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Hello Japan!

I still haven’t gotten to watch the entire DREAM event from this weekend, but one highlight I did enjoy was Shinya Aoki teaching Dave Gardner a lesson for clowning during a fight. You really have to watch the fight to see how retarded the situation is, but long story short Dave Gardner thought it would be a good idea to wave ‘hello’ to the crowd several times while Aoki had his back. The third time he did it (Aoki seemed to be waiting for it by the end), he was instantly choked out.

The move surprised Aoki (20-3, 1 NC), who has won his last three fights by submission.

“I was wondering what he was doing when he raised his hand, but when I heard him say, ‘Hello Japan!’ I thought, ‘No way! What’s with this guy?'” said a laughing and animated Aoki. “He felt so relaxed, so I knew he was making jokes. Maybe he thought he was on vacation here in Japan, so I punished him.”

Aoki has since hijacked Gardner’s “Hello, Japan!” He used the catchphrase repeatedly while fielding questions from the media during the post-fight press conference.

“The only thing I have to say is ‘Hello, Japan!’ And that should tell you everything about the fight,” Aoki said with a smile. “I think I’m going to keep saying this for quite a long time.”

Now you can laugh at Gardner for basically flubbing the match but he was still a fighter taking a massive step up in competition while Aoki was essentially handed an easy win by DREAM management. It doesn’t make up for the embarrassment but I just can’t actively comment on the fight without pointing out the stacked deck he was playing against. Aoki has a habit of making everyone look bad … I guess Gardner decided he would just take care of that himself.