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Characters / Universal Wrestling Federation UFO

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Originally The World Martial Arts Association
The Beginning of The Inoki-ism Experiment

"In 1977, Inoki already the idea of the World Martial Arts Association (then known as W.M.A.) during the series of the mixed martial arts matches. Satoru Sayama came up with the open glove with which the fighter can use his fingers, trained at the Mejiro Gym for kickboxing, and fought Mark Costello. Since then, the idea seemed to be forgotten as Inoki's series of the mixed matches were over. However, after Naoya Ogawa, former world judo champion, became a professional fighter, the relationship between Inoki and Sayama was revived. The idea received the attention after 20 years of the blank. Inoki's retirement as an active wrestler is not an epilogue of a legend but is actually a prologue of the new legend. The World Martial Arts Association changed from "W.M.A." to the "U.F.O.", and Inoki started the new steps to pursuit the fighting arts."
— A brief introduction to UFO from a fansite of Antonio Inoki

As a whole:

  • Darker and Edgier: Its final event was an almost all-MMA fight card.
  • Fingerless Gloves: To make it wrestling style more the MMA-like.
  • Fun with Acronyms: It used UFO instead of UFAO though. It even used a completely round wrestling ring (it still had 4 corner turnbuckles and ropes though) at the second and third show to justify it.
  • Shout-Out / Take That!: The promotion's name is either one or the other to the U-System and the UFC.
  • Special Guest: Muhammad Ali was named UFO President of Honor due to his friendship with Inoki. UFO also had special advisers in Japanese Kickboxing legend; Toshio Fujiwara, as well as amateur and pro wrestler and trainer; Brad Rheingans.Dory Funk Jr. was the special guest referee for the Ogawa vs Severn NWA World Heavyweight Championship bout. Rickson Gracie was also in attendance at the final event.
  • Advertisement:
  • Spin-Off / Spiritual Successor: The MMA promotion Jungle Fight is possibly one to the final show; UFO Legend. As well as the yearly Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye events.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: While its wrestling style is supposed to be based on MMA, it didn't stop the fighters from throwing their opponents out of the ring and then brawling outside of it like in regular pro wrestling.

    open/close all folders 

    UFO Japan
The Inoki Army

Kazuyuki Fujita

Kazunari Murakami

"Kazunari Murakami is kind of an MMA footnote—a fighter who was almost historically relevant, but not quite. A longtime judoka and wrestler, he took part in the old, weird proto-MMA Lumax Cup tournaments and almost won one of them—enough success to propel him into an MMA career that lasted half a decade and didn't really go anywhere, but left him notable enough to still feature in pro-wrestling to this day. He fought across the world, he was there for the first Pride, and he retired with a 50/50 record. There have been far worse stories."
— A profile of Murakami from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Was part of Naoya Ogawa's UFO entourage during the 1.4 Incident. He was the only one from the UFO side to be hurt and was hospitalized by Takashi Iizuka.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Had his first MMA fight at the 1995 Lumax Cup against Akihiro Gono. He also appeared in a dark match at Inoki Festival 1996 in a Shidokan Karate rules fight against Hiroyuki Wakata.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Takashi Iizuka.
  • Finishing Move: Cross Ambreaker, Rear Naked Choke and Running Punt Kick.
  • I Know Judo: A judoka since high school with Akira Shogi as a classmate, and was a member of the judo team in Takushoku University. He later trained at Wajyutsu Keishukai for MMA before joining UFO. It is also said that he may have tried Sumo Wrestling at one point.
  • Glass Cannon: In MMA, he was said to have poor stamina and a glass chin.
  • Guest Fighter: His matches in Battlarts.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold / Mean Character, Nice Actor: Despite getting often profiled as an Ax-Crazy in the ring and real-life bad boy (mostly due to his tenure as a Inoki UFO henchman), he is known for being a nice and professional guy between scenes.
  • Kick the Dog: He attacked and injuried Chocoball Mukai before his Battlarts debut to send a message to Nagata, who had just befriended Mukai.
  • Power Stable: The Makai Club
  • Red Baron: "Terrorist of Heisei".
  • Unwanted Assistance: Provided it for his teammate Naoya Ogawa. He attacked Shinya Hashimoto before a match at the Rikidozan Memorial in which Ogawa and Shinya were going to form a special team during their feud. Naturally, Hashimoto blamed Ogawa for the assault and attacked him during the match, which cost them the bout. Although Murakami repented after being berated by both Naoya and Antonio Inoki, he remained a bit too eager to intrude in matches to aid Ogawa.
  • Ur-Example: Won the first fight in Pride.
  • White Mask of Doom: Gained fame for viciously attacking wrestlers while sporting a white mask as a member of the Makai Club.

