Former K-1 and GLORY Fighter Koichi Watanabe Passes Away

(K-1 Japan Group)

Earlier today it was reported that former K-1 and GLORY fighter Koichi Watanabe — best known as Koichi Pettas — passed away after a traffic accident in Japan. Watanabe, who retired in November of 2017 to focus on family and working as a trainer, was driving a scooter when he was struck by another vehicle. Koichi was recently active in K-1 Japan’s heavyweight division, participating in the K-1 Japan Heavyweight World Grand Prix in November where he fought against Ibrahim El Bouni. He retired after his bout and dedicated himself to training. His Instagram feed shows him training with children and generally in a good place post-retirement.


He began fighting in 2005, under the tutelage of K-1 legend Nicholas Pettas, even taking on the surname of Pettas throughout most of his career. Throughout that career he competed in various promotions across Japan and the world, notably K-1, RISE, M-1 muay thai and GLORY.