Mixed martial arts is usually an ULTRA SERIOUS FIST FIGHT COMPETITION, but every once in a while, things get really ludicrous and pretty damn silly. Because it is April Fools Day, Ryan Harkness and myself have decided to chronicle some of the more outlandish moments in MMA history. As a brief side note, we could have written several thousand paragraphs about the weird stuff in Japan, but this list is going to be more inclusive to the rest of the world’s zaniness.
Kinnikuman vs Bob Sapp
Ryan: Kinnikuman is a beloved Japanese manga character better known as M.U.S.C.L.E. in the US. He’s so popular in Japan that fight promoters decided to slap freestyle wrestler Akihiko Tanaka in the costume and promote a Kinnikuman vs Bob Sapp fight for their big New Years Eve show. Unfortunately for Tanaka, he couldn’t see out of the mask very well and ended up getting blasted and knocked out while trying to adjust it. The fight was a huge success though, pulling in over 18 million viewers.
Nick Serra vs Matt Makowski
Jessica: Nick Serra is the brother of Matt Serra, the most upsettingest world champion in UFC history. Unfortunately , there is a rule that there is an alpha and a beta sibling in MMA, and if your brother is a UFC world champion, your beta levels have to be really low to balance the universe. In this fight, Nick Serra, a BJJ practitioner, refuses to stand up from butt scoot, partially due to him being exhausted and partially because his only chance of winning is on the ground. Serra refuses to stand so much that he actually gets disqualified.
Mikro “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs Dos Caras Jr
Jessica: This is a little better than Sapp vs Kinnikuman since Alberto can at least see out of his mask, but by every other metric, this is cruel an unusual punishment. At this point, Cro Cop was head kicking people into orbit, and those guys were accomplished mixed martial artists. It doesn’t take long for Cro Cop to trap Dos Caras in a corner, unleash a murderous high kick and then land a completely unnecessary punch to Alberto’s corpse.
Jose Canseco vs Hong Man Choi
Ryan: Another fight from the legendary DREAM SUPER HULK TOURNAMENT (and yes, it was promoted as thus, all IN caps, which was very important). Complete MMA newb Jose Canseco was matched up against 7’2 Korean kickboxer Hong Man Choi, who had a legit K-1 record of 12-6. The fight lasted just long enough for Canseco to collect a paycheck, as he ran from Choi until his knee gave out and the fight was called without the kind of beatdown we all tuned in to see.
Kyle Maynard vs Bryan Fry
Ryan: Inspiring story or reckless endangerment? That was the question when congenital amputee (that’s all four limbs) Kyle Maynard fought Bryan Fry in Alabama in 2009. ESPN even made a documentary about Kyle’s quest to fight and all the past athletic hurdles he had overcome in life. In the end though the lack of reach cost him the fight as his opponent kept him at range and peppered him with shots en route to a decision win.
Heath Herring vs Yoshihiro Nakao
Jessica: This is sometimes known as “Gay Panic: The Fight!”. Yoshihiro “Kiss” Nakao does, according to Herring, an “illegal act” when he smooches Heath during the pre-fight referee instructions. Heath takes a step back and blasts Nakao with a hook, knocking him out cold. Herring then yells for several minutes that he’s not a gay homosexual, but Nakao is because “he tried to kiss me on the lips!”. The fight was ultimately declared a no contest.
Nate Quarry vs Kalib Starnes
Jessica: For reasons unknown, Kalib Starnes refused to engage during this fight, like at all. He spent the entire fifteen minutes circling away from Quarry, perhaps as an homage to the Dance in Detroit back in 1996.
It didn’t matter what Quarry did, Starnes was not deviating from his gameplan of RUN AWAY! Quarry won a decision, with one judge scoring the fight 30-24 in his favor.
Butterbean vs Zuluzinho
Ryan: At over 400 pounds a piece, Butterbean vs Zuluzinho was the culmination of a series of Japanese freakshow fights the two men had participated in. Zuluzinho fought Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (and lost both), while Butterbean had fought Minowaman, Sean O’Haire, and James Thompson. Here they face off to determine who was the ultimate freakshow fighter – the answer being Butterbean, who picked up enough grappling skill to finish Zuluzinho with an americana.
Kimo vs Bam Bam Bigelow
Ryan: If you want to traumatize your child, show them old 80s wrestling tapes featuring Bam Bam Bigelow, get them to open their heart to him. Buy them one of those 8-inch rubber wrestling toys. And then show them this match between Bam Bam and Kimo and destroy their heart. But don’t feel too bad for Bigelow. He says he was paid $100,000 to take this MMA ass whupping and wouldn’t mind taking another if the money was right. Alas, Bigelow passed away in 2007 at the age of 45.
Jienotsu vs Shinya Aoki
Jessica: I could easily write an entire post dedicated to Jientosu because he’s full of wonder and joy. A brief description is that Jientosu is a cosplaying kickboxer, so his ring entrances feature him dressed as an anime character, usually a lady.
Anyway, in this fight, it was a mixed-rules contest between Jienotsu and renowned submission grappler, Shinya Aoki. The first round would be three minutes of kickboxing, the second round five minutes of MMA rules. Aoki threw dropkicks and rolling heel kicks to run down the clock in the first round. In the second, Aoki shot in for a double leg take down and ate a huge knee. Jienotsu landed some hammer fist punches to seal the deal and finish the fight with a second round KO.