Tenshin Nasukawa may well be the most interesting 20-year-old in combat sports.
Last week, Nasukawa was a relatively obscure fighter, globally-speaking. Though he is a rising star in Japanese mixed martial arts, he competes in the Rizin Fighting Federation, a promotion that is only three years old and receives little press in the US and the UK.
But what a difference a few days makes. Nasukawa has been thrust into the media spotlight as Rizin made a stunning announcement — the company’s phenom will fight the unbeaten American boxer Floyd Mayweather in a bout with undetermined rules, at an undecided weight, on December 31 in Japan.
Despite his young age, Nasukawa is already an accomplished competitor with an unblemished processional record.
If his kickboxing record of 27-0 (20 wins by knockout), and his mixed martial arts record of 4-0 (two wins by knockout, and one by submission), are indicative of his promise, his impressive stoppage wins over the former IBF boxing world champion Amnat Ruenroeng and the former Muay Thai champion Wanchalong PK Senchaigym are testament to his talent-level.
His Instagram profile, which has 225,000 followers, suggests there’s more to the fighter than a strong record, though.
Here’s everything you need to know about Nasukawa, the fight game’s newest star.