Koji Oishi, the fourth Lightweight King of Pancrase and former ONE FC Featherweight Champion, has announced plans to retire.
Oishi was born in Kobe, Japan in 1977 and was a wrestler at Aoyama Gakuin University. Remarkably, his MMA debut was at UFC 25 in Japan against Laverne Clark in 2000. The following year he transitioned to Pancrase where he ascended the ranks in the welterweight, lightweight and featherweight divisions.
In 2005, Oishi again got a shot in the UFC against notorious Nick Diaz. He was knocked out in the first round, and ironically next faced Nate Diaz in Pancrase, where he rebounded with a decision win.
Oishi has defeated the likes of Satoru Kitaoka, Chris Lytle, Felipe Olivieri, and Naoyuki Kotani. His massive record of Draws have also been against the biggest names in the sport such as Heath Sims, Yuji Hoshino, Maximo Blanco, and the current Featherweight King Takumi Nakayama.
Oishi’s 2012 title defense against the then prodigy Isao Kobayashi forced him to reinvent himself at featherweight, and he challenged Nakayama to a Draw. The stellar career launched him into ONE FC, where he won the Featherweight strap from Honorio Banario and defended successfully against him a second time, with two KO finishes.
A third shot against fellow veteran Jadamba Naruntungalag went an incredible 5 rounds, and while Oishi was in the fight right up to the bell, Jadamba walked away with a win from the judges.
Oishi’s incredible striking began to come to the forefront as his career progressed, from a strong and calculating wrestler to an intimidating and heavy-handed all-rounder. From his technical fights to his bloody brawls, Oishi has always remained one of the most interesting MMA fighters to watch.
Oishi’s retirement ceremony and final gong will take place during Pancrase 264 on February 1, 2015. He has decided that a final fight in Japan is not warranted. Oishi will continue to contribute to MMA in the gym and by supporting Pancrase. He may also pursue his original passion of proving himself to be a strong wrestler.