World Extreme Cagefighting plans to add a 125-pound flyweight class this year. When it does, the top flyweight in the world hopes to be a part of it.
Japan's Shinichi "BJ" Kojima, the Shooto champion who is widely regarded as the best 125-pounder in the world, attended a WEC media event Thursday afternoon in Chicago alongside his friend Takeya Mizugaki, who will challenge Miguel Torres for the WEC's bantamweight title on Sunday. And when I pulled Kojima aside for an interview, he told me he hopes to fight for the WEC soon.
"I'm very, very interested in that," Kojima said through a translator. "I want the challenge of the WEC."
The vast majority of American MMA fans have never seen Kojima fight, so I asked him how he'd describe himself to an American who doesn't know what his fighting style is like. He answered, "I'm really good at faking moves in the ring, making my opponent think I'm doing one thing and doing another. That's my specialty."
Kojima hopes to show off that specialty to American fans -- and opponents -- just as soon as the WEC is ready to promote flyweight fights.
"My goal is just to fight the best, and at this point I'd fight anybody," Kojima said. "I'm ready to fight in the WEC immediately. Any time."