Prepare To Fall In Love With Ganryu-Jima’s Japanese Moat Fights

Japan has been the best place for freak-show fights and overwhelming weirdness in the world of MMA for a long time. A new organization, Ganryu-Jima, is bringing that to a new level. Affectionately known as Moat Fights, Ganryu-Jima is putting on their third event this weekend, so let’s take a look at what makes it so special by highlighting the craziest moments from their first two shows.

What is Ganryu-Jima?

The true origin story of Ganryu-Jima is lost to shoddy press conference translations, but my version is as follows: Japan wanted to Make Sumo Great Again. They devised a plan and a new sport that would emphasize the pushing skills of sumo, but realized that if people don’t watch normal sumo, there had to be some extra sizzle. Enter MMA with its face-punching and knockouts.

What Are The Rules?

Moat Fighting is a weird blend of sumo wrestling and MMA, and as such, the rules are weird. A fight starts standing, and from what I can tell, any standing strike is allowed, so knockouts and TKOs are completely in play. If a fight goes to the ground, any grappling must happen very quickly, otherwise the ref will stand the fighters up. Think of it like a shot clock, and either a submission must be applied or ground and pound must be kept up or the fight is back on the feet.