As an aficionado (read: blind fanboy) of Japanese MMA, I am well aware of the country’s proclivity for combat sports freakshows. Can’t say I saw this one coming, though.
Former champions Koki Kameda and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam held a press conference this past Saturday to announce that their rematch will take place on May 5th at Korakuen Hall. Kameda has not fought since an upset loss to Kohei Kono in 2015, while Wongjongkam has been out of action for nearly five years.
The fight is supposed to be a one-off thing, but Asian Boxing reports that both men are facing financial issues, so anything is possible. They currently work as trainers, Kameda (33-2, 18 KO) at his longtime home of Kyoei Gym and Wonjongkam (90-5-2, 47 KO) at Singaporean MMA superteam Evolve MMA.
Kameda won titles at light flyweight, flyweight, and bantamweight, but fell short against Kono in his only bid at super flyweight gold. He’s still just 31 and his retirement didn’t appear to be a product of in-ring decline, so it’s not really worrying to see him back in action.
Wonjongkam, however, should not be in the ring. The former flyweight king turned 40 last year and suffered TKO losses to Sonny Boy Jaro and Rey Megrino, the latter of whom had a losing record at the time, before bowing out of the sport in 2013.
And no, as far as I can tell, this is not an April Fools gag.