Daijiro Yoshihara Makes Drastic Career Move To Mixed Martial Arts

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Press Release

Los Angeles – April 1, 2013

2011 Formula Drift champion Daijiro Yoshihara shocks the world to become the first champion professional drift driver to make a career move to mixed martial arts (MMA).  The Japanese native Yoshihara has been training with former MMA champion Josh Barnett for some time now.  Daijiro has competed in Formula Drift since 2004 and became the series champion in 2011.  He was turned onto MMA when he met Barnett who is an avid drifting fan.  “I was totally hooked.  Drifting is exciting and where my roots are but I think MMA is where my future is.” Yoshihara states.

After several months of training Daijiro finally made the decision to dedicate his professional career to MMA and retire from drifting.  Josh Barnett has been by his side all through the transition and he calls Daijiro “a natural”.  Daijiro also got an opportunity to spar with one of the Gracies in a jiu-jitsu match and he completely overwhelmed his opponent.  “I’ve always respected Gracie jiu-jitsu but they were no match for the speed and balance I’ve achieved through professional driving. My left foot clutch kick is pretty gnarly.” claims Daijiro.

The award winning Behind the Smoke webseries on GTChannel has followed Daijiro’s drifting career for the past 2 seasons but will continue to cover Daijiro even though GTChannel is an automotive channel on Youtube.  GTChannel’s Executive Producer Taro Koki says, “No matter where Dai goes his fans will follow him so Behind the Smoke will continue to capture Dai on and off the mat from now on.” A new episode of Behind the Smoke is scheduled to be released every Monday.

Although no opponent has been announced yet.  Yoshihara looks to train hard and dedicate himself to fighting for hereon.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX_G8OqIH-w&feature=share&list=UUQjJzFttHxRQPlqpoWnQOpw[/youtube]

[VIDEO] Behind the Smoke 2 – Ep 23 Irwindale Formula D

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIqeJz5lqf8&feature=plcp[/youtube]

Formula D champion Dai Yoshihara seeks to improve his standings by finishing the season with a bang at the Irwindale finals. The Discount Tire/Falken Tire S13 is set up and ready to perform to its full potential. Now it’s up to Dai to redeem his showing at Irwindale since he has been knocked out at in early rounds for the past two years at this final event. GTChannel sat down with the team at SPD Metalworks before Irwindale to hear their thoughts.

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[VIDEO] Behind the Smoke 2 – Ep 21 Africa Drift, Spinners & Lions

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_dwqtgP98U&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

Dai visits South Africa for the first time for some drifting, a little bit of partying and some wild animals. You can never go wrong with that combination. But not at the same time of course…

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[VIDEO] Behind the Smoke 2 – Ep 20 Live and Dai in Las Vegas

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AduNVAGT-kg&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

It’s make or break it for the tandem runs at Formula D Las Vegas. Can Dai keep his chances alive for a back to back championship?

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[VIDEO] Behind the Smoke 2 – Ep 19 – Formula Drift Las Vegas

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seNth8j_85A&feature=plcp[/youtube]

Dai and crew head out to one of the most brutal Formula D events, Round 6 Las Vegas. The Discount Tire/Falken Tire S13 breaks down in the Vegas heat and Dai must attempt his qualifying runs with nearly any practice runs. The season is coming down to the end and stakes are high. Watch this episode to get Behind the Smoke of Dai and the Dainamics!

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