Following in her friend Megumi Fujii’s footsteps, Hitomi Akano has decided to retire. Akano posted the news on her blog Wednesday.
Akano (18-10) has had a full eight and a half year career, facing some of the best the bantamweight division has to offer. She started her career when her roommate Megumi Fujii recommended she train at her gym, AACC. She had her first match on November 2009, getting a unanimous decision win over Megumi Yabushita. Akano would do this with a broken foot.
Akano would accrue 14 armbar victories in her career, one more than Fujii. Among her notable wins were against Carina Damm, Hiroko Yamanaka, and Roxanne Modafferi.
She was a finalist in the Strikeforce Bantamweight Grand Prix, losing a decision to current UFC signee Miesha Tate. She would lose to top ranked fighters Sara McMann and Alexis Davis at Invicta before hanging up her gloves.
Akano expressed that she wanted to retire following InvictaFC 2 last year, but took some time to contemplate leaving the spot.
Akano stated on her blow:
“Facing strong fighters was a lot of fun. The people I practiced with and fought were all very strong. Above all, when I was in the middle of getting ready for a match, the days I spent with those important to me, those are what I have come to treasure in my life. Close friends, comrades, my team, my manager, my supporting family, because of them I was able to accomplish my life as a fighter.
Truly, when my match for Invicta was over last year, the feeling arose in me that I wouldn’t fight again, when Jewels greeted everyone, I wanted to say that I was going to retire, but at the last moment, truly, I wasn’t able to say it, so I am saying it now.
I think it was because I want to keep doing Martial Arts with those at AACC forever. I would like to apologize for not announcing it to those officials at that time.
Now a year has passed, I have decided to quit fighting and my mind has calmed in it’s natural flow, this is how it came to be this time.
In that year, I have thought quietly and I would really like to thank those around me. Up till now, I am indebted to so many people and I feel so grateful. I want to write it in a letter, I’m sorry that I can’t write it directly.
Everyone, thank you so much.”
We wish Akano the best in her retirement.
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