ONE Warrior Series contract winner Kimihiro Eto grew up in a family of judokas, and he would go on to make judo the foundation of a successful competitive career. Putting his outstanding grappling base to good use, he won national championships in both Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling when he was in high school.
Eto later moved to Tokyo to wrestle for Senshu University and picked up mixed martial arts along the way. When one of his teammates became injured and couldn’t compete, he took the bout in his place and inadvertently launched his own mixed martial arts career. He continued competing in regional Japanese promotions, compiling a respectable 13-3-2 record to land a bout on the first season finale of ONE Warrior Series against South Korea’s Dae Sung Park.
Although Eto was unsuccessful in his first bout, he submitted his next three opponents in ONE Warrior Series to win a coveted six-figure ONE Championship contract, as well as the right to rematch Park on the global stage. He continues to use his wrestling and judo background to great success, and he has been honing his grappling game with Japanese legends of the sport including Koji Ando, Satoru Kitaoka, and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki.