RIZIN 24 is the return of Japan’s favorite MMA promotion. In the co-main event, Satoru Kitaoka takes on Takasuke Kume in a lightweight battle. The two fighters have a combined 104 total fights stepping into the ring. Kitaoka comes in at a fantastic record of 42-20-10. The lightweight bout is the primer for the main event and will deliver for fans.
Kitaoka’s love for the sport came all the way back in 1996. He watched the legendary Bas Rutten take on and defeat Masakatsu Funaki on TV. Kitaoka was only 16 years old. Four years later, he would make his pro debut at Pancrase 89.
“Back in 1996, I saw a show on Fuji television called SRS (Special Ring Side), and they were showing a fight between Masakatsu Funaki and Bas Rutten. That fight made me want to try this sport out.”
Since then, Satoru Kitaoka has been a staple of the Japanese MMA scene. Having fought in Pancrase, DEEP, and RIZIN, Kitaoka is one of Japan’s best examples of an MMA fighter.
Kitaoka has been around for 20 years because of the care he takes of his body. In his spare time, Satoru Kitaoka maintains his body and makes sure he’s in the best shape possible. In addition to that, Kitaoka likes spending time on social media.
“I like to use my spare time on taking care of my body. I go to massages at least 3 times a week, I go to saunas and soak myself in carbonated baths, and ice bath, I do this every day during fight camp. I used to love spending time on social media, but I’ve been very busy lately and I haven’t been able to so it as often as I used to.”
Satoru Kitaoka and the Pandemic
The pandemic took hold of the sports universe and stopped competition in its tracks. From the cancellation of the NCAA wrestling tournament to the UFC being put on halt, many lives were affected. Kitaoka hasn’t really been hammered with life changes. He says his way of life has only changed in a minuscule way and he doesn’t mind doing his part.
“To be honest, my lifestyle has not been affected by the pandemic at all. Society has set some new rules, so I obey them but that’s about the only change that has been made in my regular day life.”
As mentioned earlier, Satoru Kitaoka is a staple of the Japanese MMA community. He’s been in RIZIN since 2016 and says it’s not where he fights. It’s the way of life Kitaoka has chosen to live. Fighting is what Kitaoka lives for.
“I really can’t specify the feelings fighting for RIZIN. For me, MMA and being a fighter is a way of life, an option that an individual made on how he want’s to live his life. So for a fighter, it doesn’t matter where we fight, it’s a lifestyle that we choose, so I really can’t describe my answer for this question any better.”
In his fight at RIZIN 24, it would appear that Kitaoka has the clear experience advantage over his opponent. RIZIN has some of the best fighters on the planet and Satoru Kitaoka is quick to point out that just because he has the experience, it doesn’t guarantee a win. It is about skill for the Japanese lightweight. He says, “This may sound weird, but I don’t think experience is necessarily an advantage.”
Kitaoka is two decades in on his fighting career. He is not putting an expiration date on his craft just yet. When asked how much longer he intended to fight, he said, “You tell me,” with a laugh. “I don’t know!”
Satoru Kitaoka comes into RIZIN 24 looking to get another fantastic win in a lengthy and successful career. Tune in to FITE.TV to catch his fight and catch his fight as well as many other great ones.