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Characters / Universal Wrestling Federation UWF International

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Real Pro-Wrestling
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.

As a whole

  • Amateur Cast: The Junior League, which is where guys like Hiromitsu Kanehara, Yoshihiro Takayama, Kazushi Sakuraba, Daijiro Matsui and Kenichi Yamamoto got their start is basically UWFI’s undercard.
  • Author Appeal: UWFI liked using foreigners with pro wrestling backgrounds, though most of them also had amateur wrestling backgrounds as well, with some of them being World Championship and Olympic-level caliber.
  • 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.
    • The Leader: Nobuhiko Takada, since he was the face of the promotion and rarely lost.
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    • The Lancer: Yoji Anjo, since he was Takada’s right hand man.
    • The Smart Guy: Shigeo Miyato, since he became more involved in the management and public relations side of things.
    • The Big Guy: Tatsuo Nakano, since he was still the biggest.
    • The Chick: Masahito Kakihara, since he was a rookie brought over from Newborn.
    • Sixth Ranger: Naoki Sano since he came over from PWFG. Yoshihiro Takayama as well since he was originally a flunked out trainee at the Original UWF dojo and got into UWFI due to Shigeo Miyato’s mediation.
    • Tagalong Kid: Makoto Ohe and Bovy Chowaikung as both were exclusively kickboxers and not wrestlers.
    • The Quisling: Kazuo Yamazaki and Kiyoshi Tamura, since Yamazaki left UWFI to join New Japan, while Tamura left for RINGS.
    • Guest-Star Party Member: Had a few guest coaches like Submission Arts Wrestling founder Hidetaka Aso, boxing champion Hideyuki Ohashi, Freestyle wrestling champion Takumi Adachi, and even Shooto champion and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Enson Inoue trained with them and taught jiu-jitsu in exchange.
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  • Fun with Acronyms: The promotion’s 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. They also sold a third of the company to Kotaro Ishizawa, director of Tokyo Pro Wrestling, but it was too little, too late.
  • Greed: Arguably, this is what killed the promotion.
  • Insistent Terminology: Billed their Kickboxing matches as "Standing Bouts" and their Tag Team matches as "Double Bouts".
  • 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).
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: UWF-i had a small Kickboxing league, and they had actual champions on their dojo.
  • No Budget: Unlike PWFG, who had a major sponsor in Megane Super, or RINGS, who had a TV contract with WOWOW, UWFI struggled financially in its beginnings and only got off the ground since they had most of the original staff from Newborn to get the fans to sell out their events. They even ran out of money once and had to contact Newborn President Shinji Jin (despite vowing never to work with him again), and use him as a middleman to work out some financing from Hachiro Tanaka of Megane Super.
  • 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.
  • Tag Team: They had these sort of matches unlike PWFG (until the Pancrase guys left anyway) and RINGS, though in keeping with the combat sport aesthetic it was going for, partners who tagged out had to immediately return to their corner or it will be considered a foul, so things like double team attacks never occurred in the promotion.
  • 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 

Takumi Adachi

  • Cool Teacher: Became a national coach of the Japan Wrestling Association after he retired from active wrestling and was a support coach at the Sydney Olympics, the Athens Olympics and the Beijing Olympics. He also coaches wrestling as the Gen Sports Academy.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Was a guest trainer for the UWFI Snake Pit, the Kingdom Dojo and later Takada Dojo.
  • I Know Freestyle Wrestling: Competed in the 1992 Olympics, placed 4th in the 1990 World Championships and 7th in the 1991 World Championships, won gold in the 1990 Asian Cup and 1987 Asian Championships, with a bronze in the 1993 Asian Championships.
  • Non-Action Guy: Did not compete in UWFI or Kingdom.

Hiromitsu Kanehara

Masakazu Maeda

"I don't know much about Masakazu Maeda’s fights, but he believed that UWF Inter matches were serious competitions. Every time he had a match, his family and friends cheered for him seriously. He thought that he had cheated them. It is rumored that he retired because he couldn't stand to cheat his family and friends."
— An underground source from Japan

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
  • Cool Teacher: Was a trainer at Takada Dojo.
  • Crazy Is Cool: 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-Bird Cameo: He has claimed to have worked an independent wrestling match under a mask, though nobody seems to know for who and when.
  • 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 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"), "Takada Dojo/PRIDE no Kirikomi Taichō" ("Takada Dojo/PRIDE’s Raid Captain"), "The Japanese Tank".
  • Ring Oldies: Is nearing his fifties now and is an active wrestler for the GLEAT promotion.
  • 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.
  • The Worf Effect: Tapped out to Yoshihisa Yamamoto of all people in a grappling match held at Takada Dojo.

