Last year, following her fight at Invicta, Hitomi Akano (18-10) hinted that she was thinking of retiring. Now it is official. The “Girlfight Monster” posted a letter on her blog today explaining her retirement. Hitomi Akano, like her teammate and close friend Megumi Fujii, is one of the women who brought domestic and international attention to Japanese Women in MMA. When one looks at her fight resume, one sees a list full of big names, champions and a championship. Akano was a very unique fighter. As stated by a commentator in one of her matches, she used a little bit of this and a little bit of that, Sakuraba would be proud. Mixing her Judo and Grappling she won 14 fights by armbar and possessed a dangerous guard. Outside of the ring, Akano continually supported the growth of women in the sport. One example being that she designed the logo for I Heart MMA, a free paper that was in circulation after Smack Girl collapsed. She, along with other fighters, created the free paper to help increase the popularity of female fighters.
Akano will be remembered as a true pioneer of the sport and we at asianmma would like to wish her all the best and thank her for all the memories.
A translation of her Blog:
Yesterday, on July 31st, I withdrew from AACC.
Facing strong fighters was a lot of fun.
The people I practiced with and fought were all very strong.
Above all, when I was in the middle of getting ready for a match, the days I spent with those important to me, those are what I have come to treasure in my life.
Close friends, comrades, my team, my manager, my supporting family, because of them I was able to accomplish my life as a fighter.
Truly, when my match for Invicta was over last year, the feeling arose in me that I wouldn’t fight again, when Jewels greeted everyone, I wanted to say that I was going to retire, but at the last moment, truly, I wasn’t able to say it, so I am saying it now.
I think it was because I want to keep doing Martial Arts with those at AACC forever. I would like to apologize for not announcing it to those officials at that time.
Now a year has passed, I have decided to quit fighting and my mind has calmed in it’s natural flow, this is how it came to be this time.
In that year, I have thought quietly and I would really like to thank those around me.
Up till now, I am indebted to so many people and I feel so grateful. I want to write it in a letter, I’m sorry that I can’t write it directly.
Everyone, thank you so much.