Taro Obata

Naoya Ogawa

Takashi Okada/Sanshū Tsubakichi

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama, Naoya Ogawa, Toshio Fujiwara, and Naoki Ichimura.
  • Big Eater: As shown in his blog.
  • Cool Teacher: A sports instructor and personal trainer. He once worked with Jiro Matsuura at a major sports club.
  • Crazy Is Cool: He has notably run in marathons while wearing fully covered costumes of superheroes like Spider-Man.
  • Determinator: A frequent marathon runner. An example of his toughness is on February 17, 2008, he entered the Tokyo Marathon and finished in 3 hours 49 minutes and 9 seconds in a Spider-Man costume, and on the same night he faced Koki Kitahara in a wrestling match despite hurting his knee and ankle during the marathon.
  • I Know Karate: A Kyokushin black belt. He is also a 1st dan in Judo and also trained in Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was part of Kazunari Murakami‘s Jun-dō Kaikan and only had a backstage role in UFO. He was however active in various martial arts competitions and later debuted in pro wrestling in 2007 at a Capture International show.
  • Red Baron: "Ginza no Tetsujin"("Ironman of Ginza"), "Sekai 3 Dai Sabaku Marason o Fukumen Kasō de Kansō Shita Yuiitsu no Otoko" ("The Only Man Who Completed The World's 3 Major Desert Marathons With Masked Costumes"), "Sekaiichi Kakokuna Amazon Janguru Marason o Kansō Shita Otoko" ("The Man Who Completed The World's Harshest Amazon Jungle Marathon").
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Kazunari Murakami and Kohei Sato.

Kohei Sato

Tadao Yasuda

"Before wrestling or martial arts Yasuda was a teenaged sumo wrestler, best known under the shikona Takanofuji. His sumo career lasted thirteen years and can be summed up as "ehn, he was okay." His body type wasn't quite right for it, his technique was solid but not world-class, and he made it to the top ranks once but couldn't hold on. He retired in the mid-90s and turned to professional wrestling, where he also gained moderate popularity and middling acclaim with a shoot-style gimmick—which is what led Antonio Inoki to pressure him into representing NJPW over in the Pride Fighting Championships. His one and only appearance was at Pride 13 against karateka and fellow pro wrestler Masaaki Satake, and it is...dire. Yasuda visibly doesn't have any real fighting training and has a gameplan of clinching Satake in the corner as hard as he can, and Satake is at around a 40-pound weight disadvantage. Satake busted Yasuda's face up, but Yasuda took a split decision. Four months later he was up against the Dutch kickboxer Rene Rooze, who was 2-2 in MMA and had dozens of wins in kickboxing—he beat Yasuda bloody and knocked him out. He got his revenge that December, taking a submission over Jerome Le Banner, who was greatly accomplished in kickboxing but had never fought in MMA. And that was the end of Yasuda's victories: He'd drop his last three fights, getting choked out by Fujita, injured horrifically against Jan Nortje, and ending his fighting career—unfortunately fittingly—in a rematch with Rene Rooze that saw him fight just as terrified and aimlessly as in his debut nearly three years prior. He was violently knocked out in under a minute and carried out of the arena on a stretcher. He retired at 2-4, with two violent concussions and one permanently damaged leg. But Inoki gave him a six-week run as the IWGP champion in 2002. So it was worth it. Right? Tadao Yasuda is a misplaced puzzle piece. He wasn't right for sumo, he wasn't right for wrestling, he wasn't right for mixed martial arts, and he wasn't right for celebrity—he famously racked up massive gambling debts, got into hot water with numerous loan sharks, and attempted suicide shortly after his 44th birthday. He wrestled his final match in 2011 and has stayed in quiet retirement ever since. I hope his life is better now. Or at least quieter."
— A profile of Yasuda from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

  • Affectionate Nickname: Was called Yasuti by friends.
  • Bald of Evil / Beard of Evil: As the leader of the Makai Club.
  • Canon Immigrant: From New Japan Pro-Wrestling and actually worked in a few UWFI shows during the NJPW vs UWFI feud.
  • Expy: Sort of one to Koji Kitao, another controversial sumo wrestler turned pro wrestler who also tried his hand in pro wrestling and MMA with bad results.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Started wearing them after his MMA debut.
  • Finishing Move: Rear Naked Choke and Tiger Driver.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: His wrestling style. He even used sometimes a straight punch as a finisher.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: A typical heel, he turned face in 2005, albeit very, very briefly.
  • I Know Sumo Wrestling: But retired from that sport before he came to New Japan. His sumo name was Takanofuji, and achieved the rank of komusubi. He also trained in Sambo under Hiroshi Hase and for MMA at the Inoki Dojo in Los Angeles.
  • Power Stable: The Makai Club.
  • Red Baron: "Shakkin O" ("The King of Debts"), "Tatakau Jinsei Gekijo" ("The Fighting Human Theatre").
  • The Scrappy: Is considered the most hated IWGP champion of all time.
  • The Slacker: Was famous for being late to events and no-showing sometimes.
  • Stout Strength: As a former sumo wrestler, he was this naturally.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts / Working Off the Debt: Famously in real life. His tendency to cram up gambling debts was so disastrous that his wife left him, he became estranged from his family and even attempted suicide after his retirement (though he denied it).

Take Off!

Muhammad Ali

Rick Bassman

  • Badass Israeli: Has Jewish ancestry.
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Cool Teacher: Was a trainer for the Ultimate Pro Wrestling school. He has trained guys like Sting, UltimateWarrior, John Cena, The Miz, Chris Masters, Luther Reigns, Nathan Jones, and Jon Heidenreich.
  • Determinator: At age 16, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 testicular cancer, which metastasized to both lungs, undergoing chemotherapy and surgeries from ages 16–19. Also in July 2013, he underwent a series of epidural injections to relieve chronic pain resulting from his years of involvement in MMA and wrestling. The injections, improperly administered, led to three major back surgeries within a three months' period of time, followed by a series of life-threatening infections. He has since recovered.
  • I Know Taekwondo: As well as amateur wrestling.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was a MMA and wrestling promoter and manager, though he has wrestled a couple of times in Zero 1 and UPW.
  • Start My Own: Founded Ultimate Pro Wrestling. He also owned a MMA promotion called Valor Fighting and co-founded the Global Pro Wrestling Mission.

