Kota Ibushi thinks recent weight fluctuation played a role in his injury

Kota Ibushi discusses his injury and when he realized that he dislocated his shoulder

Photo Courtesy: New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Ibushi believes his recent fatigue and weight gain played a role in his injury.

In the finals of the 2021 NJPW G1 Climax, Kota Ibushi dislocated his shoulder and the match had to stopped. Kazuchika Okada was declared the winner as a result. New Japan provided an update on Ibushi and noted that he’s expected to be out of action for two months.

Ibushi talked to Tokyo Sports about the injury and he is of the belief that his recent weight fluctuation is to blame. This past July, Ibushi came down with aspiration pneumonia. He tried to put back on the weight he lost while preparing for his match against KENTA on 10/18 and added that he must have been fatigued.

That’s a first. There was a reason for that: weight control. I’ve been losing and gaining weight up to this point. I was able to practice [the Phoenix Splash], but there were too many fluctuations. A hundred grams difference would make all the difference (in the sensation). It’s such an advanced technique. That’s how advanced the technique is. Since the fight against KENTA (on the 18th), I’ve lost three kilograms on the same day. I intentionally increased my weight for the championship match, but I must have been fatigued… I’m sure my weight had an effect.

Kota dove into when he realized his shoulder was injured. He said there was a four second lag before he realized it due to the adrenaline. He then signaled to Okada to come pin him.

I knew it was dislocated, but this time there was a lag of about four seconds before I realized it. I don’t know if it was because I was hit in the face, or if it was the adrenaline. I thought, ‘I can’t move like this, I can’t win anymore,’ so I gestured to Okada-san, ‘Give me a clean three count.’

Instead of the G1 briefcase, Okada brought back the previous version of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He is scheduled to defend the Tokyo Dome challenger rights/title against Tama Tonga at Power Struggle.

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A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.