Robert Malcolm "Bob" Sapp (born September 22, 1974) is an American kickboxer, mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and former professional wrestler and professional American football player. Sapp currently has an MMA record of 10–6–1, mostly fighting in Japan but most recently lost to Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. He is well-known in Japan, where he has appeared in countless commercials, television programs, and various other media, and has released a music CD, It's Sapp Time. He also appeared in an episode of the HBO program Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. He is currently working sporadically for various MMA promotions in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.
American football careerEdit
Bob Sapp began his athletic career in college football as a standout offensive lineman for the University of Washington, where he won the Morris Award. Expected by some to get high notice from pro scouts in the 1997 NFL Draft, he slipped to the third round before being chosen by the Chicago Bears 69th overall. Although Sapp was under pro contract for the next four seasons (Chicago Bears 1997, Minnesota Vikings 1998, Baltimore Ravens 1999, and Oakland Raiders 2000, each of which cut him within that season), he appeared in only one regular season game before leaving football. Sapp went on to fight (and defeat) William "The Refrigerator" Perry in a Toughman boxing special promoted by FX in 2000.
Bob Sapp's pro-wrestling career started in NWA Wildside in 2001. He was quickly contracted by World Championship Wrestling as a developmental wrestler, before the company was bought out by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) (at that time WWF).
In 2004, Sapp competed for New Japan Pro Wrestling, winning their IWGP Heavyweight Championship and becoming the first black man to accomplish this feat, though it was vacated shortly thereafter due to a mixed martial arts fight loss and film commitments.
On October 16, 2007, Bob Sapp made a surprise appearance at HUSTLE's Korakuen Hall event. Attacking Razor Ramon HG and his partner. Sapp aligned himself with Generalissimo Takada's MONSTER Army. He also announced that he would wrestle at the HUSTLE Mania 11/25 Yokohama Arena event. His opponent was later confirmed to be Razor Ramon HG  and Sapp defeated him in the resultant match. His last match was against "Big" Dan Meehan.
Since 2008, Sapp began to participate in WWA, a pro-wrestling organization in South Korea. On October 26, 2009, Bob Sapp captured the WWA Heavyweight title by defeating Lee Wang Pyo, a famous professional wrestler in Korea who was taught by legendary Korean professional wrestler Kim Il(Kintaro Ohki) at Olympic Fencing Gymnasium event.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
Pride Fighting ChampionshipsEdit
Sapp was subsequently recruited by the Japanese MMA organization Pride, where he quickly became a fan favorite due to his size and aggression. After a number of successes in Pride, Sapp was then invited by Kazuyoshi Ishii to K-1. Ishii, inventor of the fighting sport K-1, saw in Sapp the combination of great potential and great marketability.
After arriving in Japan, Sapp fought a number of low level Japanese fighters, winning all his bouts through sheer strength and size. During this time fans were first introduced to Sapp's "bullrush" technique, whereby he would rush an opponent with punches, quickly overwhelming them. Pride and K-1 collaborated to create a show billed "Dynamite" in Japan and "Shockwave" in the United States. He faced then-champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Sapp was defeated and shortly afterward moved to K-1.
Despite losing his first fight by disqualification, Sapp was initially successful in K-1. He twice defeated four-time K-1 champion Ernesto Hoost by technical knockout. He became an overnight sensation in Japan afterwards, appearing on numerous television shows, advertisements, and movie cameos such as in the big screen adaptation of Devilman. K-1 heads, trying to strike while the iron was hot and hoping to duplicate the success of Sapp, made a new fighting division called "Beast" (Sapp's nickname), which featured larger fighters such as Hong Man Choi. However, the division was stopped after two events due to disappointing reviews and gate takes.
At the height of his success, there was talk and promotion of a fight between him and the former boxing Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. The two had a face to face confrontation immediately after Sapp's victory in Las Vegas over Template:Dn. K-1 signed Tyson to a contract and the fight looked to be on. However, Tyson's status as a convicted felon made him unable to get a visa to fight in Japan where the fight would have been most profitable. Other locations for the proposed fight were made, but negotiations ended up dissipating to nothing and the fight never came off.
