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Way of The Warrior

"UWFi was a proto-MMA organization that aimed to show that real, tough, submission wrestling could draw large crowds again. Their aim was to bring back credibility and respect back to the world of professional wrestling. There are too many styles in the world of pro-wrestling today responsible for the bad reputation that pro-wrestling is sometimes associated with. In particular the "loud-mouthed", popular style that puts a premium on appearance and useless muscles, silly costumes, and trademark "cartoon" characters but very little premium on competitive wrestling, character, or proven skill. From the UWFi perspective, that kind of show only encourages body abuse and sends the wrong sort of message to audiences, especially younger ones. The UWFi message is to get into the gym; get on the mat, learn from your elders and betters, respect your opponents, and do your best. The UWFi matched all types of athletes; boxers, kickboxers, wrestlers, martial artists to show how effective the UWFi style is. The UWFi aimed to bring real professional wrestling back to the world!"
Ted Pelc, a summary for UWF Bushido: Way of The Warrior, basically UWFi shows with English commentary.

"A few years ago, a group of wrestlers got tired of working the kind of show you see on TV, the theatrics you associate with professional wrestling. You see, they learned to shoot, a kind of shooting that has nothing to do with guns, but everything to do with real fighting. They combine the meanest, most realistic elements of jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, and submission wrestling into the toughest fighting style in the world. You win or lose a fight by a knockout, or by giving up before something gets broken. You can punch, slap, kick, knee, wrestle, almost anything goes as long as it works. Now some people call this street fighting, if so, it's the most highly developed form of street fighting you've ever seen. We prefer to think of it as the newest, toughest form of hand-to-hand combat around."
A voiceover from a trailer for UWF Bushido: Way of The Warrior.
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As a whole

  • Badass Crew: The native wrestlers were made up of most of the veterans from Newborn and other young prospects of the time.
  • Bushido Index: Had an English commentated show under the name, UWF Bushido: Way of The Warrior.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Their logo was purple, like Nobuhiko Takada's colour motif.
  • Faction Motto: "The Strong Will Be Glorified".
  • Five-Man Band: This time.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The promotions full name was Union of Wrestling Forces International.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: With New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Wrestling Association R (WAR). Unfortunately it was not enough (and may have actually hurt them more than aid them) to keep the promotion going past a year they started working with them.
  • Guest Fighter: UWFI liked using a lot of pro wrestlers, like Bob Backlund, Mark Fleming, Bad News Allen, Joe Malenko, John Tenta, Super Vader, Dan Severn, Vladimir Berkovich, Salman Hashimikov, Victor Zangiev, The Iron Sheik, and Koji Kitao.
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite its theme as "real pro wrestling", it was actually a step back from the realism of Newborn. They had Wrestling Monsters, Suplex Finishers, and Tag Team matches (even a Kickboxing tag team match of all things).
  • Advertisement:
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: UWF-i had a small Kickboxing league, and they had actual champions on their dojo.
  • The Remnant: They were the biggest part of the former UWF Newborn.
  • Special Guest: Lou Thesz served as a commissioner, Billy Robinson was a trainer at the UWF Snakepit and wrestled an exhibition match with Nick Bockwinkel for the promotion and Danny Hodge occasionally served as a judge in the UWFI's pursuit of old-school credibility. Thesz even lent his 1950s NWA World title belt to be used as the "UWFI Real Pro-Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship".
  • Spin-Off: After the promotion closed, most of the native wrestlers started up Kingdom.
  • Suplex Finisher: The promotion actually encouraged doing suplexes (especially overhead ones) as it was one way of reducing an opponent’s points.
  • Tournament Arc: The UWF-i staff tried to put together an all star tournament and sent letters to all the top wrestlers of the era: Mitsuharu Misawa from AJPW, Shinya Hashimoto from NJPW, Akira Maeda from RINGS, Genichiro Tenryu from WAR and Masakatsu Funaki from Pancrase, but none of them accepted; Funaki was not interested, Tenryu gave in but put an excuse, Maeda countered with an offer of a tournament of his own, and Hashimoto and Misawa talked harshly against the idea. They all probably deducted that the tournament might be a plan to attract them to UWF-i to allow its wrestlers to legit shoot on them and destroy their aura.
  • Vestigial Empire: The last promotion with an "UWF" on its name, and the most successful one.

    open/close all folders 

    UWFI natives 

Hiromitsu Kanehara

Masakazu Maeda

Shunsuke/Daijiro Matsui

"Wanderlei Silva? He was just a neanderthal-looking Brazilian with sloppy hooks. Igor Vovchanchyn? A short dude with bad wrestling. Vitor Belfort? Lol, he was a Christian, how freaky. As you can guess, Matsui stood no chance against any of these professional unarmed killers, but it didn't stop him from going to the judges against two of them and resisting valiantly against the remnant one without an ounce of fear. He was way more worried about his visa during his King of the Cage tenure in United States than of any of these dudebros."
— Reddit user Da Shoota

