Following a decision loss to Kaido Hoovelson in the opening round of the Rizin 2016 Openweight Grand Prix, Kazuyuki Fujita has announced his retirement from MMA.
Fujita (15-12-0) fought twice in Rizin after a three year hiatus from the sport, losing to the aforementioned Hoovelson and also to Jiri Prochazka in the opening round of the Rizin 2015 Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Fujita has not won a fight in over eight years, his last victory as a pro came over Peter Graham at Sengoku: First Battle in March 2008.
Fujita had an MMA career the spanned nearly seventeen years, while fighting such top names as Mark Kerr, Mark Coleman, Ken Shamrock, Gilbert Yvel, Mirko Cro Cop, Fedor Emelianenko, Bob Sapp, Wanderlei Silva, Jeff Monson, Blagoy Ivanov, Alistair Overeem and Satoshi Ishii.
The biggest moment of Fujita’s professional MMA career came when he nearly pulled a major upset over PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE 26: Bad To The Bone in June 2003. Fujita cracked Emelianenko and nearly knocked him out early in the fight, but was submitted via rear naked choke later in the first round.
Fujita ends his career on a six fight losing streak, a losing streak that has last over eight years, but the fighter spent three years on a hiatus before returning to competition in 2015 at Rizin.
Fujita announced his retirement at the Rizin 2016 Openweight Grand Prix post-fight press conference in what was an emotional moment to say the least.