Jason Bress

Kevin Carr

Joe Charles

"It was a serious rush. Just knowing I had to walk into the ring, I felt like I was untouchable. I wanted to find out what my true skills were, where I can go out and take care of business. I always felt like I wanted to fight every gangster that was bad in the street. I felt like I was superhero."

Vincent Dachetta

Matt Ghaffari

  • Cool Old Guy: Was 42 when he started pro wrestling.
  • Cool Teacher: Was a former head assistant wrestling coach at Cleveland State University.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real first name is Siamak.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He started his pro wrestling training in World Championship Wrestling and was even featured in some vignettes, but he left the promotion and did not debut until later for ZERO-ONE.
  • Eye Scream: A sort of. He tapped out in his fight with Ogawa because a punch to the side of his face disarranged one of his contact lens.
  • Fat Bastard: His excess of fat was his main trait (or at least his most distinctive one), and he was a Heel in his pro wrestling career.
  • The Giant: Towered over his Japanese opponents and was quite heavy.
  • Guest Fighter: From Ultimate Pro Wrestling.
  • The Heavy: Though not their leader, was the most pushed of the UPW guys in Pro Wrestling ZERO1.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Trained with Team Quest for MMA and would have tried for a longer career as a professional fighter if he didn’t have a wife and kids to provide for.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: An Olympic silver medalist losing the gold to Greco-Roman legend Aleksander Karelin in 1996, among other accomplishments.
  • Leotard of Power: An amateur wrestling one, though he also fought in black wrestling tights.
  • Lightning Bruiser: A superheavyweight, and not a particularly athletic-looking one, who was able of rolling around the ring with incredible speed.
  • Manly Tears: He wept at the Olympic medal stand after his match with Aleksander Karelin as it was his 21st time losing to him.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Outside of wrestling, both amateur and pro, he is well known for his works in charity.
  • Noble Demon: Was reluctant when the Takada Monster Army broke down Ogawa and told Ghaffari to finish him, and once he did, he left the ring in disgust.
  • The Rival: Believed he was this to Aleksandr Karelin, as he came closer than anyone to defeating him during his second undefeated streak before Rulon Gardner. He even kept a photo of Karelin in his wallet and a poster of Karelin hung beside his front door. Karelin however doesn’t feel the same, though they once wrestled in an informal match outside a grocery store.
  • Stout Strength: As a superheavyweight Olympic-level Greco-Roman wrestler, this is a given.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: His legs were tiny compared to the rest of his body.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Wore the U.S. flag on his wrestling singlet.

Tommy Glanville

Tom Howard

"Jumping into this sport so late, I have been playing the catch up game since I started. My philosophy is to train my hardest, do my best and be happy with the outcome. I am not afraid of getting hurt and will fight anyone that they want to put in front of me at any time. I am not saying that to sound like a tough guy but the reality is that they (the K1 office) use their infinite wisdom to do their job in booking the fights and I need to do my job."

  • The Apprentice: To Billy Anderson and Jesse Hernández at the School of Hard Knocks wrestling training school. He also trained under Dory Funk Jr. and Tom Prichard.
  • Cool Teacher: Was the former head coach of the Ultimate Pro Wrestling school, Ultimate University and also trained wrestlers for UFO. His list of students include John Cena, Samoa Joe, The Miz, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Frankie Kazarian, Lisa Marie Varon, Chris Masters, Mike Knox, Aaron Aguilera, Luther Reigns, Sakoda, Heidenreich, Nathan Jones, Sylvester Terkay, Alkatrazz, Andrew Hellman, Antonio Mestre, B-Boy, Billy Kim, Dylan Klein, Jade Chung, Lil' Nate, Scott Lost, and Tommy Wilson. He also trained Mark Kerr, Mark Coleman, Hollywood Yates ("Wolf" on American Gladiators), Mike O'Hearn ("Titan" on American Gladiators), Evan Marriott (Reality show "Joe Millionaire") for pro wrestling, trained athletes in kickboxing and conditioning like Deron Williams of NBA's Utah Jazz and PGA Pro Golfer Hunter Mahan, trained DVD on TV hosts Dave Holmes and Jennifer Lothrop on camera for FX airing of the film "The Marine", acted as Trainer/Instructor and Technical Producer for Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling, and trained Jack Black for Nacho Libre.
  • Determinator: Dude once took 46 knees to the head in a MMA fight. Now that's heart.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: He certainly had the attitude.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: His gimmick was a U.S. Green Berets hand-to-hand instructor. His gimmick as KGB was a KGB Agent.
  • Evil Is Petty: One of his trademarks was stepping over the opponent's foot while in military stance, only to attack while the adversary was confused.
  • Fake Russian: As KGB.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: He looked so tough in his gimmick and had such a good background that some predicted he would do good in MMA. A big mistake.
  • Guest Fighter: From Ultimate Pro Wrestling.
  • He Also Did: He was Mark Kerr's partner (the guy who the techniques were used on) in his Seek & Destroy instructional video series.
  • Heroic Build: Among the best examples of his faction.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as The Green Beret, The Big Time, KGB, Tom Howard, and Zuma.
  • I Know Sambo: Trained with Gokor Chivichyan and Gene Lebell. He also trained in Kickboxing.
  • Odd Friendship: With Antonio Inoki, who he first met in 1996 at his World Wrestling Peace Festival in Los Angeles.
  • Red Baron: "Green Beret".
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: Was the main trainer of the villainous UPW army in Pro Wrestling ZERO1.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Despite his ripped look, he often resorted to underhand tactics and cheap shots to gain advantage.
  • Surfer Dude: As Zuma.

