Interview With Megumi "Mega Megu" FujiiWidely regarded as the top female fighter in mixed martial arts, Japanese star Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii (20-0-0) now has her sights set on capturing the first major title of her storied career. She will look to do so in the Bellator 115-pound women’s tournament, which begins in August.

Fujii has long reigned supreme in Japanese promotions such as Jewels and its predecessor Smackgirl, and will now challenge herself against the best in Bellator. She speaks exclusively with in this English interview discussing her career to date and future with Bellator.


Megumi made her mixed martial arts debut in August of 2004 and has never looked back. Training under Hiroyuki Abe at the Abe Ani Combat Club and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett, she holds the rank of black belt in both judo and jujutsu. Unbeaten in MMA, with a record surpassing nearly all of her male counterparts, Megumi has finished all but three of her opponents and now proudly represents her home country of Japan in Bellator’s first women’s tournament. Most recently, she won her Bellator debut against Sarah Schneider on June 10th. Hi, Megumi! Thank you very much for taking time out to speak with us. How have things been since you returned to Japan after your recent fight?

Megumi Fujii: I’m doing pretty well, thanks. Many fans here in North America had not seen you compete until you faced Sarah Schneider for Bellator Fighting Championships a few weeks ago. What was it like making your Bellator debut and did you enjoy interacting with the fans at the event?

Megumi: I was really happy when fans said hi to me at the venue, cheered for me, asked me for pictures and things like that. Did you train any specific techniques for facing Sarah, who normally fights at a much higher weight class, or are you usually prepared for anything once a fight begins?

Megumi: I thought that she’d be physically strong, so I didn’t want to let her control the movement of the match. I tried not to get into her guard, but it happened anyway, and I couldn’t really move. Did you feel any added pressure in leaving Japan and representing your country for Bellator or did you see it as just another fight that you had to win?

Megumi: I’m the only Japanese fighter in that Bellator tournament, so I did feel like I was representing Japan. Your fight with Sarah ended with your first TKO victory in 20 fights. What were you feeling when the fight was stopped and how much did it mean to you to finally pick up a TKO win, especially in front of a large television audience here in North America?

Megumi: I’ve always won by submission or decision, so I felt it was a nice kind of anniversary celebration to win my 20th fight by TKO. Also, it was my father’s birthday. You are widely regarded as the top female fighter in mixed martial arts, and certainly the best in the 115-pound weight class. What does this recognition mean to you and does it only motivate you to train harder in the gym?

Megumi: I don’t have any championship belts or anything, but it makes me happy to be regarded as number one. It’s very motivating for me. You will return to Bellator in August for their highly-anticipated 115-pound women’s tournament and the participants are all skilled fighters who are looking to make the most of the opportunity. What are your thoughts on being a part of the tournament?

Megumi: There are a lot of strong fighters in the tournament. I want to show my best in the ring. Bellator has not yet officially announced your first-round opponent [Note: Bellator has since confirmed that Megumi will face Angela Magana], but which fighters in the tournament would you most like to face and which ones do you feel will provide you with the biggest challenge?

Megumi: I don’t have a preference as to whom I fight. Actually, I wanted to fight Rosi Sexton, but unfortunately she lost by KO and is out of the tournament. It’s too bad. One of the other participants, Lisa Ward, has said that she would like to have the chance to face you again. You defeated her in your first fight and both of you have improved since then. Do you look forward to possibly facing Lisa for a second time and how do you see a rematch going?

Megumi: I’d like to face fighters whom I haven’t faced before, but it’s true that we’ve both improved since our last fight. However, I think the result would be the same. Some of the other tournament participants are fairly small, but fighters like Zoila Frausto, Aisling Daly and Jessica Pene all possess size, strength and height or reach advantages over you. Does this pose any new problems for you or are you comfortable facing anyone in the tournament, regardless of size?

Megumi: There’ll be no problem. I think Sarah was probably stronger, anyway. Your main competition atop the ranks of the women’s division is Strikeforce champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, who fought and won in dominant fashion last weekend. Have you watched any of her fights and what is your impression of her as a fighter?

Megumi: She’s physically powerful, and has a strong heart, too. If she were in my weight division and I had to analyze her, I’d be looking to take advantage of certain holes in her game, and techniques. Cyborg has faced quite a few fighters who are smaller than her, including your training partner Hitomi Akano. Does this bother you at all, since you have competed against a number of opponents who were bigger than you, or do you feel that there simply aren’t enough challengers for her at 145 pounds?

Megumi: Yes, it does bother me. When fighting heavier opponents, the damage one receives is heavier and different. Technique can be crushed by weight and power, but fighters have the heart and spirit to challenge themselves, so we take the fights! The 145-pound division may be running out of title contenders, but there are many tough opponents left for you at 115 pounds. What do you feel that the year ahead holds for you and how much longer do you intend to compete in MMA?

Megumi: If I can, I’d like to fight for a long time, but probably won’t be able to do so for too much longer. You know, I’ve learned a lot over the years about fighting arts like Judo, Sambo, boxing, jiu-jitsu and MMA. I always like to change to something new and grow, but for now, I’ll give MMA my all until the end. I haven’t decided what the next step is or when I’m going to take it. You have already had one of the most impressive careers of any mixed martial artist, and certainly in the women’s division, but what would you most like to accomplish before you retire?

Megumi: I want to help women’s MMA flourish, and become more recognized and understood by everyone all over the world. Another great fighter, Miku, retired in April after an exhibition match with you. Did her decision to leave the sport affect you at all and did she offer you any thoughts or advice for your own career?

Megumi: It was a shock, even though I’m her close friend, and actually a big downer for me. However, it was her decision that she made by herself. I’m glad that she made a choice that she seems happy and content with. I believe she’s truly an amazingly talented fighter. As you get ready to return to Bellator in August, what would you most like fans here in North America to know about you and what should they expect to see when you fight here again?

Megumi: I really enjoy MMA and I like to help others – women, men, children, everyone – to enjoy it, too. It’s a fun sport. Do you have any final comments that you would like to address to the fans here?

Megumi: “Fighting is life, and life is fighting.” I believe that life is connected with fighting. It has applications in your daily life. Not always in the literal sense of attack and defend, but by challenging yourself, overcoming obstacles and growing stronger. I want everyone to enjoy MMA! Thank you very much for your time for this interview and best wishes for your Bellator return in the tournament later this year.


This interview was translated in its entirety by Roxanne Modafferi. To purchase one of Megumi Fujii’s MMA shirts or other assorted fight wear and apparel, please visit Roxanne’s online store.