For Akihiro Fujisawa, the idea of becoming a martial artist was never his first planned career endeavor.
But now that he has jumped head-first into the sport, there is nothing Fujisawa enjoys more than competing for ONE Championship.
Before he made the decision to become a martial artist, Fujisawa was working towards a life in retail. He had aspirations to open his own store.
“I used to live for a day,” Fujisawa said.
“I will get up in the morning, go to work and go home. Life was very simple. A lifetime ago, I had a different life back in Tokyo. I did not go to college because I wanted to be a salesman after graduating from high school. I did not have an exact goal at that time, but I wanted to have my own clothing shop.”
For nearly a decade, Fujisawa would go through the daily motions of that lifestyle. One day, though, he had enough and decided there was more to be had.
“When I saw Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto on TV, he won a match against a big guy and I felt like I wanted to be that kind of athlete someday,” Fujisawa said.
“That is why I took up martial arts. When I quit the salesman job, I did not have any skills. I just wanted to start something new. I had to learn some new skills.”
Fujisawa found his first home at the Shingi Dojo before later also joining TEAM THAI-YO. He was originally passed over for a spot on Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, before receiving a second chance.
“I felt like I had to do it,” Fujisawa said.
“I put on my best performance for them. And then they said ‘it was good’ but they passed on me. In March 2018, somebody from ONE Warrior Series called me to compete at ONE Warrior Series. I felt this was my chance to show them my improvement.”
Fujisawa scored a first-round victory, much to the delight of Franklin and his team of recruiters. Later that year, he was asked to compete at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR where he picked up a first-round victory over Kaji Ebin.
In all, Fujisawa has five ONE and ONE Warrior Series bouts under his belt now, winning three of them. He will try to get back on track after a pair of submission defeats when he takes on Kim.