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.

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 23 views

A welterweight contest between Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine is in the works for the Fight Night card in Halifax on October 4. Another important contest in the welterweight division will likely read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 49 views

Come Saturday night, UFC will host one of its most explosive fights of the year when No. 1 contender “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler squares off against Matt “The Immortal” Brown. A lot is riding on this fi read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 592 views

So you’re head of the world’s largest MMA promotion, and 24 hours before a major event on network television, you learn that one of your headliners won’t fight because his opponent failed to make wei read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 74 views

The UFC on Fox 12 main event between Robbie "Ruthless" Lawler and Matt "The Immortal" Brown is over. We survived the devastation, and it was awesome. Two of the most violent 170-pound men on the plan read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 15 views

SAN JOSE – Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 12 event drew an announced attendance of 11,482 and a live gate of $735,317.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 58 views

Kyle Kingsbury made another go at it, but following Saturday’s UFC on FOX 12 event, he officially announced his retirement.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 19 views

Bellator MMA has added Japanese mixed martial arts veteran Hideo Tokoro to its roster, Sherdog.com has learned from a source close to the negotiations. read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 110 views

Appearing on ESPN's SportsCenter, UFC president Dana White officially announced the anticipated bout between former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and former Strikeforce welterweight champi read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 21 views

Ilir Latifi vs. Jan Blachowicz is the fifth bout to be announced for UFC Fight Night Stockholm on October 4th at Globe Arenas. read news >>