Shinya Aoki is an interesting individual. He recently travelled to Baguio to train with former opponent Eduard Folayang and the fighters at Team Lakay.

Having fought each other three times the two men appear to have become firm friends. They have been training together and eating together during Aoki’s trip to Baguio.

But Aoki still wants to fight Folayang. He told the IB Times that,

“I want to fight him again, either my last fight or his last fight.”

Strange decision

It makes the decision to travel to Baguio in order to train with Folayang feel like a strange one. But Aoki explained it in the interview with IB Times,

“I wanted to talk to Eduard, spend time with him, and share how I feel about my career right now. We are the same age and have fought three times. We are also, sort of, in the final stage of our careers as MMA fighters. I wanted to hear his thoughts,” he said.

Both men are 39 years old and coming off losses. Folayang has made it clear he has no intention of retiring although recent results have not been going his way.

Aoki seems to accept that the end is in sight but believes Folayang can motivate him in the final stages of his career,

“I thought we could motivate each other. That’s why I visited here.”

Personal obsession

Aoki has clearly given it a lot of thought and has even decided which country he wants the fight to happen in,

“Maybe we can do it here in the Philippines since we already fought twice in Singapore and once in Japan,” he told IB Times.

Having submitted Folayang in the opening round of their last two fights it would clearly be a winnable matchup for Aoki. But he says it is not about extending his career or getting back in title contention he is simply obsessed with the idea of facing the Filipino a fourth time.

“I don’t think about how it would benefit my career. Simply, I want Eduard for my last fight.”