From fearless strikers to elite submission grapplers, Japan has provided the forever-expanding world of mixed martial arts with a long list of extraordinary athletes with the likes of Caol Uno, Hayato Sakurai, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi and Kazushi Sakuraba.
Knowing the relevance of Japanese combatants in the sport, ONE Championship houses the best and brightest competitors from “The Land of the Rising Sun” as they form an integral part of the roster, with exciting prizefighters such as Koji Ando and Kotetsu Boku, as well as the legendary Shinya Aoki and ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito.
Other Japanese members of the ONE Championship locker room are Mei Yamaguchi, Hayato Suzuki, Riku Shibuya, Tetsuya Yamada, Yuki Kondo, Kazunori Yokota, Nobutatsu Suzuki and Masakazu Imanari.
In preparation for its first venture into Japan in the first quarter of 2019, ONE Championship has bolstered its promising pool of world-class talents with the acquisition of Japanese prospects Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu and Koyomi Matsushima.
Both men will make their respective promotional debuts on the undercard of ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES, which takes place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia on 22 September.
Holding a professional record of 10-2, Wakamatsu is an aggressive knockout artist with shocking power.
With nine of his ten victories coming by way of knockout, the 23-year-old native of Kagoshima, Japan is a force to be reckoned with at flyweight.
“I am happy to be part of the growing ONE Championship family. I would also like to thank everyone who made this possible. I can’t wait to have my promotional debut and exhibit what I am capable of doing,” Wakamatsu stated.
A winner of ten of his last 11 bouts, Wakamatsu has decided to direct his career path to ONE Championship, locking horns with former ONE Flyweight World Championship challenger Danny “The King” Kingad in his first assignment under the promotion’s banner on 22 September.
“The fans must not blink every time I am inside the ring or cage because I could finish the contest at any time,” Wakamatsu promised.
On the other hand, Matsushima is one of the fastest rising mixed martial artists hailing from Kanagawa prefecture located in the Kantō region of Japan.
With a win-loss standing of 9-3, Matsushima has put together a handful of solid performances while competing in local Japanese promotions such as Pancrase and Shooto.
Having a penchant for scoring highlight-reel stoppages, Matsushima owns five victories by knockouts and has shared the cage with notable names outside of ONE Championship, including Rolando Gabriel Dy and Kyle Aguon.
“I am honored to be part of this world-class martial arts organization. With ONE Championship opening its doors for other martial artists like me to join and showcase our talent on a global stage, it means a lot to me as an athlete,” Matsushima said.
Matsushima brings his all-action style to ONE Championship when he makes his first appearance on 22 September against ex-featherweight kingpin Marat “The Cobra” Gafurov at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES.
“This is a new challenge, and I love challenges. I am looking forward to my debut in ONE Championship,” Matsushima declared.
ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES is headlined by a scheduled five-round strawweight championship rematch between division champion Naito and Filipino rival Joshua Pacio.