I’d always heard that Shinya Aoki was an asshole but up until now I’d never seen any definitive evidence. This morning however I witnessed dickery on a scale I’d never witnessed before, above and beyond even Brock Lesnar levels. Apparently Aoki’s opponent Mizuto Hirota had talked shit about Aoki in the past, so this morning in retaliation Aoki broke his arm and then gave him the finger as he lay on the canvas with his mangled limb twisted backwards.
Now to be fair, it’s not like Hirota tapped and Aoki took his arm home anyways. Hirota was in trouble seconds into the bout as Aoki took him down and trapped one of his arms behind his back. Rolling him over, Aoki then slowly twisted the limb until it visibly snapped / crackled / popped out of position. It’s hard to say exactly how much damage was done but everyone has assumed it’s at least broken and I’d say that sounds about right.
But I’ll give Aoki the benefit of the doubt and imagine if Hirota had been smart enough to tap that nasty bit of business wouldn’t have happened. But what followed was pretty classless and the part that’s really inexcusable: Aoki stood over Hirota, shouted something in his face and flipped him off.
Now in a normal situation the bird is about as edgy as, oh I dunno, telling someone to suck it. But in the context of what had just happened it was pretty damn upsetting. You know all those layers of sportsmanship, respect, and integrity we clothe the sport of MMA in so we can enjoy people beating the shit out of eachother without feeling like savages? Those were pretty much stripped away and pissed on.