One FC lightweight champion Shinya Aoki will likely drop a weight division to 145 pounds in the near future, Evolve MMA coach Chatri Sityodtong told GRACIEMAG.com late Wednesday.
Aoki’s move to featherweight from lightweight depends on a number of details, but the fighter, according to his gym’s coach, is experimenting with the process of dropping divisions and wants to fight at the weight class.
“Most likely, he will move to 145,” Sityodtong replied via email when asked if Aoki will become a featherweight.
A report from MMAWeekly.com said that Aoki, who earned the One FC lightweight title with a win over Kotetsu Boku at One FC 9 last April, was set to drop to 145 pounds. Sityodtong, however, explained that the final decision to drop a weight class has not been made yet.
“We need to see his cardio and movement at 145 under real fight conditions to assess our final decision,” he said.
Aoki has fought at 155 pounds or above for his entire career in MMA, making the move to featherweight a completely new venture for him. According to the Evolve MMA coach, the fighter’s build is too small for the 155-pound weight class, and featherweight would be best for Aoki’s future in the sport.
“He can easily make 145,” the coach told MMAWeekly.com. “He is too small to be a lightweight, and he will be a huge featherweight. His body type at 145 is akin to Jon Jones with a huge wingspan and reach.”
Attempts to reach One FC representatives regarding the fate of the lightweight belt if Aoki drops to featherweight went unreturned at the time of this publication.