Reigning DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki will indeed compete at DEEP: 50th Impact on October 24th. The submission specialist will take on former WBA and PABA boxing champion Yokthai Sithoar of Thailand. Sithoar has not competed as a boxer since June 2004 and will make his MMA debut against Aoki.
MMARising.com first reported on Aoki’s participation on the card earlier this month. As expected, he will not be facing one of DEEP’s top contenders. Sithoar holds a 29-6-3 record in boxing, but was 0-3-2 in his final five fights.
Aoki (25-5-0, 1 NC), who earned a one-sided decision victory over Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio at Dream.16 last weekend, has won eight of his last ten fights and is the current holder of the DREAM Lightweight Championship. He holds key recent wins over the likes of Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri, Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, former Sengoku champ Mizuto Hirota and Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen, whom Aoki defeated in a rubber match to claim the DREAM title. Known for his vast array of submissions and vicious leglocks, Aoki is widely regarded as one of the top judo and jiu-jitsu practitioners in MMA.
However, Aoki has been knocked out on three occasions and the possibility for a shocking upset loss, while extremely slim, is there. Sithoar totalled 18 knockouts among his 29 boxing wins and a single good strike could potentially end Aoki’s night early. Ring rust will most definitely be a factor for Sithoar, though, as he has not fought in well over six years. The former World Boxing Association and Pan Asian Boxing Association Super Flyweight Champion will be competing in MMA for the first time.
DEEP: 50th Impact takes place on October 24th at JCB Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)