Tenshin Nasukawa

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Tenshin Nasukawa
Born (1998-08-18) August 18, 1998 (age 20)
Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Other namesShindo (神童 Prodigy)
Lightning Left
Ninja Boy
TEPPEN
NationalityJapanese
Height165 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Weight55 kg (121.3 lb; 8.7 st)
DivisionFlyweight (MMA)
Bantamweight (Rise Kickboxing, -55kg)
Super Bantamweight (Kickboxing)
Featherweight (Kickboxing, Rise Kickboxing)
StyleKickboxing, Boxing, Kyokushin Karate
Fighting out ofTokyo, Japan
TeamTarget
Team Teppen (Teppen Gym)
Team Tenshin[2]
TrainerHiroyuki Nasukawa (father, Teppen Gym president), Takashi Ito (Target president), Yuji Okamoto (boxing coach), Yūichi Kasai (part-time boxing coach)
RankBlack belt in Kyokushin Kaikan
Black belt in Shin Karate
Kickboxing record
Total28
Wins28
By knockout22
Mixed martial arts record
Total4
Wins4
By knockout2
By submission1
By decision1
Losses0
Amateur record
Total111
Wins105
By knockout62
Losses5
Draws1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Tenshin Nasukawa (那須川 天心, Nasukawa Tenshin, born August 18, 1998) is a Japanese kickboxer and mixed martial artist, fighting out of Tokyo, Japan. Tenshin is the current Rise Kickboxing featherweight world champion, former Rise bantamweight champion, and the 2017 Rizin kickboxing flyweight tournament champion. As of 1 November 2018, he is ranked as the #8 bantamweight kickboxer in the world by Combat Press.[3]

Tenshin became famous due to his knockout victories over former IBF boxing world champion Amnat Ruenroeng and Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai champion Wanchalong PK Senchaigym. The latter was chosen as the 2016 Knockout of the Year by Combat Press.[4]

Early life[edit]

He began attracting attention on the scene when he launched his amateur kickboxing career age 13.[5]

It is said that he initially started learning Kyokushin Karate at age 5 as his father who worried about his timidity forced him to enter the dojo so that he could learn courtesy. Then, he seems to have become so strong that he won the championship in the Kyokushin Junior World Championship when he was a fifth grader in elementary school. After that, he became more drawn to kickboxing and began to learn it.[6]

Teshin amassed an amateur record of 99-5 by the age of 18 before he turned professional in kickboxing. He first made a name for himself after knocking out Wanchalong PK Senchaigym, who was a multiple Bangkok Lumpinee and Channel 7 champion, with a spinning back kick on his first Kickboxing fight when Nasukawa was still in high school.[7][8][9]

From Kyokushin Karate To Kickboxing[edit]

Nasukawa’s training actually began when he started Kyokushin Karate at just five years old, and he set his sights on joining one of Japan’s premier fight promotions, K-1 Kickboxing or Pride - both of which have produced a long list of UFC fighters including Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem.

"I practiced karate until I was in sixth grade. I was winning competitions at a national level,” he told Bleacher Report. "I wanted to participate on that big stage. There was no specific individual that inspired me. I was attracted to the stage."

Nasukawa became a black belt in Kyokushin karate but he blended his style with kickboxing to help him plough through the amateur circuits and rack up win after win. Nasukawa is now the face of the Rizin Fighting Federation, one of the biggest MMA promotions in Japan.

“I don't even want to imagine what kind of fighter he will turn out to be in five years,” one of Nasukawa’s opponents, Yusaku Nakamura said before he was knocked out by the youngster in May. Nasukawa won via unanimous decision. [10]

On May 31, 2015, Nasukawa fought for the Rise bantamweight title after compiling a 5-0 record. He won his first title fight by TKO in the second round against Yuta Murakoshi. On August 1, 2015, he won the Blade 55kg tournament.

On December 5, 2016, Nasukawa made his Kickboxing debut, knockout victories over Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai Champion, Wanchalong PKSenchaigym, by spinning back kick, with his superior Karate style.

Nasukawa faced the Rizin Bantamweight Champion Kyoji Horiguchi on September 30, 2018, at Rizin 13. The bout was contested under kickboxing rules.[11] Nasukawa won via unanimous decision.[12]

Nasukawa–Takeru rivalry[edit]

Nasukawa has been calling out Three-division K-1 champion Takeru Segawa since June 8, 2015.[13] But due to contractual obligations, both fighters were not able to meet in the ring. At that time, K-1 and Rise were in a "Kickboxing Cold War" since 2010.

On August 5, 2015, Takeru told the media that he was interested in fighting Nasukawa if K-1 can organize it. K-1 Japan group producer, Mitsuru Miyata, demanded that Nasukawa sign an exclusive contract with K-1 to be able to make the fight happen.[14] Nasukawa's trainer and RISE president, Takashi Ito, told combat sports magazine Fight & Life, that he will agree to let Nasukawa fight in a K-1 event but he's not willing to give up Nasukawa to an exclusive contract with K-1.[citation needed]

In 2015, K-1 officially made a partnership with the new MMA promotion, Rizin Fighting Federation. Rizin president, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announced that Rizin is willing to make partnerships with every fighting organization so RISE began to work with Rizin as well. This deal made it more possible for a Nasukawa–Segawa matchup.

