Last night, Rizin Fighting Federation touched down in Fukuoka, Japan with a exciting night of fights (though there were certainly lulls in the action). One of the highlights of the card was the latest appearance of former UFC featherweight contender Tatsuya Kawajiri. Unfortunately for Kawajiri and his fans, however, this return to action went fairly disastrously.
Kawajiri’s opponent in this fight was Brazil’s Gabriel Oliveira. In the bout’s second round, Oliveira planet a rocket-fuelled knee on the side of the Japanese veteran’s face, removing his batteries completely as he did so.
Gabriel Oliveira Wins KO R2.#RIZIN #RIZIN2017 #RIZINFF pic.twitter.com/N3vLeTcKz8
— Jonnyboy (@Jonnyboy_6969) October 15, 2017
After back-to-back losses to Dennis Bermudez and Cub Swanson, Kawajiri granted a release from his UFC contract. Since his departure from the organization, he has gone 1-2 in the Rizin ring, interspersing a win over fellow UFC veteran Anthony Birchak with stoppage losses to Kron Gracie and now, Gabriel Oliveira.
Over the course of his long career, Kawajiri has picked up wins over game foes in Yves Edwards, Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen (twice), Charles Bennett, Kultar “The Black Mamba” Gill, Gesias Cavalcante, Josh Thomson, Michihiro Omigawa, Sean Soriano, Dennis Siver and Jason Knight. While he’s reached significant heights in the past, it’s possible 39-year-old’s record career is drawing to a close.
Do you think Tatsuya Kawajiri would be wise to hang up the gloves, or does he have a few more fights in the tank?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/15/2017.