Brian Johnston

"I’m just one guy out of many, that went out to head butt or be head butted and let the teeth lay where they feel."

  • The Apprentice: To Frank Shamrock and Javier Mendez.
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own MMA school Johnston MMA and has trained guys like Eric Ulrich.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Made his MMA debut at UFC 10.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Suffered a massive stroke in August 2001 while in Japan prior to a fight, at 32 years of age and 3 weeks after his wedding and chose to retire from MMA and pro wrestling.
  • I Know Judo: A black belt, he also trained in boxing and is a former golden gloves champion, amateur wrestling, and Taekwondo, and also trained in Kickboxing and MMA at the American Kickboxing Academy.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Had an effective mix of precision striking and ground fighting in MMA.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: A good fighter, but he faced top competition in the form of Don Frye, Mark Coleman, and Ken Shamrock.
  • Red Baron: "The Fury".
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Trained by Brad Rheingans and spent most of his pro wrestling career in New Japan and UFO.

Alan Scott LeDoux

Michael Lee

  • The Apprentice: To Hapkido Grand Masters Long Koo Park and Chong Song Kim.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Before their match at UFO Take Off, he stated that Kazunari Murakami would never be able to beat him.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: President and founder of the YGL Hapkido Association and the Hapkido and Jiu-Jitsu Alliance.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He apparently beat Kazunari Murakami in a dojo challenge and threatened to kill him the next time they fought. Murakami would beat him by armbar in their rematch at UFO Take Off and again by armbar at Jungle Fight 1.
  • Cool Teacher: Owner and chief instructor at International Martial Art Center in Buena Park.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Was introduced as either Lee Young Gun or Young Gun Lee.
  • I Know Hapkido: A 6th dan black belt and 2 time world champion. He is also a 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under John Machado and also trained in Muay Thai and Krav Maga.
  • Jerkass: In the promo before their match at UFO Take Off, he and Kazunari Murakami fought in a dojo challenge fight with Lee beating Murakami to the point of Naoya Ogawa having to restrain him, while he also threatened to kill Murakami and telling him to get out of his dojo.
  • Jobber
  • Koreans in Japan: He is actually Korean-American.
  • Red Baron: "Young Gun".

Brad Rheingans

Kevin Rosier

"With a background and history such as Kevin's, What does he have to prove to ANYONE? Kevin was one of the Pioneers of this sport that EVERYONE should look up to. EVERYONE! He not only defended his country for us but he defended his WKA Title something like 8-9 times. VERY FEW Fighters go out of their way to not only defend their titles today, but he also put up the money to promote the event so he could keep fighting. He didn't just bring in bums to fight either. He always brought in the top challengers to continue to prove himself over and over again to his peers. Champions like Kevin don't have to prove anything more to ANYONE! He has already 'Walked the Walk' and made his place in the history of this sport."
— IKF Preisdent Steve Fossum

  • The Apprentice: To William James Gallant.
  • Big Fun / Nice Guy: Was the second biggest, but most happy looking dude at UFC 1, he even referred to Gerard Gordeau of all people as a gentleman and wished him luck after being beaten by him.
  • Bouncer: Worked as a bodyguard for entertainers like Rick James, Billy Idol and Debbie Harry and was one for nightclubs like Studio 54, Limelight and CBGB.
  • Canada, Eh?: He is American, but his parents were French-Canadians.
  • Downer Ending: He suffered several bouts of illness (including open-heart surgery and a nearly fatal fall while already in intensive care). In April 2015 he died of an apparent heart attack, he was 53.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Fought in UFC 1 against Zane Frazier and Gerard Gordeau.
  • Guest Fighter: Had only one match against Satoru Sayama.
  • I Know Karate: A 1987 United States Kung-Fu Karate National Tournament Champion. He also trained in boxing and was a multiple time American and World superheavyweight champion in Kickboxing.
  • Jobber: In MMA.
  • Red Baron: "The Rock".
  • Retired Badass: He was a retired kickboxer before he fought at UFC 1. His appearance in UFC was his comeback.
  • Stout Strength: Competed in the superheavyweight division in Kickboxing.

Sylvester Terkay / The Predator / UFO Big Van Vader

Eric Ulrich


    UFO Europe
Free Fight Freaks

David Beknoy

Big Mo T

Jean-Pierre David

Anil Dubar

  • The Apprentice: To Gerard Gordeau.
  • Cool Teacher: Is now a trainer at the Kamakura Dojo and has trained guys like Daniel Ghita and Mourad Bouzidi.
  • I Know Karate: Trained at the Kamakura Dojo and is also a Kickboxing champion.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Gerard Gordeau and Mourad Bouzidi, they are known as "The Golden Three" due to their successes in the international Kickboxing scene and K-1 in particular.

