MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Akihiro Gono

The Top 24 Mixed Martial Artists Who Lost Their First Fight


(Renan Barao: Started from the bottom, now he here. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

At the UFC 165 post-fight presser last month, UFC president Dana White showered praise upon UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, calling him one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and remarking that the media hadn’t given enough credit to his eight-year, 32-fight undefeated streak, which has remained pristine since May 2005.

Barao has only tasted defeat once, and it was in the first fight of his career. The fact that he’s rebounded with the longest current undefeated streak in mixed martial arts — despite the fact that his first loss could have ruined his confidence forever — is absolutely amazing to me, as many young would-be prospects have crashed and burned in their debuts, never to be heard of again.

It got me thinking: What other mixed martial artists lost their first fight but then went on to have great success? I expected to bang out a list of ten fighters, but once I started doing the research, it blew my mind that some of the best fighters to ever compete in the sport, and a number of currently top 10-ranked fighters, actually lost their very first fight.

And so, I compiled a list of the top 24 MMA fighters of all time who lost their first fight. The list is based on accomplishments in the sport, overall skill level, and potential. Enjoy, and if I somehow missed somebody notable, please leave a comment below and explain why he or she should be included.

Honorable mentions: Matt “The Wizard” Hume (5-5), Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (20-15), Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo (18-2), Rodrigo Damm (11-6), James Te Huna (16-6)

24. Travis “The Ironman” Fulton (249-49-10, 1 NC)

(Photo via ThunderPromotions)

On July 26, 1996, at the age of 19 years old, Travis Fulton fought Dave Strasser in his MMA debut at Gladiators 1 in Davenport, Iowa, losing the fight via first-round submission. He then went on to win 249 fights, the most wins in mixed martial arts history. Fulton also holds the record for most fights (309) and most knockout wins (91) in MMA history.

Mind = blown.

Was Fulton a can crusher? Yes, yes he was. Or, should I say, yes he is, as he beat some nobody in his native Iowa just this past March. But you don’t win 249 MMA fights by accident, and Fulton deserves a place on this list based on volume alone.

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Bellator 67 Recap: Gono Retires, Baker Upsets Saunders

To put it mildly, I’ve been skeptical about Bellator’s non-title fights in the past. They’ve all been total squash fights, and light-heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu actually managed to lose his against Travis Wiuff back at Bellator 55. Last night didn’t exactly make me a believer in non-title fights, but I won’t act like I wasn’t impressed with lightweight champion Michael Chandler after his performance against Akihiro Gono.

Chandler followed up his brilliant fourth round rear-naked choke over Eddie Alvarez back at Bellator 58 with a quick TKO over Akihiro Gono. After catching Gono early with a straight right, Chandler pounced on a stunned Gono and rained down punches until he earned the stoppage. Michael Chandler improves to 10-0 overall, with six fights ending in the first round.

At the post-fight press conference, Akihiro Gono announced his retirement from MMA. Gono has lost three fights in a row, and his record now stands at 32-18-7. His most recent victory was a unanimous decision over Diego Gonzalez at Sengoku 12 in March 2010. While it’s never easy to watch an icon of the sport retire, it’s even harder to watch him continue to lose. Thanks for the memories, Magic Man.

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Chandler vs. Gono Main Event Set for Bellator 67 May 4 at Casino Rama in Ontario


(Conveniently, Bellator failed to mention whether or not this is a title fight.)

Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that a main event match-up between Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler and PRIDE and UFC vet Akihiro Gono will close out its planned Bellator 67  card  May 4  at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario Canada.

A crafty veteran, Gono (32-17-7) should provide a challenge for the undefeated newly crowned 155-pound BFC champ.

“I’m just excited to get back into the cage,” Chandler said of the planned bout. “I fought four times in 2011 and I’m ready to get back to work. Gono has beaten some of the best fighters in the sport and this should be a good test for me.”

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‘Sengoku 12′ Quick Results and Videos


(Maximo Blanco vs. Chang Hyun Kim; brutal finish @ 1:33. Props to WatchKalibRun)

From yesterday’s Sengoku Raiden Championships show in Tokyo…

– Jorge Santiago def. Mamed Khalidov via unanimous decision
– Akihiro Gono def. Diego Gonzalez via unanimous decision
– Maximo Blanco def. Chang Hyun Kim via KO, 1:10 of round 1
– Marlon Sandro def. Tomonari Kanomata via KO, 0:09 of round 1
– Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao def. Henry "Sentoryu" Miller via TKO, 3:27 of round 2
– Yuji Hoshino def. Nick Denis via submission (guillotine choke), 0:47 of round 2
– Leonardo Santos def. Kiuma Kunioku via submission (rear-naked choke), 3:06 of round 1
– Shigeki Osawa def. Kyung Ho Kang via unanimous decision

Two more fight videos after the jump…

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‘Sengoku Raiden Championships 12′ Bout Order and Preview

Yoshihiro Kiss Nakao MMA
Yoshihiro Kiss Nakao MMA
(Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao — still pretty creepy. Photos courtesy of src-official.com.)