  • The Apprentice: To Nobuhiko Takada.
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Crazy Awesome: You would have to be to do the things he does in a fight.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Thrashed the legendary vale tudo fighter Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons in one of the most mindcrossing upsets ever.
  • Determinator: He could be at the best a mediocre shooter, but he got out unfinished from Wanderlei Silva and many other guys who should have punched and/or stretched him to pieces. As his PRIDE profile put it, he never gave up not matter what.
  • Early Installment Weirdness / Establishing Character Moment: His first two fights in PRIDE were long snoozefest draws with Akira Shoji and Sanae Kikuta respectively. It was his fight with Carlos Newton where he showed off how Crazy Awesome he could be.
  • Escape Artist: Was very good in submission escapes, and his fight against Carlos Newton featured increasingly crazy ones.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kendo Kashin, when he wrestled as Mr Problem wearing a modified Kendo Kashin attire and mask.
  • I Know Judo: A black belt and also trained in amateur wrestling.
  • Improv Fu / Wrestler in All of Us: Unlike other shooters who were able to hold their own by striking and grappling, Matsui had not very much skills on those fields, but he was a sharp wrestler and had proficiency in improvising during his fights. If his opponent was too much for fighting the old way, he would threw dropkicks, coconut openers, running slams against the turnbuckle, piledrivers and whatnot in order to get the win.
  • The Lancer: To Kazushi Sakuraba.
  • Made of Iron: Matsui was tough to submit or knock out, whoever was his opponent, and that's saying something.
  • Red Baron: "Honoo no Grappler" ("The Flame Grappler"), "PRIDE no Kirikomi Taichō" ("PRIDE’s Raid Captain").
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After seeing his partner Sakuraba fall to Wanderlei Silva, Matsui fastly went after his homologue in Silva's camp, Pele, and defeated him.
  • Stone Wall: Was very difficult to submit.

Masaya Onosaka

Kazushi Sakuraba

Shinji Sasazaki

Kiyoshi Shimizu

Yoshihiro Takayama

Ryuki Ueyama

"Ueyama's fighting career started in the old, late-90s RINGS cards. It's already hard to determine how much of even the late-period RINGS revival was legit, but Ueyama managed to make it even harder with his inexplicable ability to have fights with weird, screwjob endings. His first was a 1999 run-in with mixed martial arts legend Lee Hasdell, which Ueyama lost by disqualification after inexplicably and repeatedly raking Hasdell's eyes. His karmic repayment came two months later, when Dutch heavyweight Willie Peeters fouled him with so many illegal blows that, under RINGS' system of fouls, Peeters was ruled to have been knocked out. One year later, Ueyama would meet future UFC champion Dave Menne and get utterly dominated by him—but Menne briefly forgot the rules and struck him with a closed fist, which earned him a yellow card and rendered the fight a draw. For his next trick, he managed to fight to two draws with the same fighter in one year and, somehow, also record a TKO victory over legitimate UFC veteran La Verne Clark. It was the transition from RINGS to DEEP that best served him: While only a middling fighter outside the regional organization, within the confines of DEEP he earned the first true winning streak of his career thanks to DEEP's 2002 middleweight tournament, where he won three fights in one night and became DEEP's inaugural middleweight champion. It was the highest-profile success he'd have in his career, and within a year Pride came knocking, looking to populate their Bushido series with his momentum. Unfortunately, he ran into a mountain. When Ueyama walked out at Pride: Bushido 2 in 2004 he was 9-6-4, and his greatest fight was a corner stoppage against the 12-9 La Verne Clark. His opponent was Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk, who was 22-1-1, had two tournament titles and had just a year prior almost knocked out Matt Hughes. Ueyama did not stand a chance. His second and final Pride appearance came later that year against the legendary Ikuhisa Minowa, and it's...suspicious? The fight has an inescapable feeling of pro-wrestling kayfabe hanging over it, from the camera close-ups of Kiyoshi Tamura sitting ringside as the commentators discuss Ueyama's place as a soldier in a proxy war between Minowa and Tamura, Minowa's usual aggression seems oddly tempered as he passes up ground-and-pound opportunities to trade half-applied leglocks, and despite having had competitive grappling fights with Ryan Gracie, Ricardo Almeida and even Tamura himself within the past year Minowa couldn't muster much successful offense against Ueyama, who was once controlled with ease by Dave Menne. Minowa took a split decision, and Ueyama never appeared in Pride again. He kept fighting, though—for another ten years, in fact, everywhere from K-1 Hero's to the ill-fated RINGS revival to China's Art of War FC, which gave him his own main event. Very little of it went well for him—in the last ten years of his career Ueyama went 2-10-2 (1), with one of those victories coming against Kosei Kubota, the fighter he'd drawn with twice eight years prior. He ultimately retired at 11-15-5 (1). He wrestled intermittently with Tamura's U-Style shows throughout his career, but never achieved any real fame from it. And yet, that was still enough to hold a title. Jobber or no, Ueyama successfully etched his name in the title history of one of the most enduring promotions in MMA history. And he wore shiny purple trunks. That's pretty cool."
— A profile of Ueyama from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from https://steamcommunity.com

  • The Apprentice: To Nobuhiko Takada, Akira Maeda, and Kiyoshi Tamura (and was his first U-FILE Camp trainee).
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own gym, U-Spirit Japan Machina Gym. He also helped Katsuhiko Nagata (Yuji Nagata’s younger brother) train for MMA as TEAM KINGS.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Had a few matches in UWFI and Kingdom before joining RINGS.
  • Eye Scream: Accidently eye gouged Lee Hasdell once in a match and was disqualified.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: In high school and trained in shoot wrestling at the UWFI Snakepit, the Kingdom Dojo, the RINGS Japan dojo, and U-File Camp.
  • Jobber: In UWFI, Kingdom and RINGS.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Like Yasuhito Namekawa, he debuted in RINGS in 1998 so he never got to be a bigger star. He also debuted in UWFI in its last year and left Kingdom after the first few events so he was never a star in those promotions either.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Is known to usually wear purple coloured gear like Nobuhiko Takada.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is sometimes mistakenly translated as Tatsunori Kamiyama for some reason, which is why some English wrestling sites use it instead of his real name for his appearances in UWFI.
  • Ur-Example: The first DEEP Middleweight Champion.
  • Wrestling Family: His brother is also Tomoaki Ueyama an amateur wrestler and MMA fighter who also trained at U-File Camp.

