Takeru just became the most eligible free agent in the kickboxing world. The Japanese star posted on social media that his contract with K-1 expired at the end of October.

Takeru is coming off the most devastating defeat of his entire career. He was beaten by Tenshin Nasukawa in the biggest kickboxing bout to take place in Japan in recent memory.

But ‘The Match 2022’ saw a sold out audience of 56,399 people fill the Tokyo Dome while over 500,000 reportedly purchased the pay per view. It certainly enhanced Takeru’s reputation even if he won’t look back at that event with fond memories.

So he can enter free agency with plenty of options and it sounds like Takeru plans to explore them:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 武尊 / Takeru (@k1takeru)

New venture

It sounds like Takeru is thinking about launching his own kickboxing promotion. There doesn’t appear to be any bad blood between him and K-1 as he asks his 771,00 Instagram followers to

“Please continue to support K-1.”

But intriguingly he hints at promoting fights himself and writes that,

“From now on, as a martial artist, I will fight with all my strength to make the martial arts industry an industry that can give dreams and power to even more people.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 武尊 / Takeru (@k1takeru)

Winning record

Takeru has a 100% winning record with K-1 and won belts with the promotion in three different divisions. He is the reigning super featherweight champion although it sounds like he has handed that title back.

The 31 year old had clearly run out of opponents and it is difficult to see who K-1 could have found to challenge him. With Tenshin set to transition to traditional boxing there is no chance of a rematch.

The prospect of signing Takeru would be an enticing one for any kickboxing promotion. ONE Championship and Glory are the only two who could realistically afford him, although the latter doesn’t appear to have much presence in Japan.

It will be interesting to see where the Japanese kickboxing star ends up. With him reportedly having earned well over $1 million USD for the fight with Tenshin he certainly won’t come cheap.