ROAD FC signs top Japanese fighter Riki Fukuda to the roster, first fight to be October 12, 2013.
As a collegiate wrestler, Fukuda first expected his professional career to stay in that forte and he made his debut in the “Fighting World of Japan” prowrestling promotion in 2003. The lure of unscripted combat was too strong, and he made his first MMA fight not in Japan – uncharacteristic of Japanese fighters – but the the US promotion SuperBrawl. Fukuda was seemingly outmatched against 30-fight veteran Joe Doerksen. Although Riki lost the bout, it was the first time Doerksen had not been able win by finishing his opponent, being pushed the entire length of the fight to do so.
Over the next for years, Fukuda slowly racked up a record of 10-2 and was given a shot at the DEEP Middleweight Championship title in a tournament in which he defeated Yuya Shirai to face Yuichi Nakanishi. He lost by decision, and fuelled by it, went on a tear defeating Jason Jones, Ryuta Sakurai and Murilo Rua, coming back to take the title in a rematch with Nakanishi. Then in 2010, with a record of 17-4, Fukuda was finally picked up by the UFC.
Fukuda’s first fight against Nick Ring showcased his takedown ability through the entire fight, and while the decision went Ring’s way, Dana White stated otherwise and awarded Fukuda a win bonus. His next 4 fights were a seesaw of three-rounds wars, culminating in being released from the promotion because of a failed drug test, which he attributed to over-the-counter cold medicines. It was a disappointing result for such an exciting fighter to be put on the chopping block right in the middle of his career, but Fukuda hasn’t wasted any time lamenting it. He has very rapidly signed with ROAD FC, Korea’s major MMA promotion.
His debut with ROAD FC takes place on the next card on October 12th against a yet to be determined opponent. Full press release below.
For immediate release:
ROAD Fighting Championship Announces the Signing of Top Japanese Fighter Riki Fukuda
August 27, 2013 – ROAD Fighting Championship is very excited to announce the latest international addition to the roster, Riki Fukuda of Japan, two year UFC veteran and former DEEP Middleweight Champion. Fukuda (19-7) was a collegiate wrestler. He started his MMA career in SuperBrawl in USA, then fought in Pancrase, Shooto, EliteXC, K-1, and DREAM. Fukuda has notable wins over Yuichi Nakanishi, Jason Jones, Ryuta Sakurai and Murilo Rua.
Mr Jung Moon-Hong, CEO of ROAD FC, knew that Riki Fukuda was in high demand as a free agent, and he is very humbled that Fukuda chose ROAD FC over many other well-established MMA promotions. Mr Jung says, “Riki is a strong and exciting fighter, he is perfect for ROAD FC. I am so happy he has joined with us. ROAD FC will make very good fights for him, and make sure he is well taken care of.”
Fukuda will make his debut in ROAD FC 013 and his opponent will be announced soon. He joins other top foreign fighters in the ranks such as Ikuhisa Minowa, Michihiro Omigawa, Issei Tamura, Melvin Manhoef, Shungo Oyama, Joachim Hansen, Roan Carneiro, and Kume Takasuke.
As announced previously for ROAD FC 013, Kume Takasuke will be challenging the Lightweight Champion Nam Yui-Chul in a rematch for the title. Their first battle was an incredible three round war that resulted in the judges calling for an additional fourth and final round to determine the winner. At the decision, Nam was declared the Lightweight Champion. The ROAD FC fans request to award Takasuke the first challenge to the title was overwhelming, and a rematch was quickly agreed upon.
ROAD FC 013 in Gumi will also be the Semifinal matches of the Featherweight Tournament. Kwon Bae-Young will face Kosuke Umeda, and Kil Young-Bok will face Choi Mu-Gyum. Kwon won a hotly-contested decision over Michihiro Omigawa. Umeda receives a buy into the match with Kwon. Choi edged out a decision over Hubert Geven, to meet Kil, who wrestled a win over Kim Wong-Gi.
More bouts for ROAD FC 013 in Gumi, South Korea on October 12, 2013 will be announced soon.