MMA fans probably don’t realize this but Mikuru Asakura suffered a devastating KO loss last night. The Rizin star was facing Ren Sugiyama, better known as Ya-Man, on a kickboxing card broadcast by Abema.
The event was called Fight Club and was available on pay per view in Japan. Fight fans probably remember Asakura making his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition match at Super Rizin.
That ended badly for Asakura and his kickboxing debut did not go much better. He was knocked out by Sugiyama after just 77 seconds at Fight Club yesterday.
Afterwards Asakura announced on Instagram that he was contemplating retirement:
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Asakura has been suffering from memory loss since the defeat to Sugiyama. He has never been knocked out in his MMA career, either as a professional or an amateur, the 31 year old’s defeats have all come by way of decision or submission.
His ventures outside of MMA have not gone so well. He took a sustained beating from Mayweather and was brutally knocked out by Sugiyama.
Asakura reportedly received $1.2 million USD for the fight with Mayweather so probably doesn’t need to continue fighting for financial reasons. He was last seen getting submitted by Vugar Karamov at Super Rizin 2 in a featherweight title fight.
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Asakura is one of the biggest names on the Rizin roster and Nobuyuki Sakakibara will be very frustrated if this latest setback proves to be career ending. Sugiyama is also the Fight Club promoter and the two competed in a 70kgs kickboxing match using MMA sparring style gloves.
Sugiyama drove Asakura back and had him trapped in the corner. The ropes seemed to be keeping the Rizin star up and probably kept him on his feet for too long.
With Asakura propped up by the ropes ‘Ya-Man’ unloaded with some monstrous punches. The damage appears to have still been taking a toll 24 hours after the fight.
While Asakura has not officially confirmed that he has fought for the final time he admits that retirement is a serious possibility. It would be a blow to Rizin but the 30 year old sounds like he is ready to put his health first and call it quits.