Shinya Aoki vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri: Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
It’s not uncommon for Japanese promotions to assign press escorts and censor more incendiary statements by fighters.
Someone had the weekend off. In comments translated by Gryphon.com, Shinya Aoki -- Saturday’s biggest winner in Dream thanks to an Achilles lock submission over a highly regarded Tatsuya Kawajiri -- expressed a somewhat disturbing view of the fight’s finish.
“I knew Kawajiri never taps so I could not win without breaking his bone,” he said. “I was hoping for an open-fracture."
Yes, hope: in the same way we maintain pleasant optimism for good health, a better economy, and family success, Aoki hopes he can send fighters to an orthopedic surgeon. Maybe he gets kickbacks.
By way of pattern, Aoki was also unrepentant when he damaged the arm of Mizuto Hirota last New Year’s. (He actually made faces and stuck out his middle finger, not typically signs of regret.) Aoki’s glee in hurting people is approaching sadism unseen since David Abbott was smiling as he tried to push Paul Varelan’s face through the fence.
Most fighters consider injury to be a side effect of winning: no particular enjoyment is taken, and athletes are usually quick to express remorse for gruesome results. Aoki is different: guilt is not on his menu.
There was some relief in Abbott’s tendencies because he was poorly conditioned and could usually be torn off of someone he downed. Aoki, like most submission specialists, can tie an opponent up for almost as long as he wishes. If the objective is to snap something, that’s a radically dangerous skill set to have. But with Dream struggling, punishing Aoki isn’t in their best interests. He’s got something close to a pass. At least he can’t go for the groin.