Former PFL semifinalist Ryoji Kudo has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. Read about his journey and the impact he made in the sport.
Kudo, who signed with the PFL last year to compete in the featherweight bracket for 2022, has decided to hang up his gloves after a career that showcased his power and determination.
A Promising Career Cut Short
Entering the season with a professional record of 9-1-1, Kudo made it to the semifinals of the PFL, impressing fans with his skills and potential. He faced off against eventual champion Brendan Loughnane in a thrilling fight and secured a first-round knockout of Alejandro Flores.
However, Kudo’s journey came to an end when he was submitted by Bubba Jenkins in August. He also suffered back-to-back losses against top 145-pounders Movlid Khaybulaev and Chris Wade.
A Difficult Decision
In an emotional Instagram post, Kudo expressed his decision to retire. He acknowledged the toll that 25 years of martial arts has taken on his body and the physical limitations he now faces. Kudo revealed that a broken pelvis was one of the final factors that led to his retirement.
Despite the challenges, Kudo expressed pride in his career and his ability to compete through injuries. He stated that he is grateful for the opportunity to pursue the martial arts he loves but recognizes that it is time to say goodbye.
A Legacy in the Cage
With a professional record of 11-6-1, Kudo leaves behind a legacy in the cage. His journey from starting in Karate at the age of five to competing in judo, wrestling, and MMA showcases his dedication and passion for the sport.
While Kudo’s retirement marks the end of his professional fighting career, his impact on the sport and his determination will not be forgotten.