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Asia’s Male Mma Fighters – The Top 10
Mix Martial Arts (MMA) champions possess incredible discipline, strength and endurance and constantly perfect their multi-skill sets to win competitions. Here, Top 10 of Malaysia takes a look at Asia’s top male MMA fighters (in no particular order), gripped with the passion to win no matter what.
Takumi Nakayama, 42, competed in the All Japan Combat Wrestling and All Japan Shooto Amateur Welterweight Championships before switching to MMA. Known as “Da Japanese Ironman”, he found success at KOTC and Pancrase making his current record 19-16-6, 1 NC (Win-Loss-Draw, No Contest).
Inspired by MMA’s popularity, Takeya Mizugaki, 32, was honoured “Rookie of the Year” upon joining Shooto in 2005. Fighting for Cage Force in 2007 and earning the Bantamweight Championship, he won “Fight of the Night” twice at WEC. Moving to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2011, his winning streak from 2012-2014 elevates his record to 21-11-2.
Masakatsu Ueda, 38, was named Shooto Featherweight Champion in 2008 and currently competes in the bantamweight division in Shooto. Having defeated Kyoji Horiguchi in 2012, he has won numerous titles such as the All Japan Shooto Grappling Championship and Ueda’s current record is 22-5-2.
Dong Hyun Kim
“Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim, 34, is the second South Korean fighting in the UFC but first to win a match. Joining in 2008, he won “Knockout of the Night” against Erick Silva and “Performance of the Night” for his TKO against John Hathaway. Until his defeat in 2011, he was on a winning streak and his current record stands at 22-3-1, 1NC.
Yui Chul Nam
Yui Chul Nam, 34, loved watching combat sports wile in the army. Upon leaving, his professional MMA debut was in 2004 with the Korean Top Team. Known as “The Korean Bulldozer”, he had an eight-win streak before joining UFC to win again in his debut fight, earning “Fight of the Night”. However, he was released after two back-to-back losses, setting his record at 18-6-1.
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, 39, switched from wrestling to MMA at age 24. Holding a 17-1 record by defeating Jeff Curran, Bibiano Fernandes and the like, he holds the fastest KO in K-1 Hero’s history at 4 seconds. Declining in 2009 when he lost five out of the last seven fights, he is slated to make a comeback with a current record of 18-6 and 2NCs.
Yuusuke Yachi, 26, is a featherweight division fighter who competed for Shooto and Vale Tudo Japan. His achievements include winning the 143 lbs Shooto Rookie and 143 lbs Shooto Pacific Rim Lightweight championships. He currently fights for Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC) as an ‘exciting technical fighter’ and his current record stands at 16-6.
Kyoji Horiguchi, 25, joined the Krazy Bee team after high school and made his amateur MMA debut in 2009. Winning four fights in the Shooto Amateur Open Tournament East 6th, Horiguchi went pro in 2010. He racked a record of 11-1 before joining the UFC and won his first fight via TKO. His current record stands at 18-2.
Chan Sung Jung
Known as “The Korean Zombie”, Chan Sung Jung, 29, is one of the most entertaining fighters. His first U.S. fight against Leonard Garcia gained him much popularity, despite losing. Jung’s wins include two “Fights of the Night”, two “Submissions of the Night” and a “Knockout of the Night” with his record at 14-4. Leaving to serve the Korean military, his return is much anticipated!
As the heaviest fighter in this list, Dongi Yang, 31, is aptly nicknamed “The Ox”. Skilled in various martial arts, he joined professional MMA in 2007 and switched to the UFC in 2010. His success maintained until he lost three out of four matches and got cut by the UFC. Undeterred, he has won two out of two fights since, and received a second chance from the UFC in 2015 with a current record of 13-3.