Fredrik Hjelm

"Fighting sports are really just a metaphor of life. You learn how to deal with hardship, pain and defeat. Take your dream and make it an ambition. If you don't make it this time and maybe not even next, you will win and achieve your goal later on. No question about it. It's all about statistics and persistence - just as long as you try hard and long enough - you will be a winner and a champion in your field too, whether it is fighting sports, business or family. Never, ever give up."

Richard Roland Loux

Igor Meindert

S Nikolavits

Roby Peters

    Debuted at UFO Legend
The World's Most Powerful Legend

Bulldozer George

Wallid Ismail

"Wallid Ismail: The man who was hunting Gracies before Sakuraba made it sexy. Wallid is sort of an elemental spirit of anger, and he channeled that anger into his grappling: It was both ruthless and explosive, marked by making very few errors and violently exploting any openings his opponents left him. He beat Ralph, Renzo and Royce Gracie—before the famous Sakuraba/Gracie fight that put the first official loss on his record, Royce and Wallid grappled in 1998 in the prime of both men's careers and Wallid choked him unconscious in five minutes. Unfortunately, that was BJJ, and he is yet another entrant in the long history of great martial artists who couldn't replicate those heights in MMA. He wasn't unsuccessful, he won an IVC title and he retired at 9-3, but all three of those losses came during his biggest, most visible fights, and one of them included getting knocked out by Mr. Pride himself, Akira Shoji. If you're ever bored, watch his UFC fight against Kazuo Takahashi—it's two legitimately skilled fighters with no idea what the rules are who wind up just eye-gouging each other and punching each other in the crotch for fifteen minutes. Old days, old ways."
— A profile of Ismail from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

  • The Apprentice: To Carlson Gracie, Georges Mehdi, and Ary Almeida.
  • Arch-Enemy: With Ryan Gracie and Edson Carvalho.
  • Badass Teacher: Opened his own academy (with Carlson’s approval) called Brazil Dojo together with Antonio Inoki, but he closed it down as it was very hard to run his academy and his Jungle Fight promotion together. He is also the coach and manager for UFC fighters like Paulo Thiago and Sergio Moraes.
  • Bald of Awesome: In the later parts of his fighting career.
  • Bullying a Dragon: There is an anecdote in which he put himself to spar merrily with whom he thought to be a random trainee. As it happened, the guy turned out to be an even more legendary master named Ricardo de la Riva, who gave him a beating and taught him that he had still a lot to learn.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Just watch one of his interviews and say otherwise.
  • Death Glare / Mad Eye: Has a very intense stare permanently attached to his face.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Georges Mehdi called him "The Pig" because of his guard passing technique which reminded him of the way a pig does to get into position to eat, first just his nose then more and more of him until he has broken through.
  • Formerly Fat: Was described as a "hairy and chubby guy" in his younger days.
  • Guile Hero: In his first tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Wallid had only 3 months of training under Carlson Gracie and only knew how to pass the guard. Being astute as he has always been, he started spreading the rumour at the venue that he was a famous Judo guy from Manaus. When he got to fight, everyone immediately pulled guard on him (afraid to give away the 2 points for the throw) and Wallid managed to deploy his guard passing game and win the tournament.
  • Hero Killer: Has defeated Ralph, Royce, and Renzo of the famous Gracie family in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition.
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: A black belt and champion, he also trained in Judo.
  • Large Ham: He likes to behave like a 80s pro wrestler when interviewed.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: His fight with Kazuo Takahashi is infamous for its irregularities and disregard for the rules, as Takahashi seemed to be uninformed of the event's ruleset while Ismail intentionally ignored it.
  • Odd Friendship: With Antonio Inoki.
  • Older Than They Think: Before Kazushi Sakuraba became "The Gracie Hunter", there was "The Gracie Killer" Wallid Ismail.
  • The Pete Best: He was an early Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sensation, winning championships and becoming one of the first "professional" BJJ competitorsnote  In 1992, he dueled and won Ralph Gracie (who was trained specifically to defeat him and end his streak) in the Mundial and in 1993 he defeated Renzo Gracie, he then challenged Royce Gracie for a fight, which he accepted in 1998 under "special conditions" (no time limit or point system, only winning by submission), he would then win by choking Royce out with a "Relógio" (or Clock Choke). For that, he became known as the "Gracie Hunter" years before Kazushi Sakuraba. He also became a figure on the early Vale Tudo scene, competing in IVC (International Vale Tudo Championship), UFC, and PRIDE. Even appearing at Antonio Inoki's UFO, Bom-Ba-Ye, and even doing cameos at NJPW, and founded Jungle Fight, Brazil’s and South America's largest MMA promotion. All of this happened before MMA went mainstream.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: In Brazilian Portuguese before his match with Royce Gracie,
    "If he (Royce) thinks he is coming over to catch some sun, he is gravely mistaken for he is going to have a bad weather/time all the time"(time and weather are the same word in Portuguese).
  • Rags to Riches: Was so poor that he didn't have any money to pay for Carlson Gracie's classes, but Carlson allowed him to stay without paying. During his fighting career, unlike many Brazilian fighters who had to work other jobs to pay for their own expenses, Wallid had a lot of sponsors who paid for all that so that he could focus on his training.
  • Red Baron: "The Destroyer", "Matador de Gracies" ("Gracie Killer"), "Paraiba" ("Tough Guy/Redneck"), "Kyōken" ("Mad Dog"), "Inoki-Gun Saikyō no Otoko" ("Inoki Army's Strongest Man").
  • Start My Own: Founded the Jungle Fight MMA promotion.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Carlson Gracie and stayed by the side of his master until the day Carlson died in 2006.
  • The Worf Effect: Got beaten up by Edson Carvalho after they exchanged words at Georges Mehdi's Judo school. He also lost to Akira Shogi by TKO and Alex Stiebling by unanimous decision in PRIDE, though he stated that for the Shogi fight that jet lag from the trip to Japan caused for him to become exhausted, making him prone to Shogi's punches.