Ryogaku Wada

  • Bald of Awesome
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Though he never debuted as a pro wrestler, he was a weighlifting expert and was supposedly very good on the gym, with people like Sakuraba and Tamura praising him when he had his MMA debut.
  • Combat Referee: Was the main referee for UWF-i and Kingdom. He also was one for RINGS and NJPW, Pancrase, Inoki Genome Federation, etc.
  • Cool Old Guy: Was 39 years old when he tried MMA.
  • Cool Teacher: He's a personal physical trainer, guy like Akihiro Gono, Eiji Mitsuoka, Hideo Tokoro and Kazuyuki Fujita have trained under him.
  • Game Master: He made the RINGS King of Kings rules, as well as ZST's official rules.
  • Glass Cannon: A stamina example in MMA.
  • Hold Up Your Score: Serves as a MMA judge from time to time.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: He had two MMA fights, he won the first and loss the other.
  • Red Baron: "Nihon Kakutōgi-kai no Ban'nin" ("The Keeper of the Japanese Fighting Sports World")

Kenichi Yamamoto

"Kenichi Yamamoto is one of the longest-tenured jobbers in mixed martial arts, has one of the worst records in mixed martial arts—and was almost the undisputed champion of the world. Yamaken's entire career was founded on his childhood love of shoot-style pioneer Akira Maeda. Watching his matches made Yamamoto train in Seidokaikan karate and, ultiamtely, join Nobuhiko Takada's UW Fi, where he befriended fellow future MMA competitors Yoji Anjo and Yoshihiro Takayama as part of the Golden Cups, a triumvirate of shooters who alternated between comic promos and violent beatings. As with many, when the UW Fi folded Yamamoto went a step further towards legitimacy by joining F Ighting Network RINGS, and gradually, his wrestling turned into fighting. As always, it's tough to tell what of the early RINGS matches were worked. What most certainly was not worked was Yamamoto's participation at UFC 23, the second and last Ultimate Japan tournament, where he in one night outgrappled both the talented Katsuhisa Fujii and the always-tricky, future-Anderson-Silva-defeating Daiju Takase. The performance earned him the tournament crown, and with it, a shot at the UFC welterweight championship when they returned to Japan the following year, at the time held by consensus #1 Pat Miletich. It was not a competitive bout: Miletich stymied Yamamoto's attempts at striking from range, Yamamoto had no answer for Miletich's wrestling, and two minutes into the second round Miletich choked him out. It was Yamamoto's first loss after a three-fight win streak. It would set the tone for the rest of his career. Yamamoto fought across the MMA world after his UFC stint: He turned up in the short-lived Club Fight promotion, he returned to RINGS for one night only, he spent a year and a half with PRIDE, he showed up in Bodog Fight and he took part in Grabaka's house shows. Nearly every fight ended with Yamamoto staring up at the lights. His sole victory in the last thirteen years of his career was a 2005 knockout over the 2-3 German Reyes: Otherwise he was knocked out by everyone from Kevin Randleman to Ikuhisa Minowa to a 40 year-old Sanae Kikuta—one of only two men Kikuta was able to knock out in 31 victories. (The other was an 0-0 rookie with no MMA training.) Yamamoto tried. He was athletic, he was charismatic and he always put forth the best effort he could—it was just inevitably, heartbreakingly, never enough. He retired at 5-12-2, with only one loss going the distance. But once, just once, he had his hands on the welterweight champion of the world. Once he could have been king."
— A profile of Yamamoto from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from https://steamcommunity.com

Takahiro Yoshimizu

  • Hammy Herald: As a ring announcer in the UWFI and Sengoku Raiden Championship.
  • He Also Did: He is a voice actor affiliated with Aoni Production and has been doing so since 1988. He has voiced several characters in One Piece.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: He is from the prefecture and graduated from Osaka Institute of Technology High School and Setsunan University.
  • Large Ham Announcer: His job in the UWFI and Sengoku Raiden Championship.
  • Non-Action Guy

    UWFI gaijins 

Gary Albright

Bad News Allen

Vladimir Berkovich

Jeff Blatnick

"Jeff deserves so much credit for helping establish MMA. He gave his credibility to our sport we all owe him a debt of gratitude."
— "Big" John McCarthy

