Saturday, June 22, 2013

Megumi Fujii announces retirement

Megumi Fujii announces her retirement
Japanese martial arts pioneer and women's MMA legend Megumi Fujii announced her long awaited retirement plans at today's VTJ show at TDC Hall. Megumi was doing commentary on the broadcast. She will retire on the Oct. 5 VTJ show at Ota Gymnasium in Tokyo. She also announced her retirement in Fight & Life magazine which was released today. As is tradition in Japan, there will be a retirement match followed by a ceremony. The match is likely to be an exhibition match. I hope she will convince her best friend of over twenty years Hitomi Akano to do the exhibition match and then they retire together. Supposedly Hitomi doesn't want a retirement ceremony. But Megumi can talk her into it as she has talked Hitomi into doing many things over the years. Hitomi deserves to be honoured by the scared tradition of a retirement ceremony. Because if she doesn't agree to it, she will regret it later. She should talk to legendary pro wrestler Bull Nakano who chose not to have a retirement ceremony when she quit AJW in 1998. Bull did regret it and had a retirement ceremony in 2011. I'm not going to get into Megumi's accomplishments because we all know what they are. Obviously she should be in the MMA Hall Of Fame. But she should also be in the Martial Arts Hall Of Fame for her accomplishments as an amateur long before she turned pro and for what she has done for martial arts in Japan especially for women and children. I have been asked if I think this retirement is final. There are rare exceptions but the retirement process in Japan is taken very seriously. When a fighter or pro wrestler retires, that's it. They don't come back. And I know Megumi is familiar with the retirement tradition in Japan. That's why she took so long to decide. We don't have that tradition here. Terry Funk seems to retire every five minutes. I prefer the Japanese way. Retirement should be serious and final. And I know a lot of fans are sad that Megumi is retiring. But she's 39 years old. Her knees are bad. It's time to go. She has nothing to prove. She will continue to train champs like Ayaka Hamasaki and train the next generation at her AACC kids program. She knows the sport so she will be a great broadcaster. And I expect her to do more officiating at amateur tournaments which is something she has done in the past. And she will play with her cats. Megumi Fujii will continue to be the best representative for women's MMA that we have ever had. And since she will be at the upcoming Invicta show, they need to commemorate her retirement at that show. It's the right thing to do.

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