Riku Shibuya had a misspent youth, and ran away from home at a young age. He even became involved in illegal underground fights, but after losing for the first time, decided to start training seriously and dedicated himself to martial arts. According to Shibuya, many of his friends from that period ended up in prison, but he turned his life around through his newfound discipline from martial arts and went on to become a successful professional athlete.
He made a sensational professional martial arts debut in 2008, winning via first-round knockout, but disappointingly lost his next two fights by decision. However, this only sharpened Shibuya’s resolve to improve. He then went undefeated in his next 12 bouts, winning 10 of them. This streak brought him to the bright lights of ONE Championship, and after achieving fame for his martial arts success, he was also reunited with his family, whom he hadn’t seen since he was a teenager.
On his ONE debut, Shibuya challenged then ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes for the belt. Although he was unsuccessful, the Japanese certainly captured the hearts of the fans with his theatrics and never-say-die approach to competition. He quickly bounced back with two more wins over top contenders, but was then diagnosed with a devastating condition affecting both eyes. Now fully recovered, Shibuya is back in action in the strawweight division, and is determined to finally capture ONE Championship gold.