Joanie Laurer

Chika Nakamura

Antônio Rogério Nogueira

"Given that he was an inch shorter and a year later in starting his career, Rogerio agreed to take the lighter path—where Rodrigo was a heavyweight, Rogerio was a middleweight, fighting at 205 and below. Much like his brother he achieved instant success in the sport, storming 11 of his first 12 fights with victories over champions like Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, Guy Mezger, Kazushi Sakuraba, Alex Stiebling, Alistair Overeem and Dan Henderson. As a testament to the pace and talent of the division, despite being just as talented a fighter as his brother, most of Rogerio's fights went to decision. His win over Henderson got him into the quarterfinals of the 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix and set up maybe the greatest chapter in the Chute Boxe/BTT rivalry: Minotouro vs Shogun. It's one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport, the first round in particular. Its legacy is so thoroughly cemented that the UFC put on a rematch a full decade later, with both men considerably older, slower, more broken-down and coming off one-minute knockout losses—and it still captured the imagination of the fans, and still wound up far better than it had any right to be. Their Pride fight was remarkably close, and Rogerio could have easily won its decision—easily gone on to be the Grand Prix champion. Unfortunately, his career mirrored his brother's, and he was always the Pride bridesmaid, right down to being shockingly knocked out by then-unknown Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on the penultimate Pride event in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. Rogerio didn't go anywhere, though: He fought for Sengoku and Affliction before signing with the UFC in 2009, and he's been a mainstay of its light-heavyweight division for seven years, perennially on the cusp of contendership, always turned away by its top ranks. Even now, entering his forties and in his sixteenth year of fighting, Rogerio is 22-8, and seven of those losses came against world champions—and the odd one out there is Anthony Johnson, one of the scariest men in mixed martial arts history. Rogerio never quite achieved the championship fame of his brother, but he's been a contender across two decades of fighting history, and that's damn near unheard of."
— A profile of Minotouro Nogueira from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

  • Always Identical Twins: With his brother Antônio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira. The way to tell them apart is that Little Nog is lighter in weight and shorter in height, and by the presence of a scar on Big Nog's lower back.
  • The Apprentice: To Luiz Carlos Dórea, Ricardo de la Riva, Guilherme Assad, Murilo Bustamante, Ricardo Libório, Mário Sperry and Luis Roberto Duarte.
  • Badass Family: His brother Antônio Rodrigo "Minotouro" Nogueira is a 4th degree BJJ black belt, Judo black belt and MMA fighter.
  • Bash Brothers: With his twin brother Antônio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira. They were known in Japan as "Rio no Kansetsu Sōseiji" ("Rio’s Joint Twins") And "Saikyō Jūjutsu Tsuinzu"("The Strongest Jiu-Jitsu Twins").
  • Early-Bird Cameo / Tag Along Kid: Appeared in RINGS to support and corner his brother, it was before his own MMA career.
  • Fan Nickname: "Little Nog" to avoid confusion with his brother, who they named "Big Nog".
  • Genius Bruiser: Studied law and worked for a law firm before his fighting career.
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: As well as Judo and was also an amateur boxing champion.
  • Name's the Same: Aside from their surname their mother first named both Nogueira brothers after their father Antônio.
  • Red Baron: "Minotouro", "Mōhitori no Jiu-Jitsu Majishan" ("The Other Jiu-Jitsu Magician").

Jens Pulver

"When I was 15 I made myself a promise. My dad had just beaten me and my mom, and we were huddled in the bathroom, crying. It was a horrible situation. But I made myself a promise—one day I’m going to get so famous that I’m going to tell everybody about him. I’m going to get so famous that they are going to listen. It took me 20 years, but it kept me out there chasing the dream until I became a world champion."

