RIZIN 24 on September 27 was kicked off with lightweight action. Former promotional main eventer Yusuke Yachi opened the show looking to pick up a much-needed win against Deep staple, Juri Ohara. The two went to war in what the community viewed as the consensus best fight of the night, and ultimately a successful debut for Ohara as he earned the split decision.
Turning 30 years old this November, Ohara finds himself just two fights short of big No. 50 in his professional MMA career. Having fought since 2009, the pace at which he has been competing is truly something to behold.
At 27-18-3, fight No. 48 was win No. 28 and arguably one of Ohara’s biggest as it came on the large RIZIN stage against a very notable name.
“I had no intention of fighting this much when I made my debut,” Ohara told MyMMANews on BROADENED HORIZIN, “But I was talking to my coach and the idea was to try to fight as much as possible to get experience. And that led one fight to another and here I am.
“For me, I’m more relieved that I was able to get the win in a very important fight against a very tough fighter. So I’m not thinking too much about RIZIN, divisions, and whatnot. I’m just happy that I overcame a very tough challenge. And that’s what’s important to me.”
Ohara has already managed to get two fights in 2020 and both resulted in great wins. The first of which coming via an up-kick TKO, of all things, followed by the big Yachi win.
While he’s already had a very full career to this point, there is no plan in place to slow down any time soon. The fishing aficionado originally hoped to fight on the November 1 Deep card but unfortunately, a minor injury sustained in his last outing has prevented that possibility.
Ideally, four fights a year is a good number for the 29-year old veteran. But at this rate, one more will do. As for opponents, Ohara is open to anyone. In a perfect world, he’d get to test himself against one of his all-time favorite fighters.
“I don’t usually pick my opponents, I’ve never done that before,” he said, “But if I had a choice, I would like to face [Takanori] Gomi.
“I’ve been watching Gomi fight since I was in elementary school. I was a huge fan, I still am a huge fan of Gomi. So now that I’ve chosen his path and career I’ve pursued, it would be nice for me as a fan just to fight him and see how I do.”
Ohara has proven to be a very exciting lightweight and finds himself in a rather favorable position going forward. No matter where his journey will take him.
Drake is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women’s fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, WhatCulture, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at YouTube.com/DrakeRiggs where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.