TOKYO -- Strikeforce veteran and Japanese MMA mainstay Kazuo Misaki surprised fight fans at Friday evening's Deep 60 Impact Impact when he announced his intention to retire from active competition. The former Pride champion declared December 22’s Deep Haleo Impact at Korakuen Hall his final appearance in the ring.

“One reason is that I feel limited in progressing further,” explained the “The Hitman.” “Another reason is that someone I trust very much advised me that I should probably stop while I can, before I become too physically damaged.”

Over the course of his decade-long career, Misaki has been in more than his fair share of memorable wars. However, he is perhaps most remembered for his epic 2009 and 2010 Sengoku Raiden Championships title tilts with UFC vet and former SRC middleweight champ Jorge Santiago. Though close-fought, Misaki sustained significant damage in both losing efforts. Misaki has claimed to have no memory of his last and bloodiest encounter with Santiago, a bout that required his cornermen throw in the towel to save him in the fight’s final seconds.

Misaki has since gone on to string together three wins--one of which was the retirement bout of Pride-mainstay-turned-referee Akira Shoji in April 2011’s Deep 53 Impact, and the latest of which was a close decision victory in a March 2012 Strikeforce match with Paul Daley. Perhaps owing to his current involvement in the Zuffa-owned, Showtime-based promotion however, the former Pride champ is uncertain whether or not he can actually participate in an official capacity in his December retirement event.

“I'm not really sure if I can actually fight because of contract matters, but I want people to be satisfied when they come to see my retirement,” admitted Misaki, implying that he may participate in an exhibition bout instead.

Despite leaving active competition, Misaki promised to continue being involved in the sport, though he did not specify in what capacity.

“I don't have any regrets. I'm really happy now,” he said. “As a fighter, of course it's rough to be leaving, but I really am happy now.”

Go Yamamoto contributed to this report.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

At WSOF 25, meet the incredible shrinking Zeferino

  • 8 days ago

You may remember two-time UFC veteran Joao Zeferino as the middleweight who lost to Rafael Natal or perhaps as the welterweight who came up short against Elias Silverio. Now meet a new version.Filed read news >>

Scott Jorgensen: After Saturday, I’ll have most bantamweight wins under Zuffa banner

  • 9 days ago

MONTERREY, Mexico – UFC and WEC veteran Scott Jorgensen not only plans to beat Alejandro Perez at UFC Fight Night 78, but inch ahead in a race for the winningest bantamweight under the Zuffa umbrella read news >>

The Downes Side: Fight Night Monterrey Predictions

  • 10 days ago

UFC/WEC veteran Dan Downes talks strategy and predictions for UFC Fight Night: Magny vs. Gastelum, taking place Saturday, November 21 read news >>

UFC Vet Tyson Griffin Finds Life After Fighting: Conquer Fighting Championships

  • 10 days ago

UFC veteran Tyson Griffin is done fighting, but on his quest for what's next, he's landed back in the game, running Conquer Fighting Championships. read news >>

Mike Ricci Hopes to Resuscitate a Bad Year in WSOF 8-Man Tourney

  • 12 days ago

UFC veteran Mike Ricci looks to resuscitate a rough 2015 when he steps into the WSOF eight-man, one-night lightweight tournament on Friday. read news >>

Holly Holm’s UFC 193 In-Octagon, Post-Fight Interview Video

  • 14 days ago

Holly Holm completed what some are calling the greatest upset in UFC history when she knocked out Ronda Rousey in the secon round at UFC 193. read news >>

The Downes Side: UFC 193 Predictions

  • 17 days ago

UFC / WEC veteran Dan Downes talks strategy and predictions for UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm, taking place Saturday, November 14... read news >>

Veteran UFC flyweight John Dodson wants Thomas Almeida at bantamweight

  • 17 days ago

John Dodson wants to shut down one of the brightest prospects at bantamweight when he makes his return to the weight class for his next bout. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 77: Guida Makes 1 Mistake, Gets Guillotined by Thiago Tavares

  • 20 days ago

At UFC Fight Night 77 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, former Strikeforce lightweight champion Clay Guida faced Brazilian Thiago Tavares, in what turned out to be a very short fight on Saturday. At just 39 seco read news >>

Why UFC vet Thiago Tavares didn't mind that deep gash and recent TKO loss

  • 23 days ago

Veteran UFC featherweight Thiago Tavares said he doesn’t necessarily get hung up on whether he wins or loses his fights.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>