Though it might have taken slightly longer, ONE FC featherweight champion Koji Oishi’s win over Honorio Banario in December ended the same way as their previous bout seven months earlier, with a knockout.
And even though he’s pleased with the performance, Oishi feels Banario did enough things differently in their second bout to try to not have the same outcome as their first.
“Defending the title is one of my biggest goals,” Oishi told MMAWeekly.com. “I am so happy since I made it.
“(Banario) was a fantastic opponent (who) learned a lot of new things (between fights) and felt like a new opponent. I think I won because I was on form that night. It could have been very different.”
Since branching out from his home promotion Pancrase two years ago, Oishi has had increasingly impressive performances, to which he credits the unwavering backing of the people around him.
“Because in good times and bad times, I have the support of everyone from my family to my mates in the gym, and with their support I feel like I can achieve anything as a fighter,” said Oishi.
Oishi (25-9-10) will seek to cement his place atop the ONE FC 145-pound weight class when he defends his title on Aug. 29 in Dubai, against veteran Jadamba Narantungalag (9-3).
“I am putting my effort to show the best things mentally and technically at the moment with his fight,” said Oishi of his bout against Narantungalag.
Having turned 37 this year, Oishi is no longer the fresh faced fighter he was in his UFC appearances, but to him, it doesn’t matter how old he is, as long as he continues to use his time productively in the sport.
“Age is not so important to be a fighter,” he said. “The more important thing is have your skills changed. As long as you are still getting better, there is no need to think about retirement.
“I really appreciate everyone’s support and that I can participate in such an extraordinary huge ONE FC event with three title matches. I will try to put on a great match and can’t wait for the moment when I step into the ONE FC cage.”