A day after WEC 47 pops off in Columbus, Sengoku will be holding their latest event at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Unfortunately the card won’t be broadcast live on HDNet — they’ll be airing it next Friday at 8 p.m. — but we’ll be sure to put up videos of the best fights by Monday. Check out the complete eight-match lineup, via japan-mma.com:

8. Jorge Santiago (21-8-0, champion) vs. Mamed Khalidov (20-3-1, challenger), for SRC Middleweight Title
7. Akihiro Gono (31-15-7) vs. Diego Gonzalez (13-3-0), welterweight
6. Maximo Blanco (4-2-1) vs. Chang Hyun Kim (15-5-0), lightweight
5. Marlon Sandro (15-1-0) vs. Tomonari Kanomata (15-4-5), featherweight
4. Yoshihiro “Kiss” Nakao (8-2-0) vs. Henry "Sentoryu" Miller (6-9-0), heavyweight
3. Yuji Hoshino (16-7-7) vs. Nick Denis (9-1-0), featherweight
2. Kiuma Kunioku (34-22-9) vs. Leonardo Santos (6-3-0), lightweight
1. Shigeki Osawa (4-1-0) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (4-2-0), featherweight

Some important points…

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A Digital Postcard From Japan


(‘Wait, this Mousasi? The dude that’s been beating the hell out of everybody, that’s the guy ya’ll want me to fight? Gentlemen, I think there’s been a misunderstanding.’)

Greetings from the City of the Rising Sun, Potato Nation.  Yours truly is spending New Year’s in Tokyo to attend the Fields Dynamite!! show (you’ll be able to read all about the experience in a future Fight Magazine issue), and already it’s been quite a learning experience.  For instance, I just got back from the press conference where I was surrounded by a horde of teenage girls who waited for over an hour just to fawn over MasatoAlistair Overeem, Gegard Mousasi, and Shinya Aoki?  To these girls they barely seemed worth the effort to flip open their trinket-laden cell phones and snap a photo.

The event organizers expect to draw at least 35,000 fans to the Saitama Super Arena for the show, and representatives from both Dream and Sengoku did their best to pump up the lukewarm rivalry between the two organizations, though without much apparent interest from the fans.  A couple things worth noting:

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Paulo Filho Guarantees He’d Beat Gegard Mousasi, Puts His Whole Damn Hypothetical Purse On It

Paulo Filho Melvin Manhoef MMA DREAM
(Just like armbarring a bike: Filho emerges from an eight-month hiatus to take out Melvin Manhoef at DREAM.10 last month.)

In all our hand-wringing about the lack of challenges for Gegard Mousasi, we may have overlooked one formerly fearsome recovering addict — and Paulo Filho wants you to know that he will not be ignored. From Tatame.com via WatchKalibRun:

“I wanna fight Mousasi and show that with against me is a whole different thing… He doesn’t have my strength, he doesn’t have my level on the ground. He can be a better striker, but he doesn’t have my strength and he’ll go down once and be submitted…He’s well trained, but I don’t think he’s healthy enough to beat me…If he wins, I don’t even want my salary. But I guarantee he’ll be beaten more than he was against (Akihiro) Gono."
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Kanehara Edges Out Omigawa in Sengoku IX’s Chaotic Featherweight GP Finals; Hirota Upsets Kitaoka


(Hioki vs. Kanehara: The fight went as planned, but everything afterwards didn’t. Props to 19054771 via Bloody Elbow.)

I have to admit, I was pulling for Michihiro Omigawa to shock the world and win Sengoku’s Featherweight Grand Prix, after entering the tournament in March with a 4-7-1 record. But the way he reached the finals at today’s Sengoku Ninth Battle show in Saitama, Japan, was questionable to say the least, and he wound up losing to a guy who shouldn’t have even been there in the first place. Let’s start at the beginning…

Tournament favorite Hatsu Hioki dominated Masanori Kanehara in the tourney’s semifinals, putting Kanehara in constant danger with submission attempts and ground-and-pound. Though Kanehara was able to make a late rally, the fight went to Hioki by unanimous decision. Unfortunately, it was discovered that Hioki suffered a concussion during the match, and wouldn’t be able to continue to the finals.

Chan Sung Jung choked out Matt Jaggers later that night in the GP’s reserve bout, and should have rightfully taken Hioki’s place. But Jung, who had previously been robbed by the judges in his quarterfinal match against Masanori Kanehara in May — a decision that many fans chalked up to the fact that Jung is Korean — was insulted again today when it was quickly decided that Kanehara would fill in for Hioki. So basically, the alternate bout was absolutely meaningness, due to the fact that a Korean won it.

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UFC Highlight Videos: “Life in Technicolor,” “Lyoto Machida: The World Warrior”


(Props: CRE)

The best UFC highlight-reel of the week comes from BH, who has compiled some of the greatest Octagon moments of 2008-2009 (and Nick Diaz‘s 2007 PRIDE fight against Takanori Gomi, for some reason) — into this uplifting clip. Using Coldplay to soundtrack an MMA video is a risky move, but it actually works here, in a "Where the Hell Is Matt?" sort of way. From Akihiro Gono‘s legendary entrance at UFC 94 to the various disappointments of Chuck Liddell — it’s definitely worth a look.

After the jump: A Lyoto Machida-specific highlight reel from firelotus09. Just like Lyoto’s fights, the action doesn’t start right away; if you’re impatient, skip to the 1:43 mark and prepare to be Dragon’d.

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Videos: Machida Talks Training, Gono’s Entrance, + More

In this video from “Inside MMA,” Lyoto Machida does his best to explain how his training has evolved.  He has physical education training now!  I can only assume that involves a lot of kickball, some freeze tag, and the occasional mile run. 


(Props: Fightlinker)

At last, a decent video of Akihiro Gono’s full entrance at UFC 94, as shown on a Japanese UFC broadcast.  You still don’t quite feel the magic in this video the way those of us who saw it live did, but Gono managed to prove what “Kids in the Hall” long suspected: men dressed as women never fail to entertain.  You can see there were a couple hiccups in the routine, so maybe more rehearsal time is in order for his next fight.  For me the highlight is when Gono and his boys finish the entrance and begin giving the double high-five to anyone within reach.  Good show, everybody.

After the jump, something weird.

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