightful level of competition but either way, he is still winning fights.
Elsewhere on the card, former Strikeforce and Bellator heavyweight Brett Rogers lost to former UFC fighter Philip De Fries while Ikuhisa Minowa TKO’d Atsushi Sawada.
Rogers was once a rising star in Strikeforce. He knocked out Andrei Arlovski and appeared on track toward stardom. Rogers even looked good during the first round of nationally televised fight on CBS against the great Fedor Emelianenko. In that fight he bloodied the nose of the “Last Emperor,” with heavy punches, Rogers’ rise, however, stopped after Emelianenko knocked Rogers out with a big right hand.
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