(Bob’s fist-allergy starts acting up at the worst possible time.)
There are freak show fights, and then there are fights that re-define the phrase "freak show." Bob Sapp’s next MMA appearance — his first in Japan since he beat comedian Bobby Olugun at last year’s K-1 Dynamite New Year’s Eve event — will be one of those fights.
It was announced today that the Beast will be competing at K-1/FEG’s Fields Dynamite!! 2008 card (December 31st; Saitama, Japan) against Kinniku Mantaro. And just who is this Mantaro fellow? Allow Nightmare of Battle to explain:
Kinniku Mantaro is the 59th prince of Planet Muscle (Planet Kinniku) and son of the first Kinnikuman, Suguru Muscle and Belinda Bibinba. Raised during times of peace, he is a spoiled, cowardly, lazy teenager, much like his father was except with more emphasis on cowardice and less on clumsiness. He usually start matches off in a cowardly state, only managing to get a few good moves in due to luck. However, when his friends are in trouble or his opponent is being dishonorable, he manages to reach the state of Kajiba no Kuso Djikara (Burning Inner Strength). When this happens, the Niku-Mark appears on his forehead and his strength, stamina, and technique increase many fold.
What we’re talking about here is a character from the Japanese comic series/cartoon Kinnikuman, which American audiences might remember from the ’80s collectible figurine line M.U.S.C.L.E. Playing the role of Kinniku Mantaro will be Akihito Tanaka, a heavyweight
pro wrestler seven-time All-Japan Wrestling Champion who has been training recently at Kazushi Sakuraba’s Laughter 7 gym. And yes, he will be wearing the Kinniku mask during the fight, which will be "produced by DJ OZMA." Holy Crap. Good-natured comic relief, or the low point of Japanese sports entertainment? We’ll find out on New Year’s Eve. The nearly-complete lineup for Dynamite!! 2008′s otherwise-compelling card, and video of Kinniku in action are after the jump.