In June 2005, Sapp won the K-1 Japan Grand Prix in Hiroshima to become one of 16 fighters qualified for the 2005 K-1 World GP. In the Japan GP, Sapp showcased greatly improved stamina, as well as better technique, than in his previous fights after intensive training under Sam Greco. In the K-1 2005 World GP Eliminations he lost by decision to "The Techno Goliath" Choi Hong-man.
Sapp's initial success with his intimidating, blind chase-and-punch method (which he dubbed as "NFL Style") slowly petered out into disqualifications for bullrushing and punching after referee breaks. Additionally, experienced opponents discovered Sapp's weak points—his vulnerable mid-section and legs as well as his limited stamina. He also engaged in an ineffective but entertaining defensive stance consisting of cowering away from attacks and spinning around in a circle.
On May 13, 2006, Sapp was to headline the K-1 show in the Netherlands. His opponent was Ernesto Hoost. Hoost stated in previous interviews and the interview on that show that this was to be his last match in Holland before his retirement. Sapp attended all the pre-fight press conferences and even attended the opening ceremonies for the show. It is unclear at the moment as to why, but Sapp pulled out of the event midway through the show.
K-1 issued a statement claiming Sapp pulled out due to new demands he brought to promoters during the show. K-1 would not agree to those demands since they felt their written contract was final and Sapp left. The full K-1 press release can be viewed on the organization's website.
Sapp has not issued a statement, but a different point of view on the events that occurred.
However, he did participate in 2007's K-1 event in the Amsterdam Arena, fighting as a replacement for Remy Bonjasky, against Peter Aerts. Sapp, however, lost the fight at KO within 20 seconds in the first round by a knee to the liver. While Sapp was being led from the ring, Aerts apologized to the fans in Dutch for the short bout as well as berated his fallen opponent.
After his falling out with K-1, Sapp began to get offers from WWE as well as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) to work with them, but his K-1 contract prohibited him from going through with any return to the ring.
Sapp made a surprise return to the K-1 ring in Japan after a 2 year absence against comedian and part time K-1 competitor Bobby Ologun. Ologun was unable to mount any effective offense as he was quickly run down and overpowered by Sapp in the 1st round.
On February 10, 2007 it was announced by the United Kingdom's Cage Rage promotion that Sapp would appear on its Cage Rage 21 event on April 21, facing Gary Turner. The move is partly a retaliatory one, as the UFC had chosen to run its first British show in years that same night at the Manchester Evening News Arena, headlined by Mirko "Cro Cop", Andrei Arlovski and British star Michael Bisping. Though Cage Rage promoter Andy Geer said that the UFC show would not affect ticket sales for CR21, the signing of Sapp was a clear sign that the company knew it would need a superstar draw in order to successfully compete with the American promotion. A few days before the event Bob Sapp pulled out of the scheduled fight. At short notice, Tank Abbott stepped in and lost to Gary Turner.
Strikeforce, Dream and PFCEdit
Bob Sapp faced the South African fighter Jan "The Giant" Nortje at the Strikeforce: At The Dome event in Tacoma, Washington at the Tacoma Dome on February 23, 2008. Sapp was defeated at the 55 second mark of the first round by TKO after receiving an unanswered torrent of punches. Sapp then returned to Japan on New Year's Eve 2008 and defeated Akihito Tanaka via first round TKO. Sapp lost to Hong Man Choi at the Pride Grand Prix 2005 via Judges Decision.
