Ren Hiramoto announced on Wednesday that he plans to transition to MMA, leaving the sport of kickboxing. The announcement came via a Youtube broadcast from Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN Fighting Federation.
Former K-1 kickboxer, Hiramoto returned to the sport after a year-and-a-half absence in December, fighting a kickboxing bout on a joint RIZIN and Bellator card, defeating Takahiro Ashida in the first round.
During the video conference, Hiramoto expressed interest in fighting Mikuru Asakura, who has a 7-0 record in the promotion.
While nothing concrete has been announced, RIZIN aims to return in the summer with events. Their last event, RIZIN 21, happened in late February, with Asakura defeating Daniel Salas via stoppage in the main event.
The 21-year-old fighter has not fought in MMA before, although his crossover wouldn’t be a first in RIZIN. Star kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa made his MMA debut in the promotion as well, stopping Nikita Sapun in the first round. While still mainly pursuing kickboxing, Nasukawa has attained a 4-0 MMA record as well.