5 legendary fighters you've probably never heard of
#4 Masakatsu Funaki
Funaki’s combat sports career is one of the most illustrious of his generation. The Japanese middleweight can be considered in many ways one of the first fathers of MMA thanks to his co-owner ship of the Pancrase promotion in 1993. Funaki also fought under his own banner where he challenged and beat both Shamrock brothers and many other vintage stars of the time.
He was considered the promotion’s biggest star and is widely considered one of the best mixed martial artists Japan has ever produced. In fact, Funaki was ranked the #1 middleweight in the world between 1996 and 1997 and also ranked within the top four of the pound-for-pound #1 list from 1993-1998. Outside of MMA, Funaki also boasts a long and active pro wrestling career for promotions like Wrestle-1 and Japan Pro Wrestling.Published 10 Mar 2017, 17:16 IST