The buzzing from a tattoo gun is an unforgettable sound. Perhaps it makes some people uneasy, but almost anyone who has ever gone under the needle will call it a soothing noise. And for a mixed martial artist, it’s almost as common as the sound of gloves making impact with a heavy bag. Both sounds can be mesmerizing, and both have their significances in a fighter bettering themselves. Body art and professional fighters go hand-in-hand, and it’s getting to be an uncommon sight to see a “blank canvas” in the sport.

There are a variety of reasons people get tattoos. It’s a form of expression. It can also be a tribute to a loved one, or it can be a spur-of-the-moment decision that the person comes to regret.

Boku (R) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Boku (R) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

ONE FC fighter Kotetsu Boku’s canvas is far from blank. He sports a number of tattoos on his body, but he won’t list any of the aforementioned reasons as his inspiration. Boku believes that it’s about the art behind the needle.

“To me, it’s an art form. I am an avid artist and I like to draw, so tattoos are an avenue to express these drawings. But I am not a tattoo artist,” Boku admitted to The MMA Corner. “I have a turtle ship tattoo on my torso. That is an homage to my Korean roots, as that is a warship used in Korea in the past. I also have a tiger on the right stomach area with Korean characters. I’m proud to be both Korean and Japanese, and I want my tattoos to reflect that.”

As far as lifestyles choices go, fighters from every corner of the globe can tell you what is important in their diet to ensure that they are running at the top of their game. Most of the time, lean meals are featured as nutrition, and more often than not, chicken and broccoli will also be on the menu. Boku attacks things a little differently, though, by adhering to a strict Vegan diet.

“It made me feel healthier,” Boku revealed. “I feel strong and I don’t feel as tired as I did in the past.”

Before Boku found his way to ONE FC, he had competed mostly in Japan under the Shooto banner, where for most of his career he was known as “The Korean Tiger.” However, with a new opportunity came a new nickname: “No Face.”

Boku (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Boku (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

“It was before my ONE FC fight,” Boku recalled. “I had a huge beard, so my teammates gave me that name, as my face was disappearing into the beard.”

Boku suffered back-to-back losses inside the ONE FC cage, including his ONE FC lightweight championship loss at the hands of Shinya Aoki, before returning to his winning ways earlier this year. Boku’s next bout is set for May 2, when he faces Eduard Folayang in Folayang’s home country of the Philippines. Boku was elated to get back to winning form with a first-round TKO over Arnaud Lepont in March, and he has his eyes firmly set on holding the ONE FC gold once again.

“[I was] very happy,” he explained. “[More] importantly is that I delivered a good fight that the fans in attendance can enjoy.

“I want my title back. I am going to go through whoever is in my way to get it. I want a hard-hitting, back-and-forth contest that gets all the fans excited. It’s a huge opportunity and honor. I get to fight in so many new countries in front of tens of thousands in attendance. I have never experienced anything like it back in Japan. It’s [a] good, new experience, [with] new culture [where I can] meet new people.”

Body art and mixed martial arts form the lifestyle for this Japan-based fighter. When he enters the ONE FC cage again on May 2, you can be sure that Boku will be displaying the best work of his career to date as he climbs towards his chance at regaining the ONE FC lightweight championship.

Kotetsu would like to thank his gym, Krazy Bee, along with everybody who believes in him. Follow ONE FC on Twitter: @ONEFCMMA