November 8, 2015, Nasukawa had a knockout victory over French Muay Thai fighter Mike Alamos. After the match in the ring, Nasukawa announced that he wanted to fight in Rizin.[15]

On November 21, 2015, Takeru made his first defense of his K-1 55kg world title against Charles Bongiovanni, he won the fight by TKO. After the match, during the in-ring interview, Takeru announced his desire to fight in Rizin, 2 weeks after Nasukawa announced the same. When Takeru returned backstage, Nasukawa approached him and demanded the fight.[16] The fight can happen in Rizin even with the Rise and K-1 cold war. During the press conference, Takeru mentioned that he did not recognize Nasukawa and could not understand what he was saying due to the crowd noise and thought he was just a fan. Takeru confirmed that he is willing to accept the fight if offered.[16] After this event, Nasukawa tweeted that Takeru agreed to fight him on New Year's Eve.[17]

On December 8, 2015, Rizin announced a fight between Takeru and Chinese fighter, Yang Ming, for their New Year's Eve event. At the press conference, Rizin president, Sakakibara, acknowledged requests to make a Nasukawa vs. Takeru fight, however, he said there wasn't enough time to promote the fight and promised to try to make it happen in 2016.[18]

In 2016, Nasukawa signed with Rizin to fight on a December event. However, K-1 suddenly ended their partnership with Rizin. K-1 have tried to avoid any mention of the fight.[citation needed]

On June 18, 2017, after Takeru knocked out Buvaisar Paskhaev, K-1 commentator, Masato, expressed his desire to see Takeru fight Nasukawa but the 2 other commentators ignored his comments. 2 days later, K-1's official YouTube channel uploaded the full fight video of Takeru and Paskhaev but a few hours later it was deleted and re-uploaded with without Masato's comments.

On August 29, 2017, Rizin executive Nobuhiko Takada said on Twitter, "Two of the biggest superstars of kickboxing, Takeru vs Tenshin Nasukawa should be made right now! If this super-fight will not happen due to the (sic) cold war, it is heinous crime! Let's make this! Make miracle!" A few hours later a K-1 broadcaster trolled Takada on Twitter. A few days later, Takada apologized and promised to never talk about a fighter from another organization and deleted every tweet about Nasukawa vs Takeru.[19]

On December 31, 2017, Nasukawa won Rizin's Kickboxing 57kg tournament. In an attempt to quash the cold war and influence K-1 and Rise to make the Takeru fight, Nasukawa made sure the show was being broadcast live so Rizin was not be able to cut any of his comments. Post-fight, in the ring, Nasukawa engaged the crowd by asking who they want him to fight next and the crowd screamed Takeru's name.[20]

In February 2018, M-1 Sports Media, which operates K-1, filed a lawsuit against Tenshin, his father Hiroyuki, Rise president Takashi Ito and Rizin president Sakakibara. According to the lawsuit, it all started three years ago when Nasukawa called out Takeru to fight. More recently during Rizin's New Year's Eve event when Nasukawa asked the audience who they want him to fight next. They claim that it's an unfair business practice to involve another fighter's name from a different organization. And, they claim that many people has negative image about Takeru run away from Nasukawa, and they lost 6 sponsors. And, they file a damage suit 137,000,000 yen. But, 1 of 6 sponsors told Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Shincho "Our contract of K-1, we distribute Bento 3 times only. We can't understand why K-1 demands too expensive money".[21]

On March 16, 2018, Rise president Takashi Ito, former K-1 fighter Hiroya and his lawyer, accused K-1 Japan Group's exclusive contract, illegal based on the competition law. Hiroya's lawyer told the media, that the way K-1's contract work makes you not fight for a year for your contract to expire. Every fight you make with the organization, extends your contract for another year from your last fight and the only way to get out of the contract is not get paid for a year. Hiroya cites this as the reason why Segawa could not fight Nasukawa as he knows Segawa as a friend and will not back down to a fight.[22]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

After his Muay Thai debut on December 5, 2016, Japanese MMA promotion Rizin Fighting Federation offered him to make his MMA debut on their December 29 event. Nasukawa accepted the short notice offer, and began to train MMA for the first time. He won his first fight by TKO in the first round. After the fight, he announced his desire to fight in Rizin's New Year's Eve event in 2 days. Rizin president Nobuyuki Sakakibara granted his wish and he won the fight by guillotine choke in the second round.

