Home > DREAM: From The Ashes Of PRIDE > Katsunori Kikuno! Master Of The Mikazuki Geri

Katsunori Kikuno! Master Of The Mikazuki Geri

“I want to become a cool person who helps people in trouble all around the world. I want to make my soul shine.”

To become like the hero’s in manga, to make those dreams come true, he’ll try his best in MMA…

Name: Katsunori Kikuno
Born: October 30th, 1981
Height: 170 cm
Background: Kyokushin Karate & Judo
MMA Record: 12-1-1
Amateur MMA Record: 0-0-2
Amateur Kickboxing Record: 1-0
Dojo: A-Square

The “Road To HERO” Begins

Kikuno’s first martial art was Judo during his high school days. He placed 3rd in a Kyushu 66kg Tournament and 1st in a Kagoshima Prefecture 66kg Tournament.

After graduating from high school, Kikuno entered Koyokushin Karate which he studied for 5 years. He trained under Karateka’s such as the legendary Hitoshi Kiyama, who among other titles won the 8th World Tournament in 2003 (defeating Karateka’s such as Lechi Kurbanov and current K-1 fighter Ewerton Teixeira).


Kikuno’s Kyokushin Karate titles include 1st place in an All-Kyushu Tournament and All-Kansai Tournament (both open-weight tournaments), and a best 16 spot in the middle division of an All-Japan Tournament.

The 5th Generation DEEP LW Champion

In 2004, Kikuno entered MMA as he joined Tsuyoshi Kohsaka’s A-Square gym. His MMA career began in 2005, when he fought in ZST and placed 2nd in the 76kg DEEP Future King Tournament.

After that is a success story. Winning fight after fight in DEEP, gaining fans, and becoming the 5th generation DEEP Lightweight champion after winning a 4-man tournament in 2009. At that time, Kikuno was finally invited to DREAM, one of the biggest MMA events in the world…

Realizing A DREAM

Kikuno did not receive an easy fight in his DREAM debut. On July 20th he faced Brazilian Andre Dida at DREAM.10 in the Saitama Super Arena. After getting knocked down early, Kikuno kept his cool and eventually got the fight to the ground where he quickly ended the fight to take his first victory in DREAM.

The Crescent Kick


What sets Kikuno apart from other fighters is his stance and his powerful kicks, especially his Mikazuki Geri (Crescent Kick). The best way to understand it is to see it.

Fight Videos

DEEP 29 Impact: vs. Takuhiro Kamikozono – April 13th

DEEP 37 Impact: vs. Barbaro44 – August 17th
DEEP 39 Impact: vs. Jang Yong Kim – December 10th

DEEP 40 Impact: vs. Jung Bukyung – February 20th
DEEP 41 Impact: vs. Koichiro Matsumoto – April 16th
DREAM.10: vs. Andre Dida – July 20th


Sources: DREAM Official Profile, Kikuno Supporters, KyokushinResults, DEEP Blog (photos)

  1. whom
    June 5, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Do you think Kikuno will respond well to Dida’s aggressive style?

    Kikuno seems like a relatively methodical fighter, liking to measure distance for a while before attacking, while Dida is just go straight in and throw bombs style.

  2. June 5, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I think he can get into trouble with Dida. Methodical fighters trying to play it cool getting overwhelmed by aggressive ones has happened many times before. However, I think Kikuno has an advantage on the ground.

  3. wentz
    June 5, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Looks good. Karate is in I guess.

    He hasn’t really fought anyone solid yet though.

  4. June 5, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Kikuno is definitely sparked a big interest. I’m in love with the new popularity karatekas are gaining with Machida, Kikuna, maybe nakahara will do some more impressive stuff after he gets a few fights under his belt (no pun intended, as in black belt). Dida is going down.

  5. June 5, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Matsumoto is definitely solid.

    Jung is also solid despite his record.

    Tomioka isn’t a pushover either.

  6. June 5, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    all i gotta say is, if he tries to stand up with Dida its gonna be rough

  7. CJN
    June 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Nice post. Kikuno all the way.

  8. June 6, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Dida is not that simple. He is very agresive, and has the Kick Boxer background. This is gonna be a great fight.

    The only big trouble with this fight is, If Dida loose he has be 3 looses in a row and maybe is gonna be release from Japanese MMA Scene like Luis Azeredo. And for the other side, if Kikuno loose hes gonna be back to DEEP.

    What o you think N.O.B.

  9. June 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Tough fight for sure. A win here is important for both. Kikuno will definitely be back even if he loses though. They will probably still use Dida even if he loses too. At least for 1 more K-1 MAX and MMA fight.

    So I don’t think neither should be worried about not getting anymore fights in FEG events after this.

  10. kiteonastring
    June 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Was that Aoki Shinya commentating in the Matsumoto fight?

  11. ShootJunkie
    June 19, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Although all of the announced matches for Dream 10 are absolutely brilliant, this one in particular holds a special place in my heart. I think Kikuno-Dida’s a very well made match-up in terms of development for both guys and its just a really fun fight all around. I think Dida will pose some interesting problem’s for Kikuno and the style-clash will be fun to watch unfold.

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