Sapp lost to Japanese Ikuhisa Minowa at Dream 9 on May 26, 2009, due to Achilles lock. He fought and lost to Bobby Lashley at Ultimate Chaos in Biloxi, Mississippi on June 27, 2009 due to first round tapout from strikes. On October 6, Sapp stood in for an injured Mousasi to face Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the semifinals at Dream 11. He lost via TKO(Punches) in the first round.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- K-1 Japan GP Champion (2005)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
|Professional record breakdown|
|19||10 wins||6 losses|
Template:Start box |- |colspan=8 align="center"|10 Wins – 6 Losses – 1 Draw |- |style="background: #f0f0f0"|Date ||style="background: #f0f0f0"| Result ||style="background: #f0f0f0"|Record ||style="background: #f0f0f0"|Opponent||background: #f0f0f0| Event ||style="background: #f0f0f0"| Method ||style="background: #f0f0f0"|Round ||style="background: #f0f0f0"|Notes |-Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Location Notes |- |2009-10-06 |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |10-6-1 |align='left'| Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou |DREAM.11 Feather Weight Grand Prix 2009 Final Round |TKO (Punches) |Round 1, 1:31 |DREAM Super Hulk Grand Prix Semifinal. Replaced of Gegard Mousasi. |- |2009-06-27 |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |10–5–1 |align='left'| Bobby Lashley |Ultimate Chaos: Lashley vs. Sapp |Submission (Strikes) |Round 1, 3:18 |- |2009-05-26 |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |10–4–1 |align='left'| Ikuhisa Minowa |DREAM.9 Feather Weight Grand Prix 2009 Second Round |Submission (Kneebar) |Round 1, 1:16 |DREAM Super Hulk Grand Prix Quarterfinal |- |2008-12-31 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |10–3–1 | Akihito Tanaka |Dynamite!! 2008 |TKO (Punches) |Round 1, 5:22 |- |2008-02-23 |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |9–3–1 | Jan Nortje |Strikeforce: At The Dome |TKO (Punches) |Round 1, 0:55 |- |2007-12-31 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |9–2–1 | Bobby Ologun |K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! |TKO (Punches) |Round 1, 4:10 |- |2005-11-05 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |8–2–1 | Kim Jong Wang |K-1 Hero's Seoul 2005 |TKO (Strikes) |Round 1, 0:08 |- |2005-07-06 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |7–2–1 | Alan Karaev |K-1 Hero's 2 |KO (Punch) |Round 1, 3:44 |- |2005-03-26 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |6–2–1 | Min-Soo Kim |K-1 Hero's 1 |KO (Punch) |Round 1, 1:12 |- |2004-12-31 | style="background: #c5d2ea"|Draw |5–2–1 | Jérôme Le Banner |K-1 PREMIUM 2004 Dynamite!! |Draw |Round 4, 3:00 |- |2004-05-22 |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |5–2 | Kazuyuki Fujita |K-1 MMA ROMANEX |Submission (Strikes) |Round 1, 2:15 |- |2004-03-14 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |5–1 |22px Dolgorsürengiin Sumiyaabazar |K-1 Beast 2004 in Niigata |Towel (Foot Injury) |Round 1, 5:00 |- |2003-09-21 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |4–1 | Stefan Gamlin |K-1 Japan Grand Prix 2003 |Submission (Guillotine Choke) |Round 1, 0:52 |- |2002-12-31 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |3–1 | Yoshihiro Takayama |Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2002 – K-1 vs Inoki |Submission (Armbar) |Round 1, 2:16 |- |2002-08-28 |style="background: #ffdddd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-no2" |Loss |2–1 | Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira |Pride Shockwave |Submission (Armbar) |Round 2, 4:03 |- |2002-06-23 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |2–0 | Kiyoshi Tamura |Pride 21 |TKO (Punches) |Round 1, 0:11 |- |2002-04-28 |style="background: #ddffdd; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="table-yes2" |Win |1–0 | Yoshihisa Yamamoto |Pride 20 |TKO (Strikes) |Round 1, 2:44 Template:End box
- Conan (2011) as Ukafa
- Blood and Bone (2009) as Hammerman
- Frankenhood (2009) as Frankie
- Big Stan (2009)
- The Longest Yard (2005) as Switowski
- Elektra (2005) as Stone
- Devilman (2005) as World Newscaster
- Izo (2004)
- Taiho Shichauzo (2003) as Bob Hage
- Bob Sapp: Sapp Time The Movie! (2003) documentary
- ↑ Database Football. Bob Sapp. 2006. August 27, 2006. .
- ↑ Pasquarelli, Len (July 10, 2004). Former NFL guard finds sporting success in Japan. ESPN.
- ↑ http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/fight/other/headlines/wrestling/20071016-00000025-spnavi-fight.html/
- ↑ http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/fight/other/headlines/wrestling/20071104-00000013-spnavi-fight.html/
- ↑ K-1 Reports Official Mike Tyson Fight
- ↑ MMA Ring Report
- ↑ http://www.dreamofficial.com/free/fightcard/detail.php?fightid=20090526&cardid=1241072814
- ↑ http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=9539&zoneid=2
- ↑ http://k-1sport.de/en/database/show_fighter.php?id=3