UFC Featherweight Tatsuya Kawajiri out Indefinitely with Detached Retina

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterJune 25, 2014

SINGAPORE - JANUARY 04:  Tatsuya Kawajiri reacts after defeating Sean Soriano during their UFC Fight Night Singapore featherweight bout at Marina Bay Sands on January 4, 2014 in Singapore.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Tatsuya Kawajiri, a 36-year-old featherweight, Japanese MMA champion and veteran of several MMA promotions, is out indefinitely with a detached retina in his left eye, according to a report published Wednesday. It is the third time Kawajiri has suffered that particular injury.

MMA reporter and broadcaster Ariel Helwani first broke the news via MMAFighting.com.

Tatsuya Kawajiri suffers detached retina, out indefinitely -- http://t.co/bwdSnRysON

&mdash'>http://t.co/bwdSnRysON">http://t.co/bwdSnRysON— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June'>https://twitter.com/arielhelwani/statuses/481808823485603841">June 25, 2014

According to the report, Kawajiri sustained the detachment during training activities. Doctors do not yet know when he might return, and estimating the timetable is apparently made more difficult by the recurring nature of the injury.

At the time of the injury, Kawajiri (33-8-2) was in negotiations for a September fight with Darren Elkins in his native Japan.

A detached retina occurs when the retina pulls away from the other tissues in the eye. The retina is a critical element of proper eyesight, as it converts light and images into electrical impulses, which are then transmitted to the brain for interpretation. Trauma to the eye and surrounding areas are a relatively common cause of detached retinas.

Kawajiri came to fame in Japan, winning the 155-pound title in the Shooto promotion and enjoying substantial success in the DREAM and Pride Bushido, among others. After a 14-year professional career, Kawajiri finally broke into the UFC in January, defeating Sean Soriano in his debut via rear-naked choke.

He was less successful in his second UFC contest, which he lost by decision to Clay Guida. However, the effort was good enough to net Kawajiri a Fight of the Night financial bonus from UFC brass.

Kawajiri is known among MMA fans for a flashy but well-rounded and creative fighting style. His high-flying tactics have earned him 12 wins by knockout and 10 wins by submission during his pro career. He has victories over well-known fighters like Josh Thomson, Joachim Hansen, Yves Edwards and Charles Bennett.