One of the greatest and most intimidating light heavyweights of all-time.
• Former PRIDE 205-pound champion.
• Owns two wins over Quinton Jackson, both by KO / TKO
• Unbeaten in 18 fights (16-0-1, 1 NC) from 2000 to 2004.
• Has fought against heavyweight standouts Mirko Cro Cop, Kazuyuki Fujita, and Mark Hunt
• Owns three wins over Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba
• Also holds victories over Mike Van Arsdale, Eugene Jackson, Daijiro Matsui, Guy Mezger, Dan Henderson, Alexander Otsuka, Hidehiko Yoshida, Ikuhisa Minowa, Yuki Kondo, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Ricardo Arona
• 22 wins by KO / TKO
• Last submission win was in 1999 (over Bob Schrijber)
TRAINING: Physical training in the morning, jiu-jitsu training and boxing technique in the afternoon, sparring in the evening.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training when I was 13 years old because I was short and fat.
Do you have any heroes? Ayrton Senna
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It’s an honor and a pleasure to fight in the UFC, and I love fighting here. I was very anxious to come back. There is no one like the American fans. In Japan, the fans are really quiet, and the American fans are like the ones in the movie Gladiator – they’re all chanting and yelling – and it gives me the chills because I fight to have the fans make the stadium shake.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? N/A
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked in my father’s bar – I served, I cleaned, I did everything. I was also in the military for a year and five months. It was a great thing for my career because it gave me discipline. And I learned how to shoot very well.
If any list specific accomplishments in amateur competition? None
If any, list specific accomplishments in pro competition? PRIDE Middleweight Champion (205 pounds), 2003 PRIDE Middleweight (205 pounds) Grand Prix Champion, IVC Light Heavyweight Champion.
If any, list ranks in any martial arts styles: Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlinhos Gracie.
Favorite grappling technique: Rear naked choke
Favorite Striking technique: Knees