This weekend was the end of a memorable MMA career for former Olympic gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida. His star pupil, Kazuhiro Nakamura, won the retirement fight by decision at the inaugural Astra card. On New Year’s Eve, Yoshida defeated 2008 Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii. Let’s go back to 1992 and check out Yoshida’ gold medal winning performance.

Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Jason Morris 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games

This victory, as well as a natural charisma, made Yoshida one of the biggest stars during Japan’s kakutogi boom. The current situation makes it pretty clear that the era is over, and his retirement only drives this point home. That generation’s stars and draws like Kazushi Sakuraba, Masato and Bob Sapp are all at the tail end of their careers. It will only take another star to bring MMA back to the forefront in Japan. How long will we have to wait for another Yoshida?

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