  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: He served on the board of wrestlers for USA wrestling
  • Bouncer: In the summers of 1980–81 he worked as one at the Thirsty Whale in Minocqua, Wisconsin.
  • Combat Commentator: Worked as one from UFC 4 through UFC 32. He served as a television commentator during the 1988 Summer Olympics and was also a commentator for the Division 1 NCAA wrestling championships.
  • Combat Referee: Was a licensed MMA referee.
  • Cool Teacher: Was a varsity wrestling coach at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.
  • Determinator: Was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1982, prompting the removal of his spleen and appendix. He still competed and won gold at the 1984 Olympics.
  • Downer Ending: Died on October 24, 2012, as a result of complications from heart surgery. He was 55.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Retired from wrestling after a second round with cancer, which required chemotherapy.
  • Game Master: He served as the UFC commissioner and was instrumental in helping the UFC get regulated by the athletic commissions, which kept the sport of mixed martial arts alive during its dark ages in the United States at the time. Blatnick is among the people credited with giving the sport of mixed martial arts its name.
  • Hidden Depths: Worked as a motivational speaker.
  • Hold Up Your Score: Also served as a MMA judge.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Three-time All-American, NCAA Division II heavyweight wrestling championships in 1978 and 1979 and won the Olympic gold medal in the superheavyweight division of Greco-Roman wrestling in 1984.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was not a competitor in UWFI or UFC.
  • Special Guest: Was an announcer for UWFI's American PP Vs.
  • Ur-Example: He and his teammate Steve Fraser were the first Americans to ever win gold in Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling history.

Greg Bobchick

Nick Bockwinkel

"Nick had a great head for the game, a wonderful sense of ring psychology, and an uncanny ability to use his intelligence and cockiness to get under the people's skin. He was a terrific representative for the AWA and was the key player in the success of the AWA for a long time."

Jim Boss

Tom Burton

Tommy Cairo

Steve Cox

"I suplexed the hell out of those people! But, I had to take some serious shots there, but the money was so good. It was funny, I was working with one group, and there was a lot of cross promotion... They were pretty prejudiced towards us gaijins, but yeah, I bounced around and worked with five different groups over there. I did a lot of submission style wrestling there. I also did a lot of boxing and pad up with linemen’s gloves. Yeah, it was rough."

Steve Day

Mark Fleming

"My name is Mark Fleming I was a protege of Lou Thesz, and the coach at his wrestling school for 4 years. Lou took me to Japan to wrestle for New Japan Prom. UWFI Prom. on 19 tours. I learned more wrestling holds and hooks, that guys today don't know because nobody teaches them!"

Salman Hashimikov

Danny Hodge

"Danny was a legit shooter; a total badass who knew the business inside and out."
Jim Ross from his autobiography, Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling.

"I can't finish this book without mentioning one guy who should always be remembered — Danny Hodge. Of all the guys I ever knew in wrestling, the one guy I never, ever would want to shoot with would be Danny Hodge in his prime. Hell take Danny Hodge now, in his 70s, amputate his arms and legs, and I might have a 50 percent chance with him. I watch shootfighting groups like Pride and Ultimate Fighting Championship and they have some tough guys. But let me tell you — you can have all the Gracies, all the Shamrocks you want. They couldn't hold a candle to Danny Hodge."
Terry Funk from his autobiography, Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore.

"People say I'm a shooter, a hooker and a worker!"
— Danny Hodge

  • The Ace: Was a perennial NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, holding the title eight times for a total of over ten years, longer than anyone else. He is also the only man to win national titles in both boxing and wrestling.
  • The Apprentice: To Leroy Mc Guirk and Ed "Strangler" Lewis.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Serves as chairman of the Oklahoma Professional Boxing Commission, which regulates professional boxing, wrestling, and mixed martial arts in Oklahoma.
  • Badass Grandpa / Retired Badass: Over 80 and can still crush apples with one hand.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He is famous for the ability to crush apples with one hand, he said his strength was due to having double tendons in his hands.
  • The Dreaded: One of the best shooters of his era and not one to mess with.
  • Hidden Depths: He is also an accomplished woodcrafter.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Won the 165-pound title at the state tournament in 1951, was undefeated at 46-0, with 36 pins and reportedly was never taken off his feet during his collegiate career for University of Oklahoma, a three-time Big Seven conference champ at 177 pounds (1955–1957), and won the 177-pound title at the NCAA championships those same three years, pinning all three of his finals opponents, being one of two three-time NCAA Division I champs to have done that, the other being Oklahoma A&M's Earl Mc Cready in 1928–1930. Hodge placed 5th in 1952 Olympics, and won the Silver Medal in 1956, in Melbourne, Australia after being defeated at the final by Bulgarian Nikola Stanchev. The Dan Hodge Trophy, named after him, is the amateur wrestling equivalent of the Heisman Trophy and is the only amateur wrestler to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated as an amateur wrestler. He also trained in boxing and won the 1958 Chicago Golden Gloves at Heavyweight, then won a Chicago-NY Intercity bout in October, beating Charley Hood. He finished his amateur career with 17 wins, no losses and 12 KO's. Convinced by boxing manager Art Freeman that he was a better prospect than Rocky Marciano, Hodge decided to become a professional boxer rather than pursue the opportunity to compete as a boxer and a wrestler at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy. As a professional, he had a reported record of 8-2, although only 7 wins have been documented.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was only a judge.
  • Red Baron: "Dynamite".
  • Respected by the Respected: Bret Hart has referred to Hodge as "one of the greatest wrestlers in pro wrestling or amateur wrestling there’s ever been".
  • Ring Oldies: Wrestled his last match at the age of 50.
  • Special Guest: Served as a judge.

