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.

Related News

Adlan Amagov officially announces retirement from MMA competition

  • 15 days ago
  • 74 views

UFC welterweight Adlan Amagov has officially announced his retirement from professional sports, including mixed martial arts competition. For months, the reasons for Adlan Amagov's extended absence f read news >>

Eddie Wineland Puts Off Retirement, Faces Bryan Caraway at UFC on Fox 16

  • 4 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC officials announced on Thursday that sixth-ranked Eddie Wineland (21-10-1) would take on tenth-ranked Bryan Caraway (19-7) at UFC on FOX 16. read news >>

Reebok terminates Jon Jones' contract in light of recent arrest

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

Jon Jones' Reebok sponsorship is no more. The apparel company announced on Wednesday that it had terminated Jones' contract effective immediately. "In light of recent events, we have made the decisio read news >>

Jon Jones Stripped of UFC Title, Suspended Indefinitely

  • 28 days ago
  • 257 views

Jon Jones has been stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely by the organization, UFC President Dana White announced on Tuesday. read news >>

Anthony Johnson vs Daniel Cormier UFC 187 fight announced for vacant light heavyweight title with Jon Jones stripped

  • 28 days ago
  • 36 views

What a wild turn of events ... As a result of the shocking announcement on FOX Sports Live tonight that Jon Jones was stripped of his Light Heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely, a new UFC 187 read news >>

Daniel Cormier comments on UFC stripping Jones of title: ‘This is a sad day for our sport’

  • 28 days ago
  • 17 views

Newly announced UFC 187 main eventer Daniel Cormier commented on the UFC’s decision to strip Jon Jones of his title. On Tuesday night, the UFC announced that they would strip Jon Jones of his light-h read news >>

Daniel Cormier reacts to Jon Jones getting stripped of title and replacing him at UFC 187

  • 28 days ago
  • 1812 views

As announced on Tuesday night on "FOX Sports Live," Daniel Cormier will now fight Anthony Johnson for the undisputed UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 187 on May 23 in Las Vegas. Jon Jones was strip read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4 Finale Event Page and Fight Card

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Announced bouts and fight card rumors for The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4 Finale: Story vs. Silva on June 27 at the Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil. read news >>

Rick Story vs. Erick Silva to headline UFC Fight Night 70 in Brazil

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

A welterweight bout between Rick Story and Erick Silva will headline UFC Fight Night 70, which also serves as the live finale for “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4.”Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>