Michael David Smith conducted an email interview with Aoki and asked him about it. Apparently the question didn't sit well with Aoki:
"It is nothing to do with my grappling skills," Aoki replied. "Anybody who has experience of grappling should know about this. This questions seems for non professional."
Huh? Michael David Smith nails the correct afterwards though:
Aoki is free to call my question "non professional" all he wants, but the fact remains that it's a common question -- those pants provide traction, and there's no one in MMA who relies on getting a strong grip with his legs more than Aoki does. He'd be a talented submission specialist no matter what he was wearing, but some of his submissions (including the heel hook that got Eddie Alvarez to tap in the above video) would be harder to pull off if he were wearing shorts.
The question had to be translated via a DREAM PR person, so there's no telling what they actually asked Aoki. I mean it would be very easy to change the connotation of the question which would cause Aoki to answer the way he did. Regardless, if he ever does fight without the 'magic' pants we'll know once and for all what's up with him and the pants. My guess is that if he came to the UFC and faced any of those lightweights that have a strong wrestling base(which is almost all of them), he would get smashed up against the cage. Let me be clear and say that I'm all for him being able to wear them. I think they should be made legal, since guys are wearing big knee and ankle braces(which give traction) anyways. Are you for or against the pants?