Megumi Fujii On Thoughts Of Retirement, Post-MMA PlansOne year ago, Megumi Fujii was battling injuries and on the verge of retiring as the greatest female fighter that mixed martial arts fans had ever seen. A call from Bellator Fighting Championships changed everything, however, and Fujii went on to gain more fans while competing in the United States.

Though armed with new motivation and energy to continue on in MMA, Fujii has begun to plan out her life for when her time as an active competitor has come to an end. In part two of an exclusive interview with, Fujii details changes in her life, both in and outside of mixed martial arts.


Note: This interview was conducted just prior to the recent earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan. Fujii is currently recovering after a brief hospital stay due to symptoms of asthma, but she is safe and okay. Part One of this interview can be found here.


In October, Fujii competed in the finals of the inaugural Bellator 115-pound women’s tournament against Zoila Gurgel (Frausto), but suffered a close and contentious Split Decision loss. The defeat was Fujii’s first in her storied career and also denied her a major mixed martial arts title; something that she had strived for in order to inspire and motivate other female fighters.

Following the loss, Fujii did some soul searching and pondered what she could do differently.

“After my fight [against Gurgel], I didn’t change anything in particular, except that I started paying closer attention to details,” Fujii says. “When it comes fight time, one’s form often gets sloppy. I’m tightening up my form and technique. For example, not just practicing one-two combinations, but exactly how to turn my shoulders and the angles of my punches. You know, to raise the level of quality of my punches to make them count.”

As one of the lead instructors for women at the famed Abe Ani Combat Club, Fujii teaches and trains with other standout mixed martial artists such as former Smackgirl champion Hitomi Akano, Valkyrie champion Yasuko Tamada and Jewels champion Ayaka Hamasaki. Training alongside elite teammates has been beneficial for Fujii in improving some of her own techniques.

“I spend a lot of time instructing, but yes, this is true [that it helps me, too],” she says. “Everyone has their own strengths, so I find it’s good for my own training as well.”


Fujii almost didn’t take part in the Bellator tournament last year after injuries and the sudden retirement of close friend Miku Matsumoto left her questioning how much longer she would remain in the sport. However, she thought of her students and other female fighters and decided to push on.

“I thought it was a shame [when Miku retired], and I wished she would continue. I think she, herself, actually wanted to continue, but because of the hard situation for females in MMA right now and other things, she may have lost sight of her dream. Therefore, I thought, ‘I have to do my best!’ I wanted to continue on in her place and set an example for young, upcoming fighters.

“Miku was a big influence in [changing my mind about retiring],” Fujii continues. “I haven’t completely changed my mind, though, but I feel that now I should continue for a little while longer. I haven’t decided yet [whether I will retire this year]. It depends on my feelings.”


Earlier this year, Fujii noted on her blog that she hoped to be able to face Gurgel once more this year and also compete in Japan, if possible. She also stated that she was interested in starting new things in her private life away from MMA.

“I’d like to try aerobic dancing. It’s fun and you break a good sweat, right? I’m embarrassed, though, so I’d do it in a place where no one knows me. I also want to play the guitar!”

On the topic of wanting children, Fujii’s response is an enthusiastic one. “Yes, I do!” she says. “As soon as I retire!”


Fujii is also aware of her legacy and wishes to be a positive role model for other female fighters. When asked what she would most like to be remembered for from her fighting style and time in mixed martial arts, she states, “Even though I’m small, I’m quick. I aggressively go after my opponent, and I can finish by submission.”

Her goal before retiring is both simple and also very complex.

“During a fight, there’s a time [when] you have to get worked up, but also a time to stay calm and be observant. This is the balance of mind and spirit. There’s a level of ‘tension’ and a level of ‘motivation.’ I want to find that balance. Actually, I feel like I’ve basically achieved that; I naturally enter that state when the fight starts, but I don’t know how! I want to learn how to do it, how to achieve that balance, so I can teach it to my students. Now, I have no way of explaining how to reach that state of balance. Once I figure that out, I’ll be able to retire in peace.”

Looking back, Fujii has few regrets from her time in MMA, but is still upset about one thing that took place outside of the Bellator cage last year.

“I went to Bellator by myself one time, to fight Carla. I lost my cell phone! I regret that very much! I was so upset because I lost pictures of my cats…and all of my friends. Big shock. Maybe because I was so nervous, I misplaced it or something. I’m glad I won the fight, though!”


Fujii’s final message to her fans around the world perhaps applies even more strongly after the recent disasters that have transpired in her come country of Japan and the outpouring of support from people across the globe.

“Even though I’m Japanese, thank you to everyone around the world for always showing me such support!” she says. “I want to fight again in the States as soon as possible and put on entertaining fights for you! I want to do everything I can to help women’s MMA grow! Thank you always.”

Fujii’s comments transcribed and translated in their entirety by Roxanne Modafferi.


  1. Good stuff.
    Hope she fights again.
    … Frausto easily beat her, no controversy.
    She fought Zoila’s fight and payed for it.

  2. @kid aztec your name must be zoila frausto, because she is the ONLY PERSON in the world who thinks frausto won. frausto must of some deal with rebney ( who was uner investigation for fight fixing in boxing and is bellators ceo)because even bellators own play by play commentator(jimmy smith who also fights both mma and muy thai) had megumi ahead 3rds to 1 going in to trhe 5th and final rd which megumi again won, the obvious paid for wins for frausto , gave the sport the blakest eye. it raised so much contreversy many people involved in trying to improve the judging use this fight as an example , they have gone over this fight min by min , rd by rd and everyone comes out with the same result megumi wins 4rds to 1 . the 3rd rd is the only rd that is even close enough to give it to frausto. if you didn’t notice in season 4 opener of bellator , frausto had to fight on the untelevised part of the show against someone with record of more losses than wins. the reason is no on e wants to watch her fight because no matter what happens in tbhe fight frausto will get given a gift. this is not just my is fact , frausto already was given 2 gifts 1 her decision over jessica agulliar and then her obviuos gift over megumi.. it is funny that bellator has only been running just over 2 yrs and they have already had way too many obviuosly wrong decision. i can think of about 8-9 obvious mistakes . , and that is just off the top of my head. all the other major org all together (ufc, strikeforce, dream, sengoku) have less in 4 yrs all combined. to me that says rebney is still up to his old tricks ,but has gotten a little sneaker . where there is smoke there is fire.even frausto old camp says she never won , what does that tell you.if you belive that frausto won , you are as much of a disgrace to this sport as the judges who sold themaselves and gave the gift to frausto.

  3. Just bleed.

  4. You know, Frausto is a beautiful girl and trains hard, and she is also a dedicated mixed martial artists. So, much respect to her.

    BUT Megumi clearly won that fight. I just won’t blame Frausto for the bad judging, and I don’t really think the fight was fixed. Both Megumi and Josh Barnett declared it was not fixed… it was just some really bad judging.

    I should add that Frausto’s style is quite “flashy”, because of her power punches. Megumi was dodging them while going backwards. People who don’t understand the rules of this sport thought Megumi was being rocked and defeated, when, in fact, she was clearly winning. Now, you should expect judges should know better.

  5. Zoila won that fight with Megumi hands down.