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5 Biggest freak show fights in MMA history

Johny Payne
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MMA Freak-shows are a routine occurrence in Japan (* Credits- RIZIN FF)

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) features world-class martial artists and elite athletes competing against one another in one of the purest forms of modern day unarmed combat.

However, the savage science’s roots can be traced back to the dark days of top organisations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the ‘90s and gross mismatches in Japanese promotion Pride FC; featuring weird, goofy fights between opponents who had little to no knowledge about actual MMA techniques. 

The much-abhorred ‘MMA Freakshow’ is looked upon by MMA fans and pundits alike, with equal parts disgust and guilty pleasure. If you are an old-school MMA fan, you are all too familiar with this concept. But if you’re new to the savage science, saddle-up. You are in for a laugh-riot. Let’s take a look at a few such infamous fighters and matchups- 

#5 Bob Sapp vs Akebono Taro 1 and 2

Image result for bob sapp vs akebono 2
Akebono gets punched by Bob Sapp (* Credits- RIZIN FF)

Ah! Get your freak on folks! In case you’re new to MMA and aren’t familiar with names like Bob Sapp and Akebono, buckle up. You’re in for a wild, freaky ride. 

Bob Sapp the American pro-wrestler, actor, musician (yes, he was terrible) and part-time kickboxer and MMA fighter; fought Akebono Taro twice. The first fight took place at K-1 Dynamite on December 31st, 2003 and the second at RIZIN Fighting Federation 2 on 31st December 2015.

Both fights were freaky and didn’t even remotely represent anything close to legitimate MMA competition. With 6’5” 360+ pound Sapp and the 6’8” 550 pound Sumo wrestler Akebono Taro, both fights represent the epitome of Japanese MMA freakshow fights.

Sapp won the first fight that was held under kickboxing rules by way of KO (Akebono has zero striking, nada, zilch!). The rematch took place under Shoot boxing rules, where Takedowns and ground submissions weren’t permitted, but standing subs such as standing joint locks and chokes were allowed.

Nevertheless, none of that would matter as the (non) fight would end after Akebono was unable to continue, resulting in a technical decision win for Sapp.  

Bob Sapp and Akebono Taro are like bizarro versions of Goku and Vegeta, destined to fight forever. More JMMA freak shows, please…

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