After capturing titles in every organization he's competed in, current RISE Super Lightweight Champion Kosei Yamada has finally decided to hang the gloves up. Earlier today, Yamada announced he would retire from professional competition on December 25, in what will be the 18th bout of his professional Kickboxing career.
'The Karate Monster' began competing in the sport of Karate in 2011, at the age of 19. He would go on to capture three titles competing in Shin (Gloved) Karate, five titles in Seidokaikan Karate, and one title in Kenbudokaikan Karate. Yamada would also finish as the runner-up on four different occasions across all three styles during his eight-year karate career.
Yamada made his professional Kickboxing debut in March of 2017 and went on a two-year, nine-fight winning streak, with his tenth fight being a first-round knockout of Yuma Yamaguchi in September 2019, to capture the vacant RISE Super Lightweight title. He made two title defenses in his next four fights, before notching a third-round knockout of fellow champion Naoki in April this year, a career-best win for the Niihama native.
This victory earned him the chance to fight Rukiya Anpo at the historic 'The Match 2022'. Although he lost the fight by unanimous decision, he was able to compete in front of 56,399 people at the sold-out Tokyo Dome, a feat which only a few athletes across all combat sports have been able to accomplish.
Yamada's record currently stands at 15 wins and two losses, with nine of those victories coming by way of stoppage.
One might see it as regrettable that the 29-year old decided to retire early, but unlike many of his peers he's retiring on the high of his career, without having sustained long-lasting injuries or setbacks.