Dennis Koslowski

  • 10-Minute Retirement: After the '88 Olympic Games, Dennis gave up wrestling to coach the U.S. national team in Greco-Roman. Believing he could beat most of the wrestlers he coached, he came out of retirement and made the 1992 team.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Capable of throwing a super heavyweight like Gary Albright with ease.
  • Collegiate American Football: Was three-time all-conference offensive lineman for the University of Minnesota-Morris.
  • Cool Teacher: Was the Greco-Roman coach of the U.S. national team in 1989-90.
  • Hidden Depths: Is a Twin Cities chiropractor. Since 1990, he has owned Koslowski Chiropractic, which has been the team chiropractor of the Minnesota Vikings since 2007. He also plays golf frequently at the Timber Creek Golf Course.
  • Identical Twins: With his brother Duane.
  • I Know Greco-Roman Wrestling: An Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling bronze and silver medalist of 1988 and 1992 and was the first U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler to win two Olympic medals and also the first to medal at an Olympics that wasn't marred by boycott. He won his first USA Wrestling national title in 1983, was a three-time All-American and a two-time NCAA Division III national champion and competed in the world championships five times. He lost in overtime in the finals in 1987; he was sixth in 1983 and '85 and seventh in '86 and '91. He was a four-time World Cup silver medalist and he won seven USA Wrestling Greco-Roman national titles.
  • Wrestling Family: His brother Duane was on the American Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team of 1988 with him.

Ray Lloyd

Gene Lydick

Patrick McCarthy

  • The Apprentice: Studied with many instructors like Carl 'Dutchie' Schell, Adrian Gomes, John Grosdanoff, Tiger Thompson, Masami Tsuruoka, Richard Kim, Dave Huston, Ron Forrester, Wally Jay, Bob Dalgliesh, Wally Slocki, Kuniba Shiyogo, Matayoshi Shinpo, Yagi Meitoku, Miyazato Eiichi, Nagamine Shoshin, Kinjo Hiroshi, Izawa Takehiko, Sugino Yoshio, Satoru Sayama, Caesar Takeshi, and Nobuhiko Takada.
  • Awesome Aussie / Canada, Eh?: A Canadian-born citizen, though he now resides in Australia.
  • Badass Teacher: Was a trainer for the UWFI wrestlers. He also has his own school of martial arts, Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-Jutsu and founded the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society.
  • I Know Karate: A 9th dan black belt and a multiple time triple threat [kata, kobudo, and kumite] Canadian and American national champion. He has studied Karate styles like Kyokushin, Chito Ryu, Tsuruoka Ryu, Shorinji Ryu, Shorin Ryu, Shito Ryu, Kin Gai Ryu, Goju Ryu, Yamane Ryu, and Shuri-te. He has also trained in Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu Iaido, Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, boxing, Kickboxing, shootboxing, Judo, amateur and Catch Wrestling, Small Circle and Daito Ryu Jujutsu, Kuntao Silat, and kung fu styles like Hung Gar, Do Pai, Five Form Fist, and Pai Lum.
  • Renaissance Man: Of martial arts.

Steve Nelson

"I wrestled since I was nine years old including college for Oklahoma State University. I was a black belt judo player and had won three world medals in Sambo. A Bronze in the 1987 World Cup, a Silver in the 1991 World Championships and also a Silver in the 1994 World Championships. I wanted to be involved with fighting at the professional level."

Ted Pelc

  • Combat Commentator: Was an English commentator for UWFI and Real Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • Hidden Depths: He owns Pelc Enterprises, a Merchandising Company that represents music artists, sports and entertainment entities that tour overseas in Japan.
  • Non-Action Guy: Is not a wrestler.

Billy Robinson

Billy Scott

"The best American athlete I’ve trained."

  • '80s Hair: A mullet.
  • Action Survivor: Out of all the guys UWF-I that could have been chosen to fight James Warring, a champion in boxing and Kickboxing, the same night as Nobuhiko Takada vs Trevor Brebick, they chose a gaijin with little experience. After the first few rounds of the fight, Warring realized he couldn't get any offense in without the risk of getting hooked, so instead Warring kept stalling the fight and basically kept running away from Billy so the match would go to a decision.
  • A Day in the Limelight: His mixed styles bout with James Warring which he won by decision.
  • The Apprentice: To Billy Robinson, and is said to be his best American student.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Acted like this at times. One example is his match against James Warring: because Warring had literally unlimited rope escapes and he was using them to stale the whole fight, a frustrated Billy did the following things: tackling and palm striking Warring through the ropes several times, throwing Warring over the ropes once in the seventh round, trying to kick Warring when he was down on the ground in the ninth round, and finally in the middle of the final round punched Warring with a closed fist to the face when they went to the ground in the corner, which should have been illegal, but was never called out on it thanks to home referees.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Usually wore turquoise Underwear of Power, knee pads and boots.
  • Cool Teacher: Teaches Catch Wrestling and MMA these days at the MMA & Catch Wrestling Academy and Gym.
  • Guest Fighter: Had only one MMA fight in USWF against Paul Jones, he lost by disqualification for grabbing the ropes too much.
  • I Know Catch Wrestling
  • Name's the Same: Not to be confused with BJJ black belt and MMA fighter and trainer Bill Scott, who gets mistaken for Billy in his MMA fight in USWF and said fight is erroneously added to Bill Scott's MMA record despite him only beginning training in BJJ and MMA in 1999 and made his MMA debut in 2004.
  • Red Baron: "Jack".