Hideyuki Ōhashi

  • The Apprentice: To Tetsuro Kawai and Kenji Yonekura.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Is the president of Japan Pro Boxing Association (JPBA) and its subsidiary body East Japan Boxing Association (JPBA-east). He is also the director of the director of the Japan Boxing Commission.
  • Bash Brothers: His older brother Katsuyuki Ohashi is also a boxer.
  • Boxing Battler: A professional boxing champion and coach.
  • Combat Commentator: Has worked as a boxing commentator in retirement.
  • Cool Teacher: Owns Ohashi Boxing Gym (Ohashi Promotions) and has trained Former WBC Super flyweight champion, Katsushige Kawashima among others. In January 2007, Ohashi served as the head trainer of the Japanese team in the BOXING GRAND PRIX 2007 event (held under the partnership of the Teiken Boxing Gym, and Golden Boy Promotions).
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Was a boxing coach for the UWFI wrestlers.
  • I Know Boxing: Trained at the Kawai Gym (aka the Kanagawa Atsumi Boxing Gym) and the Yonekura Boxing Gym and is a national Light flyweight champion and a two-time minimumweight world champion.
  • Non-Action Guy: Did not compete in UWFI.
  • Red Baron: "Phoenix", "150-Nen Ni 1-ri no Tensai" ("Genius That Comes Once Every 150 Years").

Masaya Onosaka

Yūichi Ōshita

Kazushi Sakuraba

Shinji Sasazaki

"He called it “shoot wrestling,” and he showed me some scars that he had on his knees. I didn’t know much about his background, and he spoke in broken English, so all I really knew is that I loved to train, and that he loved to train, and he showed me his drivers license where he was something like 300 pounds, and the time that he’s talking to me he’s around 185 pounds, and I was really impressed that someone that had his kind of knee injuries was able to lose that kind of weight."
— Billy Scott

Kiyoshi Shimizu

Takeshi Suzuki

"A promise is a contract and a contract is absolute."

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 LaVerne 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 LaVerne 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

  • 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")

Minehito Watanabe

  • Red Baron: Better known as "Captain" Watanabe. He is also called Cap-chan by his fans.
  • Unknown Character: Was a trainee at UWFI, but he never debuted and later quit to become a comedian.

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

  • The Apprentice: To Nobuhiko Takada and Akira Maeda.
  • 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 Family: Has two sons that are amateur MMA fighters.
  • 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: A Kyokushin stylist and also trained in the Seidokaikan before it became K-1, and later added Muay Thai and fought in about 60 matches under those rules. He also has some training in Judo and has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie black belt Shawn Williams.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Has a cat named Rocky, he was actually allergic to cats before, but he describes meeting the kitten as Love at First Sight and was doting enough to overcome his allergies.
  • Name's the Same: Not to be confused with other people with same name like a skier, an engineer, and a Yakuza boss.
  • Red Baron: "Yamaken" as he has the same name as a Yakuza Kumicho and founder of the Yamaken-gumi. Also "U no Hagure Okami" ("U-System's Wandering Wolf").
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His real name is written as 山本 健一, while he sometimes also goes by 山本 喧一.
  • Start My Own: Founded a small MMA companies called Club Fight and Titan Fight. He recently created another one called Pound 4 Pound Fighting Championships and a grappling event called G-Fight.
  • Teen Genius: Was 18 when he debuted.
  • ¡Three 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

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.
  • 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

Jim Boss

Tom Burton/200% Machine

"I feel I can beat Takada. I’m the stronger wrestler, American wrestling is stronger and I’m here to prove to the Japanese people that I can beat your top wrestlers."

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

"(Day) was the catalyst as to why I grew up. He was with me every step of the way. Wrestling wasn’t my strong suit — it was football. I had no real background in the sport, even though I was around it all the time because of my father. Coach Day made me into a wrestler."

  • Badass Mustache / Porn Stache
  • Cool Old Guy: Was 38 when he debuted in UWFI.
  • Cool Teacher: Was a PE teacher and wrestling coach at the Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia since 1982 and trained Cody Rhodes in amateur wrestling. Previously he was an assistant wrestling coach at Illinois State, Illinois, Clemson and two other high schools before Lassiter High School. He also spent time as an assistant coach in football and baseball, as well as a girls golf coach.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Was a 10 time regional champion in freestyle and Greco-Roman and was selected for the 1980 Olympic team before they boycotted. He also has trained in Judo and Sambo.
  • Jobber: Mostly due to inexperience, though he did give Hiromitsu Kanehara his first loss.
  • Leotard of Power: An amateur wrestling one.
  • Screwed by the Network: According to some sources, the UWFI didn’t use him much as for some reason they didn’t like him. It may have something to do with making Nobuhiko Takada look bad during their match.
  • Suplex Finisher: His best offense in UWFI.

Jim Dougherty

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

"I think three factors played a role in this: first, I was strong by nature, and secondly, Degi Bagaev very clearly explained and showed this or that technical action. And, thirdly (I think that's the main thing), I trained a lot."
— Salman Hashimikov, explaining the factors for his success

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.
  • 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.
  • Cool Old Guy: Over 80 and can still crush apples with one hand.
  • 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 McCready 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.

The Iron Sheik

Dennis Koslowski

"His discipline and belief was always there. A lot of people could have quit along the journey. When you had to wrestle him, he wore you out. There was not a lot of finesse. You could see World class guys who wrestled him and just quit. He wasn't going around you. He was going through you."
— Duane Koslowski

"From the first time I made the World Team, my focus turned to being the best in the world, not just the best in the USA. I studied my opponents, watched tape, and reviewed tactics. My thing was that a guy was never going to take me down with his best move or turn me with his best move. I got into the physical conditioning level where it became a physical chess match. I got to where I belonged there. It was a matter of doing it on the mat."
— Dennis Koslowski

"His power was legendary, his skills were masterful, and his composure was rock solid. He routinely wrecked the opponents in his weight class and he was a gentleman while doing it."
— Tom Minkel, 1992 Greco-Roman Wrestling Olympic coach

  • 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.
  • The Apprentice: To Brad Rheingans, Dan Chandler, Tom Minkel and Pavel Katsen.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Capable of throwing a super heavyweight like Gary Albright with ease.
  • Cool Teacher: He 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.
  • Odd Friendship: With Al Snow. He was the guy that introduced Snow and Dan Severn to each other.
  • Parental Abandonment: The Koslowski twins’ mother died of a brain tumor when they were 2, and when their father could not manage taking care of 5 children himself, they were split up among different relatives. The twins went to live with an aunt and uncle.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Used "Born To Run" by Bruce Springsteen.
  • Red Baron: Gene Pelc used to call him "Captain America".
  • Ur-Example: Was the first American to win two Olympic medals in Greco-Roman wrestling.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: On his wrestling Leotard of Power.
  • 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.
  • Hold Up Your Score: Was a judge for Billy Scoot vs. James Warring and Nobuhiko Takada vs. Trevor Berbick.
  • 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.

David MacDonald

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."

Bob Papa

  • Combat Commentator: Was a English commentator for UWFI. He is a professional sportscaster best known as the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Giants.

Gene Pelc

"Challenges make life difficult. Overcoming them makes life rewarding!"

  • Affectionate Nickname: His full name is Eugene Joseph Pelc.
  • Combat Commentator: Was a English commentator for UWFI.
  • He Also Did: He once worked for Marvel Comics to bring their products to Japan, which lead to creation of Spider-Man (Japan), early attempts to develop an "Ameriasian" comic, and having many cartoons produced in Japan. He also had a hand in the development of two religious comics for Marvel, "Francis, Brother of the Universe" and "The Life of Pope John Paul II".
    • He also helped in developing the concept for a Westernized version of the Super Sentai shows that would eventually become Power Rangers.
  • Hidden Depths: Played classical piano and once received a scholarship for Juilliard (he also had a scholarship for Fordham University, which he chose to go with).
  • Non-Action Guy: Is not a wrestler. He owns Pelc Enterprises, a Merchandising Company that represents music artists, sports and entertainment entities that tour overseas in Japan.
  • Porn Stache

Ted Pelc

  • Combat Commentator: Was an English commentator for the UWF Bushido tv show and also worked for Real Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • Insistent Terminology: Is referred to as UWFI’s Technical Expert.
  • Non-Action Guy: Is not a wrestler. He is an Executive Director at Pelc Enterprises.

Billy Robinson

Sam Rosen

  • Combat Commentator: Did English commentary for UWFI. He is actually a professional sportscaster for Fox, best known as the primary play-by-play announcer for the National Hockey League's New York Rangers

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 in Tennessee.
  • 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: As well as amateur wrestling in high school. He also had a bit of training in boxing.
  • Instant Expert: Was one of the few gaijin who understood how to work a shoot style match in his debut.
  • Leotard of Power: Wore amateur wrestling ones in his early appearances, before switching to wrestling trunks.
  • 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.
  • Put on the Bus: Was inactive for the whole of 1992 due to a contract dispute based on his ring gear of all things.
  • Red Baron: "Jack", "Kakutō Sutarion" ("Fighting Stallion").
  • Wrestling Family: Has a brother who was also an amateur and part-time pro wrestler.

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.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His original name was apparently John Rapacka, but he legally changed his name to John Trevor Southern.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: His lack of prowess in the ring led to insiders cheekily suggesting that 'JT' stood for "Just Terrible".
  • I Know Karate: Subverted, he didn’t seem to have any background in combat sports and looked quite clueless in the ring compared to the other shooters.
  • 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

David Tanner

John Tenta

Lou Thesz

Geoff Thompson

Super Vader

Pez Whatley

Victor Zangiev

    UWFI kickboxers 

Bovy Chowaikung

Gong Yuttachai

    Other wrestlers 



  • 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

"George Takano definitely was a natural and had the best foundation in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling. "

  • Animal Motifs: Snakes as the Cobra.
  • The Apprentice: To Antonio Inoki.
  • 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 Coulda Been a Contender!: Was a candidate to be the first Tiger Mask and even developed the Space Flying Tiger Drop and moonsault press, but according to Hisashi Shinma, Takano was passed over because he was too tall.
  • I Know Sumo Wrestling: Was a former sumotori and also learned a bit of boxing from 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.
  • Red Baron: "Kasshoku no Kikōshi" ("The Brown Prince"), "Nazo no Asutoro Nōtsu" ("Mysterious Astronauts"), "Hokori Takaki Wairudohōsu" ("Proud Wild Horse"), "Kōtetsu no Supuringu Bōdo" ("Steel Spring Board"), "Densetsu no Dokuhebi" ("Legendary Viper").
  • 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.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Antonio Inoki and once declared he was a soldier of Inoki. Inoki also seems to like him as while was critical of the forming of Super World of Sports and the wrestlers that transferred there, only Takano was spared from his criticism.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Flying on airplanes actually. He believes there's no way a big mass of iron should fly, ironically his wife was an air stewardess.
  • Wrestling Family: Is the older brother of Shunji Takano.

