Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Universal Wrestling Federation UWF International

Go To
Real Pro-Wrestling
Way of The Warrior

"UW Fi 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 UW Fi perspective, that kind of show only encourages body abuse and sends the wrong sort of message to audiences, especially younger ones. The UW Fi 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 UW Fi matched all types of athletes; boxers, kickboxers, wrestlers, martial artists to show how effective the UW Fi style is. The UW Fi aimed to bring real professional wrestling back to the world!"
Ted Pelc, a summary for UWF Bushido: Way of The Warrior, basically UW Fi 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.

"Takada's group debuted before a sellout 2,300 fans at Korakuen Hall on 5/10, with all tickets sold out in something like 15 minutes the first day they went on sale. The group, called UWF International or UWFI for short, is the closest thing to the old UWF which had a two-year run as the hottest promotion in the world before fizzling out as shooting stars are wanton to do because of problems between Maeda and office boss Shinji Jin. The show wasn't really very good, but what remains of the legion of UWF fans were there and felt good about being there. Takada grabbed the house mic before the show and said the group was the only one left 'with the feeling of the UWF' which got a big pop. The card itself consisted of three matches, a prelim match between Masahito Kakihara and Kiyoshi Tamura, won by Tamura. Then came a 'doubles' match (tag team) with Shigeo Miyato & Yoji Anjyo beating Kazuo Yamazaki & Tatsuo Nakano with the surprise finish of Yamazaki doing the job when he was knocked out by a series of kicks from both guys in 23 minutes. This was different from the old UWF, which didn't have any tag matches. The rule were that a guy couldn't tag out while in a submission hold unless he got to the ropes or was able to break the hold. It was different since Yamazaki is really the group's second biggest name and he did the job. The main event saw Takada beat Tom Burton (who worked as a Dirty White Boy in Memphis some months back) with a boston crab in 10:46. The match was disappointing to most because Burton really had no idea of the style and Takada was giving him lots of openings and trying to carry him for ten minutes but the fans saw it as Takada could unload on him and beat him at anytime. At the 10 minute call, Takada seemingly proved them right because he got a quick win at that point. After the match in the press conference Takada apologized and said 'my opponent was poor.' They also confused fans by instituting new rules. On the scoreboard, each man starts the match with 15 points. You lose three points every time you go to the ropes to break a hold, and lose one point every time you get suplexed. The match can end with a pinfall (which almost will never happen), a submission (usual finish), knockout, five knockdowns or if a man's point total goes down to zero. When the press asked Takada after the show what his goal a year from now was, he said honestly, "I'm only thinking about one card at a time." In the sense that they drew the full house so easily, the card was a financial success. But the truth is, it has been so long since there has been a "real" UWF show in Tokyo, which was the home base of the UWF, that the first house was easy. Whether this group, with only eight wrestlers and access to only no-name Americans can book shows that will draw over the long haul or be able to draw outside of Tokyo is another story."
Dave Meltzer, on the first UWFI show.

"Speaking of UWFI, some statistics that are really quite impressive. Since the group formed in 1991, over its six-year history it promoted 64 shows and drew 585,724 fans—or 9,152 fans per show. I wonder if there has ever been a promotion in pro wrestling history that averaged that many fans per show over a six-year period? I'd almost be sure that has never happened before, and the funny part of the story is despite all that the company, at least over the past two years, was running deeply in debt and went out of business."
Dave Meltzer, on the last UWFI show.

As a whole

    open/close all folders 

    UWFI natives 

Hiromitsu Kanehara

Masakazu Maeda

Shunsuke/Daijiro Matsui

  • Bald of Awesome
  • 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.
  • Escape Artist: Was very good in submission escapes, and his fight against Carlos Newton featured increasingly crazy ones.
  • I Know Judo: And amateur wrestling.
  • Improv Fu: 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").
  • 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

Yoshihiro Takayama

Ryuki Ueyama

  • The Apprentice: To Kiyoshi Tamura.
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own gym, U-Spirit Japan Machina Gym.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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 a referee for UWF-i, RINGS and NJPW, and later had two MMA fights.
  • 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.
  • Hold Up Your Score: Serves as a MMA judge from time to time.
  • Red Baron: "Nihon Kakutōgi-kai no Ban'nin" ("The Keeper of the Japanese Fighting Sports World")

Kenichi Yamamoto

  • Arch-Enemy: Kiyoshi Tamura. Kenichi challenged him after winning the UFC tournament, but never received an answer. They seem to have made up at Nobuhiko Takada's retirement ceremony.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Was an Akira Maeda fanboy, by his own admission. He even named his gym after the title of Maeda's autobiography.
  • Badass Teacher: Has his own gym and most notably trained Hideo Tokoro.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Reading the numbers of his poor MMA record (and watching his profile images wearing wacky hats and shades) can make forget that the guy won a UFC tournament against people who went to become much more successful than him.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Suffered Parental Abandonment and even abuse as a child. Reading Akira Maeda's autobiography The Power of Dream in middle school was basically the only thing which made him keep on.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Was forcefully retired from RINGS when he started getting one too many concussions.
  • I Know Karate: Also trained in the Seidokaikan before it became K-1, and later added Muay Thai.
  • Red Baron: "Yamaken" as he has the same name as a Yakuza Kumicho and founder of the Yamaken-gumi.
  • Start My Own: Founded a small MMA company called Club Fight.
  • ˇThree Amigos!: With Yoji Anjo and Yoshihiro Takayama as the Golden Cups.
  • Unknown Rival: In real life to Kiyoshi Tamura. He unsuccessfully challenged him to a MMA fight several times, and criticized for leaving Fighting Network RINGS during the promotion's lowest point.

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

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

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

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."

  • Always Someone Better: Was beaten by Ralph Gracie twice.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Fought in his own USWF events.
  • Cool Teacher: Steve is a longtime head wrestling coach for both the boy's and girls' wrestling teams at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: A proud Texan.
  • Hidden Depths: He now works full-time as the manager of Sakura Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar in Amarillo.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Wrestled at Oklahoma State and was a silver medalist at the 1994 Pan-American Games, won two world silver medals and a bronze in sambo as well as 5 national championships, has a Judo black belt, and trained in Catch Wrestling under Billy Robinson.
  • Start My Own: The founder and owner of the USWF (Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation).
  • Ur-Example: Was the first USWF middleweight champion.
  • Wrestling Family: Son of the late "Mr. Wrestling" Gordon Nelson and Marie Laverne and the grandson of Ann Laverne and Pancho Villa.

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."
— Billy Robinson

  • '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

Lou Thesz

Geoff Thompson

Super Vader

Pez Whatley

Victor Zangiev

    UWFI kickboxers 

Bovy Chowaikung

Gong Yuttachai

    Other wrestlers 

100% Machine



  • 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: 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: 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

John Tenta

Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Khosrow Vaziri

Tadao Yasuda

    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, a Canadian juvenile and US junior freestyle wrestling champion and Canadian powerlifting champion.
  • Red Baron: "Dangerous".
  • Special Guest: Was a judge for the RINGS USA Rising Stars tournament.

Trevor Berbick

Rodney Brockfield

Fernando Calleros


Tony Cockburn

David Cummings

Lucien Deroy

Jason Dirody

  • Jobber: Had only one match in UWFI against Yoshihiro Takayama which he lost.

Nikolai Gordeau

Gary Hadwin

Pat Kane


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.
  • The Berserker: His fighting style.
  • Bouncer: Worked at clubs before his fighting career.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 black belt 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.
  • 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.

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

Merv Wihnon