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Report: Japanese star Kazuo Misaki to retire after DEEP 60 bout

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Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

It appears as if the former Grabaka Hitman is choosing retirement over a cloudy future in Strikeforce. Kazuo Misaki (25-11-2, 1 NC), the Pride 2006 welterweight grand prix winner, will take one more bout in Japan before he hangs them up for good according to MMAAsia.com:

In the biggest news of the night, the legendary Kazuo Misaki announced that he will step away from MMA action and that his final fight will be at DEEP’s December 22 Haleo Impact event. Due to Misaki’s Strikeforce contract, the match may have to be a "special exhibition bout" and no opponent was named.

Misaki made his Strikeforce debut against Paul Daley last year and defeated him by unanimous decision in a bloody battle. He had been on a three-fight winning streak, but apparently wanted to exit the sport "while he’s in good health and in full control of his faculties" according to the report.

After his Pride run, Misaki engaged in two hellacious bouts in Sengoku with Jorge Santiago in 2009 and 2010, both of win ended in the fifth round (and Misaki lost both of them). He holds wins over the likes of Dan Henderson, Phil Baroni, Ed Herman, Denis Kang, Siyar Bahadurzada and many more. On a personal note, I was a big fan of Misaki and I'm going to miss his entertaining fights. I hope he prospers in retirement.