On 23rd of this month, Koji Oishi held a press conference at Gold's Gym Harajuku in Tokyo, and announced his retirement from MMA.
"I was thinking about it for a while now, it was more about when would be the best timing for me to retire."
Oishi explained to the reporters, "It’s an accumulation of many things, but the big factor is, I was aspired by pro-wreslers, I watched New Japan Pro-Wrestling, then I watched the foundation of Pancrase, and I joined Pancrase because I felt I can be the strongest pro-wrestler if I join Pancrase. And I know this is not my words but I no longer has that feeling of 'Any time, any where, I will take anyone's challenge', so I have decided, as a fighter, I felt I am no longer useful."
Oishi is 37 years old.
He was the member of Aoyama Gakuin University wrestling team and made a pro MMA debut in the UFC-J (UFC 25) show held in year 2000. He lost to LaVerne Clark via majority decision. Year after this fight, Oishi joined Pancrase, and ended up fighting in three different weight classes – welterweight, lightweight and featherweight.
In 2005 Oishi signed with UFC and faced Nick Diaz (at welterweight) but lost via KO. However, just two months later, in Pancrase, Oishi defeated Nick's younger brother, Nate Diaz, via unanimous decision.
Oishi won King of Pancrase title at the lightweight division. He defeated fighters like Katsuya Inoue, Daisuke "13" Hanazawa, and ISAO to win the title in 20011. Next year, Oishi went down to 145 lbs and in 2013 he got to the title fight against TAKUMI, the King of Pancrase at featherweight division. Oishi took TAKUMI to a three-round draw in this fight. He didn't win his second title but because of this impressive performance, Oishi got a call from ONE FC. He went 2-1 in the Asia's largest MMA promotion, however, according to Oishi, one thing that happened at ONE FC were one of the reasons why he decided to retire, "I had injuries ever since my wrestling days, before joining Pancrase so that didn't bother me but just about to start fighting for ONE FC, I began having a problem with my old injuries. So, at ONE FC, I was going to use tapes but they told me I couldn't use tape. I was astonished…."
Apparently Oishi will continue to train amateur fighters but not in Pancrase. He is leaving the promotion to start his second career at the different gym.
Oishi's final pro MMA record is 25 wins 10 losse and 12 draws. In Pancrase, he was 18-7-12.
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)