Living legend Megumi Fujii takes on Jessica Aguilar in her final MMA retirement bout as the headliner for Vale Tudo Japan 3 on October 5, 2013.
Megumi Fujii is a name virtually synonymous with women’s MMA.
Undefeated across her first 22 fights, she yanked and cranked her way through Japan’s Smackgirl and Jewels before hitting the world stage in DREAM and Bellator. She has only been defeated – but never finished – in 2 of her 28 bouts, and she will be given the chance to avenge one of them in the final fight of her career.
MMA-in-ASIA caught up with the judo-slinging, sambo-swinging submission specialist just prior to her final MMA fight.
MMA-in-ASIA: How are your emotions ahead of your last fight at Vale Tudo Japan 3?
Megu: I’m very glad to finish my great life as a fighter. Thanks to my fans, I have been able to have an incredible time. I’ll do my best to use all my strength to win this fight.
MMA-in-ASIA: When you look back on your career in MMA, what was your most significant – or favorite – fight?
Megu: All of my fights have each been meaningful for me.
MMA-in-ASIA: How do you stay focused on your own upcoming fight when you are busy helping other fighters for theirs? Is it challenging?
Megu: No not really. Actually, I think that to help other fighters prepare for their fights is useful to my own training. I don’t think of it as a separate thing.
MMA-in-ASIA: Who are some of your sparring partners for the upcoming fight?
Megu: I have been preparing with all of the fighters of the Abe Ani Combat Club.
MMA-in-ASIA: Are you preparing any specific way for Jessica Aguilar?
Megu: Well, as I’m preparing for her, I’m reminding myself that this is my last fight. She is the best opponent I could have for this. I already know that she is very strong, so I am striving that my mental condition will be its peak for the fight.
MMA-in-ASIA: What so you think of her fighting style?
Megu: She can do it all – striking, wrestling, and grappling. I think her fighting sprit is especially very strong too. Actually, I really like her fight style.
MMA-in-ASIA: How have you stayed in top competition shape for your entire long career?
Megu: Time is catching up with me, but I don’t forget my original intentions from the beginning, and don’t let go of myself mentally or physically.
MMA-in-ASIA: What are some lifestyle tips you would recommend for new fighters?
Megu: Have a normal and regular life that will provide you with the strength of stability.
MMA-in-ASIA: Women’s MMA can be difficult because of so few opponents, but that is changing. Do you have words of advice for new female fighters?
Megu: The situation is improving now. I don’t think women MMA fighters need to be annoyed with the situation any more. Anyway, if you go forward believing in yourself, the outcome and the answer will appear. Keep going. To keep going is very important.
MMA-in-ASIA: Who are some “future stars” in Japanese women’s MMA?
Megu: I’m looking forward to seeing the future of Mizuki.
MMA-in-ASIA: Who are some fighters you admire? Or people who are not fighters that you admire?
Megu: My parents, and my teammates who are Hitomi, Hamazaki, and Tamada.
MMA-in-ASIA: Aside from combat sports, what are some of your hobbies?
Megu: I like to play with my cats!
MMA-in-ASIA: What is your favorite food?
Megu: Strawberries and vegetables.
MMA-in-ASIA: What have been your favorite places in your travels around the world?
California, the Gold Coast, Sapporo, and Spain.
MMA-in-ASIA: Will the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo help combat sports gain more popularity in Japan?
Megu: I hope so. Through the Tokyo Olympics, I also want people all over the world to know about the goodness of Japan.
MMA-in-ASIA: What can help Japanese MMA regain popularity?
Megu: It should keep evolving in a step-by-step fashion. All of the Japanese fighters really need to unite in order to win overseas.
MMA-in-ASIA: What will be your focus after you retire?
Megu: I would just like to enjoy an ordinary life. And I want to have a baby soon!