Cristiano Kaminishi could be one of the top 205-pounders in Asia, but the Brazilian-born, Japan-based fighter has spent his entire career competing at heavyweight and has never had the opportunity to test himself in his natural division.
That will all change on Friday when he takes on English striking specialist James McSweeney at ONE FC: Reign of Champions and he is excited to have the opportunity to finally be fighting against opponents who aren’t significantly heavier.
“My real weight division is 205 pounds, light heavyweight, and McSweeney is a good fighter with awesome striking; the match will be very interesting.”
Although Kaminishi has been going up against bigger men, he has not exactly struggled, winning the HEAT heavyweight title and running up an 8-1 record. His only loss came by way of a majority decision and he says he was inspired to transition from BJJ to MMA after helping numerous Brazilian fighters who were in Japan to compete for Pride.
“I used to help the Brazilian Top Team guys when they were fighting at Pride FC about 14 years ago and after many years of training and learning with the best, I decided to start an MMA career. Big Nog was my mentor.”
Kaminishihas been living on and off in Japan for almost 20 years. These days he is best known for his accomplishments in MMA, but he the BJJ black belt initially made a name for himself by winning multiple grappling tournaments.
“I am a Brazilian citizen, but I moved to Japan when I was 17 years old. I have won many BJJ tournaments, the Asian cup, Pan American Games, Hawaii cup, Brazil state cup, All Japan, etc., and I have been a black belt in BJJ since 2006.”
He has not fought since 2010 due to a series of injuries, but Kaminishi claims he is back to full fitness now and is looking to make his mark on ONE FC’s light heavyweight division.
“I am 100-percent now. I did my fight camp in Brazil and Malaysia with Thai coaches and BJJ black belts. I have always wanted to for fight at the best events in the world and ONE FC is one of the biggest.”