Dan Severn

Mark Silver

JT Southern

"J.T. Southern was so bad that I pulled a good match out of him. But the fact that nobody else could get a match out of him made me feel good."
— "Jumping" Joey Maggs

  • The Apprentice: To Larry Sharp at his wrestling school, The Monster Factory.
  • Badass Biker: After retiring from wrestling, he made a successful career in racing vintage and post-vintage motocross bikes-mainly in American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association events. He writes for VMX Magazine and runs Jake's Garage in Nashville, Tennessee where he has gained widespread acclaim on the national vintage motocross circuit for his innovative designs. He is known for his sportsmanship and generosity with fellow competitors, where he can be seen racing several national AHRMA events annually.
  • Base-Breaking Character: In WCW, his interviews and out-of-ring promotional work were all well-received, but his wrestling skills were widely regarded as below-par and the crowds were not entertained when he wrestled.
  • Butt-Monkey: Was the weakest of the gaijin wrestlers and suffered greatly for that. He career in World Championship Wrestling was not much better as he was apparently not a very good pro wrestler either.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: His lack of prowess in the ring led to insiders cheekily suggesting that 'JT' stood for "Just Terrible".
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling
  • Jobber: Was dismissed by one commentator as "pretty but ineffective", lost so badly against Nobuhiko Takada in his debut that it was the first time in UWFI history that a fighter had failed to take a single point off his opponent and went on to lose every one of his fights there. He never really broke out of it this role in pro wrestling.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: He brought his friend Scotty Flamingo in 1992 (who had a similar flamboyant spoiled rich-boy gimmick) to WCW as a sidekick to help regenerate interest in his feud with Van Hammer, but before long Flamingo's popularity had surpassed Southern's and his talent had made him into one of WCW's most marketable stars. With Southern unable to compete with him, he was demoted to the role of being Flamingo's groupie.
  • The Rock Star: In WCW, with his long blond locks and good guitar-playing skills, he was given a rock-star wrestler gimmick and was brought in to start a feud with fellow rocker Van Hammer. He was known for his garishly camp outfits and flamboyant persona and would typically come to the ring playing an electric guitar and wearing a fringed tiger-striped jacket and fluorescent shredded tights.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Quit UWFI after the infamous incident with Kazuo Yamazaki.

James Stone

John Tenta

Lou Thesz

Geoff Thompson

Super Vader

Khosrow Vaziri

Pez Whatley

Victor Zangiev

    UWFI kickboxers 

Bovy Chowaikung

Gong Yuttachai

    Other wrestlers 

100% Machine

AKIRA

Arashi

  • The Apprentice: To Giant Baba and Genichiro Tenryu.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real name is Isao Takagi.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Was fired by All Japan in 2006 for possession of marjiuana, was put on trial on drug charges, and sentenced to three years in prison.
  • Guest Fighter: From Wrestle Association R.
  • I Know Sumo Wrestling: Was a rikishi under the name of Takuetsuyama (previously Maenohikari) as part of the Takadagawa stable, run by former ozeki Maenoyama. He reached elite sekitori status upon promotion to the second highest juryo division, but was demoted back to the unsalaried makushita division after only four tournaments and quit after that.
  • Put on a Bus: Was sent to jail on drug charges in 2006.
    • The Bus Came Back: Freed after serving a portion of his sentence, he returned to wrestle in Tatsumi Fujinami's Muga World (now Dradition).
  • Shout-Out: His ring name was taken from a masked gimmick used by also former sumo and pro wrestler Daikokubō Benkei.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Arashi means "Storm".
  • Stout Strength: As a former sumo wrestler, he is this.

Masahiro Chono

The Cobra

  • Animal Motifs: Snakes as the Cobra.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Was the son of an American Navy officer and boxer, and his mother was Japanese.
  • Canada, Eh?: Got his start in Canada in Stampede Wrestling and trained at the Hart Dungeon under Tokyo Joe.
  • Cool Mask: As the Cobra.
  • Finishing Move: Takano Otoshi (Crucifix Powerbomb).
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Subverted as he was not a heel, but as The Cobra, he was billed from Uganda, the place Kamala was billed from.
  • Guest Fighter: From Pro Wrestling Crusaders.
  • I Know Sumo Wrestling: Was a former sumotori and also learned a bit of boxing fro his father.
  • Japanese Ranguage: His real name is Joji Takano, but he used to wrestle as "George" to make him easier to remember by English-speaking fans.
  • Start My Own: Co-founded Network of Wrestling with Kazuo Sakurada and his brother, Pro Wrestling Crusaders with just his brother, and Fighting Spirit wRestling (FSR) by himself.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Was the next masked star of NJPW after Satoru Sayama left. That should be enough to know how that turned out.
  • Wrestling Family: Is the older brother of Shunji Takano.

