NJPW's Kota Ibushi Blames Weight Control For Recent Shoulder Injury

It changed the move for Ibushi

Kota Ibushi has blamed his recent dislocated shoulder and joint damage on weight control.

The former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion faced Kazuchika Okada in the final of G1 Climax 31 on October 21 but Okada was awarded the win by referee stoppage after Ibushi landed awkwardly following a Phoenix Splash attempt. The Golden Star immediately grabbed his arm and medical staff attended to Ibushi in the ring until he was eventually able to leave the squared circle. 

Speaking about the injury with Tokyo Sports, Ibushi blamed weight control. The 39-year-old suffered from aspiration pneumonia earlier this year and Ibushi's weight has fluctuated ever since.

"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," Ibushi said.

Ibushi revealed he knew after four seconds that he had dislocated his shoulder and he initially gestured for Okada to cover him for the 1-2-3. 

"I knew it was dislocated, but this time there was a lag of about four seconds before I realised 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," Ibushi added. 

NJPW have since announced that Ibushi will be on the shelf for two months, meaning he will return just in time for Wrestle Kingdom 16. 

H/T to POST Wrestling

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons