17 Jun 2011 10:56:19 AM
(Since this sculpture seemed to be a major talking point…)
Minoru Suzuki was born 43 years ago.
Why he matters: One of the co-founders of Pancrase — the pre-cursor to the UFC — Suzuki was of the best Japanese submission specialists of his era. He holds wins over Ken Shamrock, Vernon White, Matt Hume and Guy Mezger and Maurice Smith. A former Olympic alternate freestyle wrestler for Japan and former Japanese freestyle wrestling national champion, Suzuki retired from MMA competition in 2002 with a record of 27-20 to focus on professional wrestling, in which he is still active today.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/MrDartzero)
Many MMA luminaries from Bas Rutten and Ken Shamrock to Josh Barnett count Suzuki as one of THE best catch wrestlers the sport has ever known.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/scientificwrestling)