You know who Floyd Mayweather Jr. is. Now, meet Tenshin Nasukawa, the man about to face him.
We know who Floyd Mayweather Jr. is and now we know that the boxing champion is retruning to the ring at the end of the year. We currently don't know much about the format of the bout, but we do know the name of his opponent and very few fans stateside are familiar with who exactly that is.
Meet Tenshin Nasukawa, the Japanese kickboxer who will fight Mayweather in an event on New Year's Eve where the rules, for now, remain unclear, but holds obvious global intrigue.
Who is Tenshin Nasukawa?
Tenshin Nasukawa was born on August 18, 1998, in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. (Mayweather is older than him by 21 years!) He is listed at 5'4" and 125 pounds and hails from Tokyo. Nasukawa picked up karate at five years old and started kickboxing in sixth grade. He went pro at 15. Throughout his young career, he's displayed adeptness for using multiple mix martial arts styles.
There is little other information about his personal life readily available on the web. However, he did do an interview with Kirik Jenness of The Undergound in which he answered 10 questions about himself. Among the responses we find out Nasukawa would choose to be a cockroach if he could transofrm himself into any animal, thinks ghosts are "freaky as hell" and "definitely" believes there is life outside of Earth.
Depending on one's point of view, perhaps the only thing more outlandish than his responses are his hairstyles, notably the bright blue and near-white blonde dyes he's sported during fights.
How good is Tenshin Nasukawa?
Apparently, he's really, really good. Nasukawa has been referred to using several labels alluding to his potential. He's been dubbed "the next superstar of striking," "the future of MMA," and "a fighting genius."
Online records indicate Nasukawa had an amateur record of 99-5. He's gone 27-0 in kickboxing with 21 knockouts. He is currently 4-0 in MMA matches (two TKOs, one submission and one unanimous decision).
There's a handful of examples displaying just how good Nasukawa is. The clip below, however, is the fight that garnered Nasukawa the most national recognition (2:35 mark, if that helps). He knocked out Wanchalong PK Saenchaigym with a thunderous back kick during the first round of a Muay Thai rule fight. It was named "Knockout of the Year" by Combat Press.
In 2016, RIZIN Fighting Federation, the MMA's most prevalent promoter in Japan, signed Nasukawa. He debuted in December 2016.
How Big A Deal Is Tenshin Nasukawa?
Nasukawa, for now, boasts over 158,000 followers on Twitter and over 199,000 followers on Instagram. He's been popular in Japan since he was a teenager, which is mostly due to his advanced skill level in the ring. He is likely to add several more fans following his New Year's Eve bout with Mayweather.