Tatsumi Fujinami

Shinya Hashimoto

Takashi Iizuka

The Great Kabuki

  • 10-Minute Retirement: His retirement from full time wrestling was in 1998, though every once in a while he comes back for special events.
  • The Apprentice: To Umanosuke Ueda and Giant Baba.
  • Cameo: Was in the WWF for the 1994 Royal Rumble.
  • Chef of Iron: He runs a restaurant in the district of Iidabashi in Tokyo.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained Kazuharu Sonoda who wrestled as Magic Dragon and even wrestled as his mentor's persona. Apparently, no one would be able to tell the difference when it was done too. This would mainly happen in Japan, World Class Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, and in Georgia Championship Wrestling from 1981-84. It was also done mainly because of Gary Hart's commitments to a promotion that he and the real Kabuki that would not want them leaving to work elsewhere due to their drawing power. Gary Hart would create this as a deal to other promoters that also wanted Kabuki for a show that they would be doing. Magic Dragon as Kabuki would always be without Gary Hart and would do it that way until his death in 1987.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: His matches against Chris Adams, the feud was billed as the "Battle of the Superkicks".
  • Expy: The Great Muta and a few others, though they usually base it off Muta more than Kabuki.
  • Facial Markings: Wore face paint, the storyline explanation was that his face was scarred in a bed of hot coals during his childhood.
  • Fighting with Chucks: Had a pre-match ritual of showing his skills with the nunchaku and blowing Asian mist that intimidated most opponents.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Was billed as being from Singapore.
  • Guest Fighter: From Tokyo Pro Wrestling.
  • Hidden Depths: He had a background in swimming before wrestling.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as The Great Kabuki, Akihisa Takachiho, Hito Tojo, Kiyo Moto, Mr. Sato, Takachiho, Yoshino Sato, and his real name Akihisa Mera.
  • Power Stable: Heisei Ishingun.
  • Red Baron: "Mystery of the Orient".
  • Ring Oldies: Has been wrestling since 1964.
  • Shout-Out: His gimmick was created by Gary Hart who based it on an old gimmick used by Filipino wrestler Rey Urbano.
  • Super Spit: Was the first wrestler to blow "Asian mist" in his opponents' faces.
  • Wrestling Family: For a time The Great Muta was billed as the kayfabe son of Kabuki.

Kōji Kanemoto

Kishin Kawabata

Toshiaki Kawada

Kengo Kimura

Koji Kitao

Jushin Thunder Liger

Keiji Mutoh

Hiro Saito

Kensuke Sasaki

Tatsuhito Takaiwa

The Great Takeru

Genichiro Tenryu

Hiroyoshi Tenzan

    Other Kickboxers & Fighters 

Raphael Aguilera

Juan Arellano

Dave Beneteau

"Dave Beneteau works in construction. Before that, he was briefly a criminal defense lawyer after graduating from York University's Osgoode Hall Law School in 2002. But before that, he slugged it out in the (almost) anything-goes era of the Ultimate Fighting Championship."
— Beneteau's profile in the book, The MMA Encyclopedia.

  • Always Someone Better: Lost to Oleg Taktarov twice.
  • Canada, Eh?
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Became well known after he fought in UFC 5.
  • Genius Bruiser: Worked as a criminal lawyer. He also earned a LL.M (master of laws) from Osgoode Hall law school in 2015.
  • Guest Fighter: Was brought in for a match against Yoji Anjo.
  • I Know Judo: A 2nd dan black belt and Canadian national champion. He was also a Canadian juvenile and US junior freestyle wrestling champion and an Olympic alternate of the Canadian Freestyle Wrestling Team, trained a bit of boxing and was a Canadian powerlifting champion.
  • Red Baron: "Dangerous".
  • Special Guest: Was a judge for the RINGS USA Rising Stars tournament.

Trevor Berbick

Rodney Brockfield

Fernando Calleros

Champo

Tony Cockburn

David Cummings

Lucien Deroy

Jason Dirody

Nikolai Gordeau

Gary Hadwin

Pat Kane

Larimet

Kimo Leopoldo

"I went into the UFC originally as a representative of Christ. I wanted to show people to look outside the box. How can a Christian enter such a violent situation and attempt to hurt another person. I answered this by stating ‘I have no ill nor harming feelings towards my opponents.’ Its an extreme sport. Some people think skydiving is extreme, everyone has an opinion, my heart was in the right place. Both my opponent and I were only out to exemplify our abilities. And we both knew the chances we were taking. Thus it wasn't personal."

