NJPW Issues Statement On Kota Ibushi's Departure

Kota Ibushi officially became a free agent on February 1 in Japan as his NJPW contract expired.

One minute after midnight in Japan, Ibushi was announced for Josh Barnett's Bloodsport and Joey Janela's Spring Break as part of GCW The Collective during WrestleMania weekend.

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NJPW put out the following statement regarding Ibushi's departure:

With the conclusion of his contract period on January 31 2023, Kota Ibushi has departed New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Ibushi had been recovering from injury since October 2021.

We apologise to Ibushi’s fans for the abrupt announcement, and join them in wishing Ibushi the very best in all his future endeavours.

Ibushi has been out of action since he suffered a shoulder injury in the G1 Climax Finals 2021 against Kazuchika Okada. He was announced for the New Japan Cup 2022, but was pulled from the tour. In May 2022, Ibushi took to social media to express his frustrations with NJPW management, which led to NJPW holding a press conference addressing the issues and announcing penalties to Ibushi and others involved in the incidents.

Ibushi is a former three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, two-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion, IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and the first-ever IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

Fightful Select has more details regarding Ibushi's free agency.

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