Mina Kurobe is the reigning Shooto super atomweight champion and a former Deep-Jewels atomweight champion. A seasoned Asian MMA veteran, the 43-year-old is eyeing her next challenge and there is one fight she really wants.

Kurobe is hoping she will get the opportunity to sign for ONE Championship and wants a shot at Stamp Fairtex,

“I would like to participate as soon as I have an offer. If I can fight, I would like a match with Stamp Fairtex. I’m a very strong striker and recently I’ve won consecutive MMA matches so I’d like to try my tactics against her.”

Shooto and ONE have been involved in an exclusive partnership since 2019 so it is a fight which could eventually happen.  Currently riding a four-fight winning streak, the champion feels like she is in some of the best form of her career,

“I feel that I am the strongest in my career so far, and I am looking forward to future matches. I don’t really care about my age. I don’t feel any weakness after practicing, and I’m not injured. Rather, I feel growth.”

Mina Kurobe and Megumi Sugimoto 2

Keisuke Takazawa / MMA Planet

New opportunities

ONE Championship’s atomweight division is arguably more competitive than ever. Kurobe says winning the title last month at Shooto 0801 was a significant landmark in her career and she hopes it will open the door to some big fights in the near future,

“Shooto is an organization with a long history, and it is very important for me to be able to win the belt and emulate senior competitors like Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Mitsufumi Matsumoto. Also, I think that having a belt creates various opportunities, so it is important in that sense as well.”

Kurobe’s status as the Shooto champion invariably links her with a shot at the ONE title somewhere down the line. Angela Lee is the first and only atomweight champion in the promotion’s history but Mina believes she has the requisite skills to take it from her,

“I think I can become the ONE champion, and I am practicing for that. Angela’s power and ground fighting skills are amazing. But I think I can win if I compete in my areas of specialty; stamina and scramble.”

Mina Kurobe and Ayaka Hamasaki

Rizin FF

Looking for love

For Kurobe to put together such an emphatic run in her mid 40s is a remarkable feat. There’s certainly precedent for older fighters competing at the highest level with Mina citing her admiration for a veteran who made his name in Japan,

“I’ve always liked Mark Hunt. He has been active on the top stage for a long time and I long for his strength of character.”

Kurobe has shown immense focus on her craft over the years and aside from winning another belt, her goals are quite simple,

“Right now, I have no goals other than martial arts but I will say that I want a boyfriend!”