top of page

Rising Star Rei Tsuruya Makes UFC Debut at International Fight Week this Saturday June 29, at UFC 303

Rei Tsuruya
Black Belt Plus

Rei Tsuruya is embracing the colossal challenge of making his UFC debut during the prestigious International Fight Week at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas—a world away from his hometown in Chiba, Japan.

The 22-year-old Road to UFC winner is poised and ready, facing Carlos Hernandez this Saturday with excitement and readiness for the battle ahead.

A former Junior Olympian in wrestling and a competitor at the World Championships, Tsuruya isn’t a typical newcomer. His prior experiences in Pancrase and DEEP promotions in Japan have smoothed his transition to the UFC's grand stage.

Winning the Pancrase title belt has bolstered his confidence, affirming his ability to vie with the world's top fighters.

Tsuruya's journey to the UFC, clinched by a three-fight sweep in the Road to UFC Asia tournament, mirrors that of MMA legend Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto. While it's premature to compare him to his hero, Tsuruya aspires to achieve similar respect and renown in the sport. He continually draws inspiration from Yamamoto's fights as he prepares for his own.

Content with his life choices, Tsuruya sees no sacrifice too great in his dedication to MMA, supported robustly by his family, including his father, Shooto veteran Hiroshi Tsuruya. Though calm about his debut, he admits to feeling some nerves during his tournament-winning fight—a healthy sign of respect for the high stakes involved.

As Rei Tsuruya steps into the UFC spotlight, the potential for a new MMA icon is evident. Don't miss UFC 303: Pereira vs Procházka 2, live from Las Vegas, where Tsuruya seeks to make a memorable first impression on the global stage.

bottom of page