Koyomi Matsushima: 'ONE Cannot Ignore Me As World Title Challenger'

Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima believes he is the top contender for the ONE Featherweight World Title after his second win in ONE Championship.

The Japanese athlete made his return after nine months away from the Circle with a dominant victory of dangerous South Korean knockout artist “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il at ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST.

???????? Koyomi Matsushima makes a HUGE splash in the featherweight division with a unanimous decision win over “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il!

???????? Koyomi Matsushima makes a HUGE splash in the featherweight division with a unanimous decision win over “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????

Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, June 15, 2019

Although the man from Yokohama had to battle health issues since his stunning debut knockout of former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov last year, he did whatever he could to stay busy and work on his skills.

“From September 2018 to June this year, I was unable to fight because of injury and surgery. It was the first time I have had such a long gap between bouts since I was a boy,” he says.

“Although I could not participate in ONE Championship, my training was substantial and I got stronger.”

Matsushima comes from a karate background and has already shown his tremendous striking power, so he was keen to shore up his grappling game ahead of his meeting with Kwon, who has also displayed heavy hands.

The 26-year-old put everything he had learned to work in Shanghai, China to completely nullify “Pretty Boy’s” offense. There may not have been a stunning finish like in his last bout, but his complete dominance on his way to a wide unanimous decision showed he can excel in another dimension of martial arts.

“In order to counter Kwon’s striking, I did intensive training on wrestling at Senshu University – a prestigious wrestling school,” he explains.

“Because I was in good condition, I wanted to show off a lot of new things in the bout. Although it was [not too exciting], it was great to have won.”

The victory went a long way to cheering “Moushigo” up after a frustrating period of his career.

The Pancrase ISM Yokohama representative reveals that he had to cancel a proposed match with Christian “The Warrior” Lee during that time, which left him devastated.

However, now that he has a win against a highly-regarded contender – who hit two first-round knockouts in the first half of 2019 – and Lee is occupied as the new ONE Lightweight World Champion, Matsushima has his eye on an even bigger bout.

He believes his pair of flawless wins on the global stage, combined with his history as a Shooto Welterweight Tournament Champion makes him the perfect candidate to be the next ONE Featherweight World Title challenger.

“Next, I want to fight Martin [Nguyen]. I want to beat him, take the belt, and fight against even stronger opponents,” he says.

“I beat the former king and won in my comeback bout. ONE cannot ignore me as the challenger.”