A majority decision loss to Nam Jin Jo was surely not the way that one-time Shooto flyweight champion Shinichi “BJ” Kojima wanted to finish his Shooto career. So when Kojima made his move to ONE FC last year, he knew he had to make a statement.
“It was very important for me,” said Kojima. “That fight was my debut in ONE FC and I wanted to make a good impression. To finish a guy like Rey Docyogen is a huge feather in my cap and I’m glad I did it in my debut.”
While Kojima was able to impress against Docyogen last year, 2013 as a whole didn’t go as smoothly as he would have liked.
“2013 was a mixed year,” said Kojima. “I finally made my debut in ONE FC with a very satisfying in my debut in February. I got a submission (win). I then had to change two opponents for my bout in September, and when (Andrew) Leone dropped out with less than a week to go, they couldn’t find a replacement.
“I was very disappointed as I was looking forward to fighting after training so hard.”
Kojima (13-5-5) will finally be able to get his bout with Leone (6-2) on March 14 when ONE FC returns to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“It’s time for us to finally face each other,” said Kojima. “I’ve waited very long for this fight and I can’t wait to face him.
“Nothing against Leone, I just believe I am a better mixed martial artist in all aspects and I believe that I can beat him. He’s known as a wrestler, but I have been wrestling longer than him. I’m looking forward to putting on a good show and winning the bout on March 14.”
Should Kojima get past Leone, he only has one goal in mind for this year: becoming a champion.
“I want to be the first ONE FC flyweight world champion,” he said. “That is the target, and I will beat anybody who gets in my way.
“Thanks for interviewing me. I look forward to putting on a show for ONE FC, for my fans, and to do my teammates and family proud. Time for war on March 14!”