  • The Apprentice: To Joe Son as part of their story to Art Davie to get into UFC 3.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Before his fight with Royce Gracie, he and Joe Son bought the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructional tapes and the previous 2 UFCs in order to form a strategy against Royce and it kind of worked as Kimo was the first guy not to get curbstomped by Royce and actually seriously hurt him enough to get him to fall out of the tournament.
  • Badass Israeli: Half, his mother was a German with Jewish descent.
  • Bald of Awesome: Was seen at his official BJJ black belt certification in 2017 with this.
  • Bouncer: Worked at clubs before his fighting career.
  • Braids of Action: In his fight with Royce Gracie, who grabbed it to his advantage. Kimo cut it off after the fight.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: For his Kickboxing bouts, it is said he hardly trained in kickboxing and instead focused on weight training.
  • Collegiate American Football: Was a middle linebacker in football at Waianae High School, then attended the University of Washington on a partial athletic scholarship, but he was unprepared for college, and returned to Hawaii shortly after. He sought to renew his career in football in Huntington Beach, California, going under the name "Kim Leopold" he quickly became an NJCAA All-American and gained interest from many Division I colleges, until he tore both of his ACLs, and his success only lasted until the middle of his sophomore year.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While he looked like a big and intimidating, his openly Christian faith and his odd way of expressing it made a lot of people think he was just a gimmick to spread his brand of Christianity and should not be taken seriously. They seem to forget that he was surprisingly cunning fighter along with be a hard striker is an honorary black belt in BJJ under Joe Moreira, who was impressed by how fast he was learning the art.
  • David vs. Goliath: Another Goliath against Royce Gracie's David.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Once stated there was a time he was a slave to speed. He also got arrested in Tustin, California in 2009 for possession of a controlled substance. In the police report Leopoldo was standing by his car, wearing sandals, playing with a yo-yo, and donning a Long Beach Police Department jumpsuit that can only be worn by the motor pool mechanics.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Made his MMA debut at UFC 3 and had an earlier fight against Kazushi Sakuraba at Shootboxing S-Cup 1996 before his UWFI match against Yoshihiro Takayama.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Came into UFC 3 covered in tattoos and claimed to be fighting for Jesus Christ, he came to the cage carrying an enormous wooden cross on his back. Then he lasted longer against Royce Gracie than anyone before him and hurt him enough to take him out of the tournament.
  • Expy: Had one in WWE’s Kama.
  • Glass Cannon: Was big, fast and hit hard, but had poor stamina.
  • Guest Fighter: Was brought in to have a match with Yoshihiro Takayama.
  • Hero Killer: Has beaten Kazushi Sakuraba and Bam Bam Bigelow and drew with Dan Severn.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Royce may have defeated him at UFC 3, but after their fight Royce was too battered to continue the tournament, it would be the first time Royce didn't win a UFC tournament.
  • I Know Taekwondo: Subverted, he was billed as a taekwondo black belt in his MMA debut but it was just a ploy to get into UFC 3 as they were looking for martial art black belts at the time and even then his proper style name would have been listed as Jo Son Do after his cornerman Joe Son which Joe claimed to have founded (he actually didn't know martial arts at all). Legitimately, he was a former amateur wrestler at Waianae High School and played on the team that won the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Championship. He later trained under Joe Moreira in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and earned a honorary black belt, then an official black belt certification under Francisco Mansor, and also trained under Matt Hume at AMC Pankration.
  • Mixed Ancestry: His father was American of Irish and Polynesian descent and his mother was German of Jewish descent.
  • Odd Friendship: With Joe Moreira. The two met on the backstage of UFC 8, in a day when Allan Goes and “Tank” Abbot fell out with each exchanging harsh words. The next day in the lobby of the hotel, Moreira and Goes were checking out and coincidently so was Kimo and his manager. Suddenly Tank Abbot comes in with Tito Ortiz and a group of 8 more men wanting to cause a fight with the pair of Brazilians. Kimo thought this was unfair and took Allan Goes’s side together with his manager, making Abbot and his men back out. Kimo then asked Moreira if he could learn BJJ from him as he was very interested in the martial art, a request immediately accepted by Joe. The two maintained a student/instructor relationship for years.
  • Only One Name: Is sometimes introduced only as Kimo.
  • The Quiet One: Subverted, he was actually as hammy as a pro wrestler when he wanted to be. He played it straight when meeting Art Davie for UFC 3.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: The first blatant example in MMA, in his debut he carried a cross to the cage and stated he is warrior in the service of the Lord and that he was on a mission to “bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the whole world.”.
  • Red Baron: "Kaijin" ("Phantom"), "Puroresurā no Tenteki" ("Pro-Wrestler's Natural Enemy").
  • Start My Own: Founded New Era Fighting, though it only lasted one show.
  • Tattooed Crook: Subverted, he sports many religious tattoos based on his Christian beliefs.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He enter UFC 3 without any formal martial arts training except for his high school amateur wrestling experience, though he lost the fight he beat up Royce Gracie enough that he couldn't continue in the tournament and was the first guy to seriously hurt Royce. He also describes his fighting style as "Intensity Over Technique", though he later Took a Level in Badass when he started training with Matt Hume and Joe Moreira.

Rudy Lovato

Chris Mack

Errol Maduro

Denver Matthews

Damien Meyer

Didier Montoya

Matthew Saad Muhammad

Mel Murray

Vince Ross

Sakchai Sakawettaia

Kungpon Geyu Samrick

Danny Steele

  • I Know Kickboxing: A multiple time world champion, started training at age 18 in the same gym in Bakersfield where Kathy Long trained under Eric Nolan, then trained at the Jet Center under Benny "The Jet" Urduidez, Ruben Urquidez and David Krapes. He also knows Vietnamese Martial Arts under Bao Truyen and Muay Thai under guys like Seaksan Janjira and Bob Chaney. He also competed in the Russian equivalent of Chinese sanshou, Draka.
  • Red Baron: "Hard As" a Punny Name that plays on his surname and for his powerful legs and toughness.

Frank Tauber

Mark Tyson

James Warring

  • Action Survivor: Lost his match against Billy Scott by decision, but avoided all his attempts at submissions by using the ropes.
  • Bald of Awesome: After he retired from fighting.
  • Cool Teacher: Runs a Boxing, Kickboxing, Karate and Boxercise school in Florida with his wife.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • In his fight with Erik Paulson's he took advantage of Paulson's Braids of Action, pulled it and literally dragged Paulson By the Hair through the mat, making his corner throw the towel.
    • In his Mixed Style Fight with Billy Scott, he kept himself near the ropes so that when Billy went for the takedown and submission attempt, Warring would grab the ropes to break the hold and reposition standing up. Since he had unlimited rope breaks, he used them a lot.
  • Combat Referee: Has served as one for boxing and MMA fights.
  • Guest Fighter: He was brought in for a Mixed Styles Fight with Billy Scott.
  • Hero Killer: Took out Erik Paulson at the World Combat Championships and also has a victory over Vitali Klitschko in his amateur Kickboxing days.
  • I Know Karate: And was a champion in Kickboxing and boxing.
  • Scary Black Man
  • The Worf Effect: Was choked out by Renzo Gracie at the WCC finals in under 3 minutes.

Merv Wihnon

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