In 2017, he was officially signed by Rizin.[23][24]

In 2017, MMA agent Shu Hirata, who manages UFC fighters, Francis Ngannou and Takeya Mizugaki, told the media that the UFC has offered Nasukawa with $60,000 (salary:$30,000,win bonus:$30,000) contract.[25][26]

January 2018, Nasukawa told Japanese sports magazine Sports Graphic, he wants kickboxing as his main sport until he becomes 22 or 23 years old, and after that, he would consider a shift in MMA or pro boxing.[citation needed]

On August 15, 2018, Evolve MMA announced that they have sponsored Nasukawa.[27] Founder, Chairman, and CEO of both Evolve MMA and ONE Championship, Chatri Sityodtong, stated that he is interested in signing Nasukawa after his contract expires.[28]

Boxing[edit]

International Boxing Hall of Fame and World Boxing Hall of Famer, professional boxing promoter Akihiko Honda of Teiken Promotions Inc., have offered Nasukawa to move to boxing since he was 12 years old.[29]

When Nasukawa was a 14-year-old junior high school student, Teiken Promotions offered Nasukawa a contract including a signing bonus of more than $100,000 to box, but Nasukawa turned down the offer due to his love for kickboxing. But, Teiken Promotions still continues to offer him a boxing contract.[30] One of Teiken Gym trainer Yūichi Kasai, who made 4 world boxing champions such as Takashi Miura and Toshiaki Nishioka became Nasukawa's part-time boxing coach.

Nasukawa wants to fight both kickboxing and boxing. However, the Japan Boxing Commission doesn't permit Japanese professional boxers to fight in other professional combat sports. In September 2018, Nasukawa told AbemaTV, that he wants to fight boxing in other countries and stay as a kickboxer in Japan.[31]

Three-division boxing world champion Naoya Inoue's trainer and promoter, former two-time boxing world champion Hideyuki Ohashi said "Nasukawa can win boxing world title till his 2nd professional match, break world record of Vasyl Lomachenko and Saensak Muangsurin's 3rd professional match", and he interested future plan for Naoya Inoue vs Tenshin Nasukawa in Tokyo Dome.[32]

Nasukawa was offered to fight at the 2020 Summer Olympics. He showed interest to fight in the Olympics but he doesn't want to fight his friend and former teammate at Team Teppen, AIBA Youth 2016 World Champion, Hayato Tsutsumi.[30]

On November 5, 2018, it was announced that Nasukawa was expected to face undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Rizin 14 on December 31, 2018. The supposed rules for this bout were not determined.[33] However, on 7 November, Mayweather stated that the fight had been announced in error due to a misunderstanding (claiming that he had never even heard of Nasukawa until the press conference), and that he had been booked for an exhibition fight for "a small group of wealthy spectators" that was not meant to be televised.[34][35] On November 16, 2018, Mayweather announced that the fight is back on. It will be a 3-round exhibition boxing match.[36][37] In the one-sided fight, Nasukawa was knocked down 3 times in the first round and his corner subsequently threw the towel in.[38][39] There were speculations that the match was fixed.[40]

Fighting style[edit]

Nasukawa is a southpaw and his style is a combination of kickboxing and full contact karate, both of which he has learned and competed at a very young age.[41]

Titles and accomplishments[edit]

  • Rise Bantamweight (55kg) Champion
  • 2015 Blade Japan Cup (55kg) Tournament Champion
  • ISKA Oriental Rules Bantamweight (55kg) World Champion[42] (1 time title defended)
  • 2017 Rizin Flyweight (57kg) Kickboxing Tournament Champion
  • Rise Featherweight (57g) World Champion


Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 4–0 Yamato Fujita Decision (unanimous) Rizin World Grand Prix 2017: Opening Round - Part 2 October 15, 2017 3 5:00 Fukuoka, Japan
Win 3–0 Francesco Ghigliotti KO (head kick) Rizin 2017 in Yokohama: Sakura April 16, 2017 1 1:07 Yokohama, Japan
Win 2–0 Dylan Kawika Oligo Submission (guillotine choke) Rizin World Grand Prix 2016: Final Round December 31, 2016 2 3:37 Tokyo, Japan
Win 1–0 Nikita Sapun TKO (punches) Rizin World Grand Prix 2016: 2nd Round December 29, 2016 1 2:45 Tokyo, Japan

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Sherdog.com. "Tenshin Nasukawa MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography - Sherdog.com". Sherdog. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  3. ^ "Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: November 2018". combatpress.com.
  4. ^ "Combat Press 2016 Kickboxing Awards: Knockout of the Year – Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Wanchalong". Zach Aittama. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
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  11. ^ "Rizin 13 card complete with Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Tenshin Nasukawa in kickboxing, Mirko Cro Cop's return". Guilherme Cruz. 2018-08-24. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
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  14. ^ "-武尊、58kg王座返上。那須川天心戦は「K-1で組まれるならいつでもやる」". Yoshinori Ihara. 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
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  19. ^ "那須川天心×武尊のスーパーマッチは実現困難? 専門家が語る「対戦したら7:3で…○○が勝つ!」". Marimo Natsu. 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
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  22. ^ "【TRY HARD GYM】HIROYA代表代行が会見「大雅がRIZINで試合をしていないので契約違反はしていない。どんな団体でもオファーをいただければ出て行きたい」". GONG KAKUTOGI. 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
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  26. ^ "UFCは那須川天心と契約できるなら3万+3万ドル出すと言ってるそうです。これは超破格!". @majan saitou. 2017-07-30. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
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