Megumi "Mega Megu" Fujii was at one time considered the top pound-for-pound women's fighter in the world, and she is still widely considered the greatest female to ever compete in mixed martial arts.
On October 5 her career concluded with one final fight.
Most fighters get to fight a can, someone they have had a long rivalry with or another fight that generally makes sense for them to leave on. Rarely do fighters take on the elite of the division as their final fight. They want to go out on top. Fujii wanted to go out fighting the best.
Fujii would take on Jessica Aguilar for a second time at the 2013 Vale Tudo Japan reunion event.
Aguilar won by doctor stoppage after the second round. Fujii suffered two eye pokes in the first round, and she was never the same. The second eye poke virtually closed her eye, but Fujii battled on. After taking a few hard punches in the second round to the eye she could not reopen it at all to continue.
It is a crying shame that her final bout was marred by an accidental eye poke that so drastically changed how this fight would go, and caused it to be stopped prematurely. Regardless, Fujii's fighting spirit was on display when she kept fighting through the devastating poke.
Aguilar was apologetic and emotional for how the fight transpired.
Mega Megu was trained in part by former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett. Her grappling skills were second to none. She routinely submitted her competition as she won fight after fight after fight. The women's MMA legend competed in Smackgirl, HOOKnSHOOT, Shooto, BodogFight, Jewels, Bellator and others.
She defeated a laundry list of names as she ran her career total up to 22-0. That list includes current Invicta Strawweight champ Carla Esparza at Bellator 24.
Then it was the fight everyone had been waiting for: Fujii vs. Zoila Frausto for the Bellator 115 pounds Title.
Frausto (now Frausto-Gurgel) won by a controversial split decision. It appeared that the stateside judging even claimed Fujii's undefeated record. The Florida commission continued its bang-up job by giving Fujii her first career loss.
Fujii rebounded with three straight before returning to Bellator for a fight with Jessica Aguilar who had ascended to the No. 2 position in the division behind Fujii. It would be the true No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the strawweight division.
The two had a tight battle, but it appeared that Fujii may have done enough to win the bout. The Louisiana judges had different opinions. Fujii had lost her second career bout.
Through it all Fujii did not complain. She maintained her status as one of the classiest fighters in the world. However, for fans, it left a lot to be desired as we did not get an answer as to who was truly the best. It appeared that we would not get to see the fight again.
Thanks to Bellator releasing their women we got that chance this weekend.
No matter the losses on her record Fujii will go down as one of the greatest female fighters in MMA history. Her face goes on the “Mount Rushmore” of women's MMA. She receives nothing but the utmost respect from the MMA community, and she has earned every single bit of praise that comes her way. She is beloved for a reason.
It is sad to see her go, but all legends must eventually step aside. Fujii's impact on the sport will not be forgotten, and she will have influenced the next generation of fighters in a major way.