Yoshida’s Retirement Bout to Headline ‘Astra’ Event


TOKYO -- Japanese entertainment management group J-Rock announced Monday that it will host a one-time MMA event called “Astra” dedicated to the retirement of J-Rock client Hidehiko Yoshida.

The show will be held at the 14,000-seat Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on April 25. Yoshida, a 1992 Olympic judo gold medalist and Japanese MMA superstar, will headline against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

“As a long-time judo athlete, the Nippon Budokan is a very special venue for me,” Yoshida said. “There's something special about ending my career there.”

Yoshida indicated physical deterioration over the course of his nearly eight-year career as the impetus behind his retirement decision.

“I wanted to announce my retirement on New Year's Eve, but so many things were happening with Dynamite and Sengoku that I just couldn't do it then,” he said. “As I continued fighting, I was feeling sorry for the fans that came out and paid to see me, even though I could not physically perform at my very best to satisfy them.”

The card will also feature a host of Yoshida's pupils: UFC and Pride veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura, 2000 Sydney Games judo gold medalist Makoto Takimoto, standout featherweight Michihiro Omigawa and unbeaten prospect Tatsunao Nagakura.

J-Rock President and former World Victory Road Director Takahiro Kokuho stated that Astra would feature nine or 10 bouts and could include fighters from other promotions such as Dream or Strikeforce.

“There are so many fighters I'd like to fight against,” Yoshida said. “I don't know if my wish will come true, but my most interesting fight was against Wanderlei Silva. I know it wouldn't be possible now, but I'd like to have a retirement bout as exciting as that one was against whomever I do end up fighting.”

One of 2009's breakout fighters, Yoshida understudy Michihiro Omigawa tabbed WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Dream featherweight champion Bibiano Fernandes as the fighters he would most like to face.

Broadcast details for Astra were also tentative. Kokuho claimed to be working out a deal with Japanese premium cable network Skyperfect TV for a pay-per-view broadcast. Kokuho also said he is planning to broadcast the event internationally, but he could not comment on specifics.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 22 days ago
  • 7 views

When the UFC announced that the original UFC 186 co-main event between Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard was scrapped, "Showeather" apparently wasn't informed. Early this morning the UFC had announce read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 13 views

Seth Petruzelli announced his MMA retirement in June 2013. So, he thought it was odd when a friend sent him a text message back in January letting him know that former opponent and recent Bellator MM read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

Guess that means no senoritas for Iaquinta just yet... It appears everyone on Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) roster wants to follow in Donald Cerrone's footsteps. Just two days following his read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 40 views

The MMA community was taken aback on Monday when news surfaced that UFC 183 headliners Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz both failed drug tests.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Will Brooks will defend his Bellator MMA lightweight title against Dave Jansen at the newly announced Bellator 136 on April 10. read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

MMA Fighting has RFA 20 results for the Murphy vs. Ware event Friday night at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, Calif.In the main event, Joe Murphy willl square off against Terrion Ware.Check out the RFA 20 read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC welterweight Brandon Thatch will preview his UFC Fight Night 60 bout against Benson Henderson this Saturday. read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 4 views

The UFC 186 co-main event bout between Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard was inexplicably pulled from the fight card on Tuesday, but now we know why. read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 0 views

A critical light heavyweight fight between Daniel Cormier and Ryan Bader has been announced, and it will likely serve as the headline for UFC Fight Night on June 6. The announcement was made on Twitt read news >>