  • Abusive Parents: He abused by his father in his childhood, and said he was became absorbed in wrestling to escape the fear of his dad.
  • The Apprentice: To Pat Miletich, Ken Shamrock, and Jeff Curran.
  • Autobiography: "Little Evil, One Ultimate Fighter's Rise to the Top". He is also the subject of the book "Never" by Timothy Mc Kinnon and was featured in a documentary entitled "Jens Pulver: Driven", directed by Gregory Bane.
  • Badass Teacher: Was a coach for The Ultimate Fighter 5.
  • Broken Ace: Was considered one of the hottest prospects in MMA till he lost by Ko to Joe Lauzon. That loss began a streak in which he lost seven out of his next eight bouts, prompting him to announce and then rescind his retirement more than once as the disappointments mounted.
  • Combat Commentator: Temporarily replaced Frank Mir as color commentator at WEC 39.
  • Cool Mask: Wore a demon mask when making his entrances.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Against Takanori Gomi, in what is regarded as the best boxing fight in an MMA bout at Pride Shockwave 2004.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Was abused as a child and suffered from constant anxiety and depression.
  • Eye Scream: Was accidentally thumbed in the eye by Hayato Sakurai which left a corneal abrasion on his eye. Despite the injury he still managed to knock down Sakurai with a left hook in the latter part of the first round, though Sakurai eventually won via TKO.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: A bilateral fracture of the wrists ended his amateur wrestling career.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: In his prime, he was one of the most powerful strikers in the lightweight division, usually picking his foes apart with technical boxing before closing the deal with a legendary left hook to the chin.
  • He Also Did: In 2014, he made a cameo on season four of The Vanilla Ice Project on DIY Network. He is also a part of a computer case and video gaming team called, Red Harbinger and goes by the gamer name, "Little Evil". He and his team are called in by Rob Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice) to supply custom computers for a video game room Winkle designed in a mansion he renovated in Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Hidden Depths: His hobbies are fly fishing and golf.
  • Identical Stranger: Stylistically, his quickness and ability to sprawl out of trouble and keep the fight standing was reminiscent of another of his contemporaries, Chuck Liddell, who used the strategy to great effect in subsequent years.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Wrestled at Tahoma Senior High School in Maple Valley, earning two state championships and also wrestled for wrestled for Highline Community College where he became an NJCAA All-American by placing in the top eight at the NJCAA National Championships as well as Boise State University. He also trained in boxing under Doug Mango and is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt under Jeff Curran. He trained for MMA briefly at the Lion's Den and then joined Shamrock 2000, a short lived camp formed by Bob Shamrock (the foster father of Ken and Frank Shamrock), Kevin Woo, and Dr. Ron Emmerson, then trained at Miletich Fighting Systems. He now trains with Team Curran.
  • Manly Tears: Broke into tears after his win against B.J. Penn, during the post-fight interview, he shouted, "On the ground again!...I've been beat on my whole life, this is nothing."
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: Won a shootboxing match against 2004 Sanda champion Dai Chang Liang.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Has heterochromia, his right eye is blue, while his left eye is brown.
  • One-Hit Kill / The Worf Effect: Via one punch knockout at the 48-second mark of the first round against Joe Lauzon at UFC 63. Pulver even apologized for his poor performance.
  • Parental Substitute: Had one in Bob Shamrock who he saw as his real father figure, he once asked to change his surname to Shamrock as he hated his name because it was the same as his father's til Bob told him to "go out there and make the Pulver name mean something good".
  • The Pete Best: He started fighting in 1999, was the UFC's first ever lightweight championship and, for eight years, was the only person who ever defeated BJ Penn at lightweight. However, when UFC really hit the mainstream Pulver's suspect chin and defensive grappling was used against him multiple times, culminating in a two-year, six-fight losing streak. Unfortunately, most modern fans only remember the tail-end of his career, which has consisted of him getting punched out or submitted.
  • Red Baron: "Lil' Evil", "Lil' Fighter", "The Pulverizer", "Gatling Rush".
  • The Rival: With B.J. Penn.
  • Stepford Smiler: His personality in MMA seemed quite chippy and his smile perpetual, but behind the smiles lies a lot of issues.
  • Ur-Example: Was the first UFC Lightweight Champion.

Mario Sperry

"I would never give up. If you want my blood, you can have it, but not until the end of the fight."

  • Affectionate Nickname: "Zé Mário".
  • The Apprentice: To Carlson Gracie and Georges Mehdi.
  • Badass Teacher: As a main trainer for Brazilian Top Team he has trained fighters like Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, Paulo Filho, etc. He also worked for six months as Head Coach of the Blackzilians, in 2012.
  • Blood Knight
  • Combat Pragmatist: Was accused by Andrei Kopylov of greasing up during their fight. It's unknown if Sperry was really oiled up, but close inspection reveals Kopylov seems to slip off his legs when trying his first double leg, so you never know.
  • Cool Teacher: He opened his first Jiu Jitsu school, Sul Jiu Jitsu, back in 1994 with his long time partner and friend, Sensei Walter Mattos, a six degree Jiu Jitsu black belt, under Grand Master Sergio Penha. They currently have 12 Sul Jiu Jitsu affiliates in Brazil. He also has made highly regarded instructional videos on sport jiu-jitsu, no-gi grappling and MMA.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Appeared in RINGS as a cornerman for Brazilian Top Team fighters.
  • Eye Scream: Suffered damage to his eye caused by punches in his fight with Yuki Kondo.
  • Four Is Death: One of the four founders of Brazilian Top Team.
  • Genius Bruiser: He has a degree in economics.
  • Hero Killer: Became the first fighter in history to make a Gracie submit in a match when he defeated Royler Gracie in Brazil by koshi-jime or "clock choke". He also beat Igor Vovchanchyn at Pride 17 by choking him out in just under three minutes.
  • Hidden Depths: He is an avid competitive surfer.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In his fight with Igor Zinoviev, Sperry tried to leap into a rear naked choke while Zinoviev was giving his back and holding the fence, but he slipped and fell in front of the Russian, receiving a kick to the face, which opened a deep cut, so the match was stopped to give the win to Zinoview.
  • I Know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: A 6th degree black belt, 3 time BJJ World Champion, 3 time Brazilian national champion, and is the athlete with the most appearances on ADCC with 6 titles. He is also a black belt in Judo.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Is a catholic.
  • Red Baron: "The Zen Machine" (originally "Zé Maquina" ("José Machine")), "The Zen Master", "The Don of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu".


