Mikuru Asakura didn’t spent too long contemplating the possibility of retirement. The 31 year old announced on Instagram that he would be competing again next year.

He was knocked out by Ren Sugiyama, better known as Ya-Man at a kickboxing event on Sunday. Afterwards Asakura talked about retirement and said he had no memory whatsoever of the actual fight.

The Rizin star appears to have come to a form conclusion regarding his future during a recent trip to the coast. Along with some photos of him enjoying the sunset with a few friends Asakura wrote that

“I will take a break from martial arts until the mental and physical damage is done. I’ll definitely come back next year.”

Loose timeline

As next year is just a few weeks away that is a fairly loose timeline. It sound like Asakura’s confidence was badly affected by the loss to Ya-Man and we don’t think he is referring to a health issue when he writes that,

“The pain in my heart still hasn’t gone away.”

Getting knocked out definitely isn’t good for you but as a full time professional fighter it is an occupational hazard for Asakura. It has only happened twice during his career, and neither has been in an MMA fight.

He was stopped by Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition boxing match last year and stopped by Ya-Man in the recent kickboxing fight which was contested in MMA style gloves. He clearly hasn’t taken as much damage as some fighters but with 3.3 million subscribers to his YouTube channel Asakura clearly has other sources of revenue.

Healthy income

The 31 year old is in a much better position than your average fighter. For starters he is rumoured to have earned in excess of $1 million USD for the boxing match with Mayweather, more than most mixed martial artists make in their entire career.

He must also have a healthy income from his YouTube channel and fighting clearly isn’t Asakura’s only source of income. Having competed regularly since 2012 it is a lifestyle he is very accustomed to and his purses must be far greater than they were when he was fighting on Outsider cards ten years ago.

Professional athletes in impact sports are becoming increasingly aware of the long term damage that can be caused by head injuries. It is clearly on Asakura’s mind but, for the time being at least, he has decided to fight on.