Oshiro to get national exposure
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
Mark Oshiro's life is moving at a frenetic pace.
He'd like to maintain that pace when he steps into the fighting cage in two weeks.
Oshiro recently signed a contract with Bellator Fighting Championships, a fledgling mixed martial arts organization that has a national television contract with Fox Sports Net.
"I don't like to pitter-patter my opponents," said Oshiro, who is 26 and resides in Pearl City. "I don't like to grind out fights. I like to finish my opponents in the first round, and that's what I plan to do."
Oshiro is the first Hawai'i fighter to sign with Bellator. He will make his debut on May 27 against Joe Doherty in San Antonio. The card is scheduled to be televised nationally on FSN.
"When they gave us the contract, I knew this was a good opportunity," said Dino Fernandez, who is Oshiro's coach at the Bulls Pen gym in Kalihi. "This is going to be good exposure for him."
Win or lose on May 27, Oshiro has been assured a spot in Bellator's bantamweight (135 pounds) championship tournament, which is scheduled to start in August. The tournament will feature eight fighters, and the winner will be crowned Bellator's inaugural bantamweight world champ.
"Getting to fight for a (world) title has always been a dream for me," he said. "Now that it's in front of me, I'm going to work hard to try and get it."
For better or worse, he'll have to train in between his other duties.
Oshiro works full-time at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. What's more, he and his girlfriend became parents to a baby girl last month.
"If I had almost any other job, I would quit so I could focus on my fighting and my family," he said. "But it's a good job — it pays the bills, and I can work there until I retire.
"And with my baby now ... it's pretty hard. But to me, it's worth it to go through all this. I might never get a chance like this again."
Oshiro has established himself as one of Hawai'i's most exciting "small" fighters. He has a professional record of 12-2, and 10 of his victories have ended in the first round. His only two losses have come via decision.
Oshiro has a blend of dangerous strikes and submission moves. Five of his victories have come via knockout or TKO, and six have come via choke submission.
"He has the potential to be one of the best guys in the world in his division," Fernandez said. "And I'm not just saying that because he's my fighter."
Oshiro gained most of his experience in Hawai'i's Icon Sport organization from 2004-08. Although the organization no longer promotes MMA shows, it apparently did not forget about Oshiro.
Patrick Freitas, former matchmaker for Icon Sport, recommended Oshiro to the Bellator organization.
"Yeah, I got lucky," Oshiro said. "I had no idea I was going to get a chance like this then Pat Freitas called me couple weeks ago and told me about it, so I have to thank him for still looking out for me."
Mark Oshiro will appear at two autograph signings tomorrow. He is scheduled to be at the Ala Moana GNC store from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and then at the Pearlridge GNC store from 2-4 p.m.