Tatsumi Fujinami

Shinya Hashimoto

Takashi Iizuka

  • Arch-Enemy: Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Yuji Nagata.
  • Ax-Crazy: After he betrayed Tenzan and joined G.B.H., he started to lose his mind
  • Bald of Evil: Shaved his head after his heel turn in the 2000s.
  • Beard of Evil: He had a beard to begin with, but after he turned bad, it grew to being long a and stringy one.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Tenzan, Makabe (& Honma) in G.B.H., Yano and Chaos, and, on his retirement no less, Tenzan again. He isn't called "The Great Traitor" for nothing.
  • Garbage Wrestler: As a heel, he adopted a more vicious fighting style. Brawing into the crowd, Iizuka weilded his iron fingers weapon, chairs, electric cable or string to choke his opponents and anything he can think of to inflict pain.
  • Guest Fighter: From New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He also later appeared in Pancrase for a Catch Wrestling match with Minoru Suzuki.
  • I Know Sambo: One of the guys sent to train in the Soviet Union and once wrestled as Sambo Iizuka.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Way later, he debuted in 1986 and his Face–Heel Turn happened in 2008.
  • Power Stable: G.B.H., Chaos and Suzukigun.
  • Red Baron: "The Great Traitor" (after his Face–Heel Turn), "Blizzard of Treason", "Tekketsu no Shokeijin" ("The Blood and Iron Executioner"), "Kamokuna Toshi" ("The Taciturn Fighting Will"), "Crazy Bouzu", "Mr. Sleeper Hold", "Kyouran no Iron Finger" ("Iron Finger from Hell"), "Ogesana Kyojin" ("The Bald Madman"), "The Bald Malice".
  • Redemption Rejection: Tenzan tried numerous times to appeal to Iizuka's better half during the latter's retirement match. It didn't work and Suzukigun jumped on Tenzan as the show closed.
  • Running Gag: He has an odd tendency to attack NJPW commentator Shinpei Nogami and rip his shirt.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His real first name is Takayuki.
  • Suplex Finisher: Blizzard Suplex.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Before 2008, he was a fairly consistent mid-card Face, then he turned on his tag team partner Tenzan and ended up changing everything about him. Now he’s a hardcore wrestling thug who attacks a skinny commentator because he's a fan of Yuji Nagata.
  • Weapon of Choice: An iron glove as a heel.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Tenzan, despite the latter's attempts to reconcile during Iizuka's retirement match.
  • Worf Had the Flu: According to Josh Barnett, Iizuka had injured his knee in training before his catch wrestling match in Pancrase with Suzuki. He went through with it anyway due to Honor Before Reason and managed to end the fight in a decision win for Suzuki and even escaped a leglock on his injured leg.

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 Versus 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.

Koji Kanemoto

Kishin Kawabata

Toshiaki Kawada

Kengo Kimura

Koji Kitao

Jushin Thunder Liger

Keiji Mutoh

Hiro Saito

Kensuke Sasaki

Shin'ichi Shino/Fukumen Taro II/100% Machine

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

"I don’t know the rules!"

  • Boxing Battler
  • Canada, Eh?: He is Jamaican Canadian.
  • Guest Fighter: He was brought in for a Mixed Styles Fight with Nobuhiko Takada.
  • I Know Boxing: A world champion boxer, his most famous win against a washed up Muhammad Ali. He won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division at the 1975 Pan American Games in amateur boxing. In both his early and late professional career he held the Canadian heavyweight title twice, from 1979 to 1986 and 1999 to 2001.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: In his match with Nobuhiko Takada the moment when Takada started kicking his legs and it was clear to him it would not stop he got out of the ring and refused to return leading to his loss.
  • The Worf Effect: Lost to a 20 year old Mike Tyson.

Rodney Brockfield

Fernando Calleros

Tony Cockburn

David Cummings

"I can not imagine not being a fighter so I can’t even guess what I would do without it."

  • The Apprentice: To Bill Packer, Tommy Williams, Ray McCallum, Mike Bell and Dick Woods.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Is an IKF Florida Representative and Promoter.
  • Cool Teacher: Has a gym in Florida called Team Thunder Muay Thai and MMA.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: KO’ed Makoto Ohe in about a minute in the first round in their first fight. Ohe got his revenge in their second fight with a TKO in the second round.
  • Eye Scream: Retired after he lost his sight in his right eye.
  • Guest Fighter: From the American Kempo Karate Academy.
  • I Know Kickboxing and Muay Thai: Won World and International Titles with WKA, ISKA, IKBO, USMTA, IMTA, WKC, WKBA and KICK. He also has a 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin Karate, a 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo, a 2nd degree black belt in Mugendo (a martial art that takes techniques from Wado Ryu Karate, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, and boxing, founded by George Canning), and also trained in boxing and amateur wrestling.
  • Red Baron: "Thunder", "Iron Tsunami".
  • Spectacular Spinning: Knocked our Ohe with a spinning heel kick to the head.
  • Teen Genius: Became a professional kickboxer at 16 years old.

