Gilbert Melendez and Shinya Aoki were 2 highly regarded 155ers who met in a highly anticipated match at Strikeforce: Nashville this past April. Unfortunately, this match lived up to the expectations of few people.
The solution to this is to have a rematch in Japan, as was originally supposed to happen. The dynamics would increase the entertainment level of the match, and Aoki would be the favourite.
Confused? Fear not, read on for explanations:
Power of the pants: Aoki draws power from the colourful pants he wears to the ring in Japan. The standardisation of clothing in the US under the Unified Rules takes away his ability to wear the pants that give him the power.
Crowd: The home crowd is something that fighters like Aoki feed off of. The reactions when he goes for those unorthodox submissions are like nothing else in the sport. When he latches onto someone, the roars of the crowd prevent him from losing control.
Referee: 2 words: butt scoot. Aoki’s butt scooting is a valid tactic in Japan. Remember when he tried that in the US? Yeah, he got stood up pretty quickly. In fact, you can get disqualified for butt scooting in the US. Plus, is it just me or does it look like the ref is cutting off Eddie Alvarez there?
Judges: Judging everywhere is prone to giving plain weird decisions. Japan is not an exception to this. Take Michael Bisping’s hometown advantage in the UK and multiply it. By 10. You’re not getting the decision against Aoki unless you’ve dominated him.
Aoki wins a rematch with Melendez via butt scoot into submission if the match takes place in Japan. The original plan was for 1 fight to take place in the US and have a rematch in Japan. It’s a little late to put them in for the NYE card, unfortunately.