Japanese kickboxer Ren Hiramoto set to switch to MMA
Ren Hiramoto is to retire from kickboxing in order to focus on MMA. The former K-1 and Krush title challenger has decided to permanently switch codes.
The 21 year old took to Twitter to make the announcement yesterday:
— 平本蓮 (@ren___k1) June 3, 2020
Hiramoto signed for Rizin last year. He represented the promotion at Bellator Japan, stopping Takahiro Ashida in the opening round of a caged kickboxing bout.
He had a successful amateur career before turning pro in 2015. Hiramoto has only lost four times since and on every occasion he has dropped a decision to a more experienced opponent.
In 2016 he reached the final of the Krush <63kgs tournament but was beaten by Daizo Sasaki. The reigning champion prevailed by way of a majority decision.
The following year Hiramoto reached the final of the K-1 World Lightweight (<62.5kgs) Grand Prix but dropped a split decision to experienced Chinese fighter Wei Rui. He would go on to avenge his defeat to Sasaki and knock out multiple time kickboxing and Muay Thai champion Kaew Weerasakreck.
In his Twitter post Hiramoto states that he wants to achieve success with Rizin before signing with the UFC. It is a route that fighters like Manel Kape and Jiri Prochazka have taken in recent months.