Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Masakatsu Funaki - MMA Legend

Masakatsu Funaki (39-13) is one of the original pioneers of mixed martial arts, even though many in the United States have never heard of him. He along with Minoru Suzuki started the Pancrase organization. It was one of the first mixed martial arts organizations, debuting after Shooto, but before the UFC.

Funaki won the King of Pancrase title on two occasions being the first fighter to do so. During his illustrious career, Funaki defeated top fighters Bas Rutten, Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Guy Mezger, Jason Delucia, Semmy Schilt, Minoru Suzuki, Yuki Kondo, Vernon White and various others. Masakatsu beat Ikuhisa Minowa at Dream 6 with an inverted heel hook in his last match.

He is credited with increasing the popularity of mixed martial arts in Japan when he triumphed over Bas Rutten with a toe-hold. In addition to his success in MMA, Funaki is a legendary Japanese pro wrestler.

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