Lucien Deroy

  • Cool Teacher: Is now a Muay Thai coach and has his own school, Thai Power Gym.
  • French Jerk: From Armentières.
  • Guest Fighter: Brought in for a bout with Makoto Ohe.
  • I Know Kickboxing: Was the ISKA light welterweight champion before Makoto Ohe defeated him for the title. He also trained in Muay Thai, savate, amateur wrestling, is a 1st dan black belt in Judo, Shotokan Karate and is 2nd dan in Yoseikan Budo.

Jason Dirody

Ori Gamiel

Nikolai Gordeau

Gary Hadwin

Pat Kane

Phillip Lalamente

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.
  • 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 Versus 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.
  • 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"), "The Wrath of God".
  • 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.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Aside from UWFI, he has also worked for New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Rudy Lovato

"New Mexico’s Rudy “Bad Boy” Lovato started out in the world of Kickboxing where he became a multi-belt champion. He turned to professional boxing on Feb. 15, 1986 when he scored a 4 round decision victory over fellow New Mexican Everett Berry in the Lightweight Division. He then began his career as a “Road Warrior” taking fights in his opponents home towns."
— Daniel Sisneros

  • Action Survivor: Drew with Makoto Ohe in their bout.
  • The Apprentice: To Bill Packer.
  • Guest Fighter: From the American Kempo Karate Academy.
  • I Know Kickboxing: A champion and also was a boxing champion with a New Mexico State Jr Welterweight Championship, and later added NABO, NABF and NABA Middleweight Titles to his collection as well as the IBF Middleweight World Championship.
  • Red Baron: "Bad Boy", "Road Warrior".

Chris Mack

"I believe in the Nikidokai way and believe that it is a lifestyle."

Errol Maduro

Denver Matthews

Damien Meyer

Didier Montoya

  • French Jerk: From Upper Normandy.
  • Guest Fighter: Was brought in for a bout with Makoto Ohe.
  • I Know Muay Thai: A trainee of the Swaying Naja Camp, a former training partner of Jerome Le Banner, and a French National and international champion. He also competed in boxing and was also an European savate champion.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Lost by decision in his bout with Makoto Ohe, but when the match ended Montoya seemed fresh and ready for another round, while Ohe looked like he would collapse in any moment. The crowd booed when the decision was given and even Ohe voiced his disagreement with the decision.

Matthew Saad Muhammad

  • Boxing Battler
  • Cool Teacher: Muhammad trained up and coming fighters out of Atlantic City, New Jersey and worked closely with former Indian Olympic boxing team heavyweight Gurcharan "The Guru" Singh.
  • Guest Fighter: Brought in for a Mixed Styles Fight with Kiyoshi Tamura.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Was the walking, breathing example of this trope in boxing. Nearly all of his significant fights resulted in him taking massive amounts of punishment while never going down, then proceeding to turn the fight around shortly after and recuperating from the damage to win, usually in the most spectacular fashion possible. His nickname was Miracle Matthew for a reason.
  • I Know Boxing: Former WBC world boxing champion.
  • Red Baron: "Miracle Matthew".
  • The Worf Effect: Lost to Kiyoshi Tamura by submission in 34 seconds.

Melvin Murray

Orin Ratson

Vince Ross

Sakchai Sakawettaia

Kungpon Geyu Samrick

  • Guest Fighter: Brought in for a bout with Makoto Ohe.
  • I Know Muay Thai: Was a ranked Rajadamnern Stadium nak muay (he was ranked 8th when he appeared in UWFI).
  • The Worf Effect: He was one of the few who beat Makoto Ohe in the UWFI, though he did so on points.

Danny Steele

  • Guest Fighter: Brought in for a bout with Bovy Chowaikung.
  • I Know Karate: A multiple time world champion in Kickboxing, 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

"No, it was already over. To me it was just part of the fight, and now it’s over. But at some point I had heard that Warring was favored to win a ten-round fight, and he couldn’t understand how he lost the fight, but he understood the rules. The rules were if you didn’t engage with me, you would be penalized. All he had to do was engage and stop touching the ropes. Why do you think I threw his ass over the ropes, like I did?"
— Billy Scott

  • 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.
  • 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 takedown and submission attempts, 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.
  • Cool Teacher: Runs a Boxing, Kickboxing, Karate and Boxercise school in Florida with his wife.
  • 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.
  • Oh, Crap!: Basically his reaction whenever Billy Scott managed to grab a hold of him.
  • 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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