Rika Ishige might not have fought in over a year but she still has a high enough profile to attract blue chip sponsors. The Thai/Japanese atomweight has a deal with Adidas and showed off some of her new gear on Instagram just now:
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Being away from the cage for so long doesn’t seem to have hurt Rika’s marketability. She has a big fan following in Instagram and major international brands are clearly taking notice.
Rika didn’t manage to get a fight in during 2021. But she has been travelling around Thailand training at various camps including Bang Tao Muay Thai and Tiger Muay Thai.
Rika is currently on a three fight losing skid. But she remains a big draw and when ONE Championship returns to Bangkok the 33 year old is sure to be on the card.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) August 11, 2021
Social media star
The atomweight division has become a much more competitive place since Rika burst onto the scene in 2017. She won four of her first six fights but her last victory came back in 2018.
Since then the promotion has snapped up top tier talent like Seo Hee Ham. Meanwhile the likes of Denice Zamboanga, Ritu Phogat and Stamp Fairtex have successfully launched careers with ONE Championship.
But while Rika might not be the best fighter in the division she could well be the most marketable. The 33 year old has 241,000 Instagram followers, slightly more than the reigning atomweight queen Angela Lee.
She is even more popular on Facebook with an incredible 458,000 people following her page. Rika has proved that it is possible for fighters to amass huge fan followings without fighting regularly.
It remains to be seen whether she will return to the cage in 2022. But Rika clearly isn’t doing badly and she is definitely looking good in her new Adidas clothes.