Popular Japanese Kickboxer Releases Apology Video Following Fraud Arrest

Japanese kickboxer and swimsuit model Panchan Rina, real name Rina Okamoto, has apologized after being arrested for fraud in 2022.

Rina, who’s become a popular figure having amassed over 110,000 followers on Instagram and 150,000 YouTube subscribers, is a multi-time champion in kickboxing. The 28-year-old Osaka native is unbeaten in 13 fights, winning belts under the banners of Knock Out and REBELS.

Notably, “Cutie Striker” made history by becoming the first female fighter to win a kickboxing contest in Rizin Fighting Federation. At Rizin 30 in 2021, she outpointed Momoka Mandokoro inside the Saitama Super Arena.

Rina has competed once since her sole Rizin outing, defeating Miki Kitamura at March 2022’s Knock Out 2022 Vol. 2 in Tokyo. Following that result, the 28-year-old underwent knee surgery after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

But the year brought with it more trouble than just an injury recovery.

Last December, Rina was arrested for fraud after being accused of selling a poster with forged signatures of Tenshin Nasukawa, widely regarded as one of the greatest kickboxers in modern history, and Takeru Segawa, the only three-weight champion in K-1 history.

Rina is said to have sold the poster to a fan for 99,900 yen, equivalent to $730. Per a report from Asian MMA, the kickboxing star spent one night in custody, but the status of any pending charges remains unknown.

Panchan Rina Apologizes, Explains Reason behind Fraud

Following the arrest, Panchan Rina recently addressed the incident in a video uploaded to her YouTube channel.

While she’s found success in both kickboxing and modeling, Rina was seemingly struggling with her finances. In the video, the 28-year-old claimed to have been the victim of a scam that cost her 15 million yen, equivalent to $110,000.

With that, the reigning Knock Out-Black Female Minimweight champion and former atomweight titleholder seemingly resorted to the sale of posters featuring forged signatures to recover some of her losses.

In addition to her remorse, Rina claimed to have met up with the victim of her fraudulent sale the following day to apologize.

What do you make of Panchan Rina’s arrest for fraud and subsequent apology video?