Shooto has announced that it will hold a retirement ceremony for former world middleweight champion Akira Kikuchi at it’s Korakuen Hall tomorrow.
A retirement ceremony? Isn’t Kikuchi only 29? Yeah, I don’t understand either.
Kikuchi hasn’t given a specific reason as to why he is hanging up the gloves as of yet but one can only expect that he will be addressing the topic at the event.
After finding much success as an amateur, the Tokyo native turned pro in 2002, where he won his first six fights before coming out on the wrong end of a unanimous decision courtesy of Jake Shields in the summer of 2003.
Kikuchi rebounded to win his next three fights and then avenged his loss to Shields by decisioning him. The win over Shields gave Kikuchi his first Shooto world title. Kikuchi held the belt until he lost it to slick grappler Shinya Aoki in 2006. After defeating Ronald Jhun, Kikuchi lost a razor close decision in a rematch against Aoki and failed to regain his title.
The former top ranked welterweight was last in action in September, where he was stopped by Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the finals of Greatest Common Multiple’s welterweight tournament. Kikuchi had defeated Ju Pyo Hong and Ultimate Fighter 5 cast member Jared Rollins before losing to Yoshida.