Stiff Dragon asked in SportsMartial Arts · 7 years ago

Funny fact, did you know that the most popular MMA promotions in Japan are founded by pro wrestlers?

PRIDE FC was founded by Nobuhiko Takada.

Shooto was founded by Satoru Sayama.

Pancrase was founded by Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki.

Fighting Network Rings was founded by Akira Maeda.

All of them are pro wrestlers.

DREAM wasn't founded by a pro wrestler but by a journalist and executive at Japanese wrestling.

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Best Answer

    I did know that and it is because of the influence that Catch and Shoot wrestling had on pro wrestling.

    In Japan pro wrestling is seen as either sport or martial art fights (with a fixed outcome of course) and incorporates hard strikes and real wrestling plus submissions. It has none of the fake aspects or storylines of American pro wrestling.

    The pro wrestlers started these MMA organisations to have fights without the fixed outcome.

    And the UFC was started by the Gracie family of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fame.......grappling started MMA!

    Though I would say the MOST popular MMA promotion in Japan is K-1 and that was founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii who was a Karate fighter (Founder of Seidokaikan Karate and ex-Kyokushin Karate).

    Source(s): Moderator on The Caged Dojo martial arts website and forums
  • 4 years ago

    Most of the Fighers I see in the UFC were high school wrestling champions and college wrestling champions, in addition to having skills in Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai or other martial arts disciplines, so as far as I am concerned, hundreds of them have the skills to be professional wrestlers. Where they would be hurt would be playing to the audience, swaying the crowd either in their favor or against them, cutting strong interviews and promos. Those things are a lot more important in Professional Wrestling than they are in MMA.

  • 7 years ago

    Sure did. They were tired of doing worked matches. Funaki in particular got tired of jobbing to Fujiwara. Pro wrestling in Japan has trended towards sport as opposed to spectacle. I prefer the Japanese style (puroresu) over the American style any day.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I did not know that but I knew that many Japanese MMA fighters, most notably the great Kazushi Sakuraba, came from pro wresting originally.

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