Howard T. Brody

  • The Chessmaster: A former president of the National Wrestling Alliance from October 1996 to October 2001. He is also Ring Warriors Chief Operations Officer (Business).
  • He Also Did: Wrote several books on pro wrestling, he also was Dusty Rhodes' biographer.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was not a wrestler.
  • Special Guest: Was in attendance for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship between Naoya Ogawa versus champion Dan Severn.
  • Start My Own: In 1989 he and a friend started a professional wrestling company called Wild Women of Wrestling and the following year began Ladies Major League Wrestling. He also co-founded the Ring Warriors promotion with Larry Brannon and Paul Jones.

Dory Funk Jr.

Yarsin Loogklongdan

Artur Mariano

  • The Apprentice: To Luiz Alves.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Is the president of the Confederação Brasileira de Muay Thai and is an official Brazilian representative of the World Muay Thai Federation.
  • Badass Teacher: Was the coach of the Brazilian Muay Thai team since 2010. He is also an Olympic boxing coach. He also has his own Muay Thai and MMA school, Champions Factory.
  • Combat Commentator: A Brazilian commentator for many Kickboxing and MMA events like K-1 and the UFC.
  • Combat Referee: Was a referee for MMA bouts and founded the School of MMA Referees of Brazil.
  • Guest Fighter: Only appeared once in UFO at the UFO Europe Free Fight Gala event.
  • He Also Did: Helped his master publish two books on Muay Thai and MMA.
  • Hero Killer: Won the International Vale Tudo II tournament championship by beating Pat Assalone, Mark Hall, and Wanderlei Silva.
  • I Know Muay Thai: Trained at the Boxe Thai Academy with additional training in The Netherlands and Thailand, and was an undefeated Brazilian champion. He also has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Osvaldo Alves, trained in Judo and boxing under Pedro Roque Oteño, Otílio Toledo, and Paco Garcia, and also trained in Luta Livre at the Budokan Academy.

Gary Steele

"I am on a mission to find the man who is arguably the UK’s greatest wrestler since Davey Boy, Gary Steele."

  • The Apprentice: To Andre "Sledgehammer" Baker at the NWA UK Hammerlock wrestling school.
  • Arch-Enemy: Naoya Ogawa when they were feuding for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Bouncer: Worked as a security guard while also wrestling.
  • Cool Teacher: Had a hand in training Irish wrestler Dunkan Disorderly.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: A neck injury he suffered in Japan in 2002 cut his career short.
  • Guest Fighter: From the National Wrestling Alliance.
  • He Also Did: He appeared as a contestant on the UK version of Deal Or No Deal on 28 June 2011.
  • I Know Karate: As well as amateur and Catch Wrestling.
  • Leotard of Power: An amateur wrestling one.
  • The Mean Brit: From Gravesend, England.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: If it wasn't for his run as NWA World and United Kingdom Heavyweight Champion, he would have been one of the least known wrestlers to come out of the NWA UK Hammerlock wrestling school, which has alumni like Doug Williams, Katarina Waters, Wade Barrett, Jimmy Havoc, Zack Sabre Jr., Fergal Devitt, etc.
    • Also, he isn't remembered as the first Englishman to be World Heavyweight Champion but that guy who had no business in the ring with Naoya Ogawa. To Steele's credit, he would have a decent run as NWA UK Hammerlock's Heavyweight Champion later and Steele did have some degree of support during his seven day world title reign. It was afterwards that fans began to see Steele's win as undeserved when Ogawa became well thought of as a top face of Pro Wrestling ZERO1 and Fighting Opera Hustle.
  • The Scrappy: To American fans at least. His run as NWA World Heavyweight Champion was considered an all time low point for the championship as he was relatively a no-name wrestler from a British affiliate promotion (NWA shunned Europe for many years till the late 1990s because of a rival World Heavyweight Championship based in the UK) with only about 3 years of experience as a pro at the time and only held the title for a week before dropping it back to Naoya Ogawa in front of half-a-dozen fans in a school gym in Connecticut, his British style of wrestling wasn't well received by the American crowds, and he never really achieved much else in his career.
    • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: British fans however consider his NWA World Heavyweight Championship reign as one of the first steps that lead to the revival of the British wrestling scene. Also his run in NWA UK Hammerlock helped turned the crowds around.
  • Shout-Out: His ring name is possibly inspired by British pro wrestler and former Joint Promotions British Heavyweight Champion, Ray Steele. His real name is Gary Harvey.
  • Ur-Example: Was the first British pro wrestler to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and the first NWA United Kingdom Heavyweight Champion as well.

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