Shinya Aoki (top) landed some not-so-devastating ground-and-pound on Marcus Aurelio during their DREAM 16 fight.

Considering that Shinya Aoki likes to criticize mixed martial artists that he thinks use wrestling to score cheap points with the judges, you would think he would’ve shown more urgency or aggression to try and finish off Marcus Aurelio at DREAM 16 this past Saturday in Nagoya, Japan.

Instead, Aoki used the full mount position to tie up Aurelio’s legs with a body triangle-type of hold and smother him. It worked wonders to keep Aurelio from escaping, but it certainly didn’t create many opportunities for a damaging ground-and-pound attack or a submission.

It’s forgivable, of course, to get a decision win over a fighter the caliber of Aurelio. And as good as Aoki is on the ground, he’d be foolish to ignore Aurelio’s submission game and leave himself open to getting caught. However, Aoki decided to publicly point out that he doesn’t believe a fight with Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard will provide much of any excitement for the fans.

OK, so you don’t need psychic abilities to agree with that prediction. But Aoki shouldn’t say that in “martial arts in its most extreme form, we need to win by submission or knockout” and criticize wrestlers that don’t take risks, only to secure the mount on Aurelio as long and as often as he did and primarily use the position to tie him up and stall. Outside of a flurry in the last minute or so, Aoki failed to deliver much punishment and seemed gun-shy about taking any calculated risks.

I’m not a fan of stalling and always appreciate a fighter proclaiming their intent to look for the finish – especially when they actually follow through with it during the fight. But instead of calling out other fighters by name and criticizing their strategy, Aoki should spend more time critiquing his own performance.

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