Fighting Network Rings (trademarked as RINGS) is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion turned mixed martial arts organization from 1991 to 2002 with a revival in 2008. It was founded by Akira Maeda on May 11, 1991, following the dissolution of Newborn UWF.
At that time, Maeda and Mitsuya Nagai were the only two people to transfer from UWF International, which had been inaugurated just the day before. Wrestlers such as Kiyoshi Tamura, Hiromitsu Kanehara, and Kenichi Yamamoto later transferred from UWF International.
- Akira Maeda
- Mitsuya Nagai
- Yoshihisa Yamamoto
- Masayuki Naruse
- Tsuyoshi Kosaka
- Wataru Sakata
- Kiyoshi Tamura
- Kid Yamamoto
- Hiromitsu Kanehara
- Ryuki Ueyama
- Hiroyuki Ito
Rings's system was very much like the NWA in which members of "foreign promotions" (actually stables composed of fighters from a given country) competed against the Japanese members. The major countries represented were:
- Netherlands (Dirk Vrij, Hanse Nyman, Gilbert Yvel, Joop Kasteel, Valentijn Overeem, Alistair Overeem, Chris Dolman)
- Australia (Chris Haseman, Elvis Sinosic, Tony Bonello)
- Bulgaria (Todor Todorov, Dimitar Petkov)
- Georgia (Zaza Grom, Tariel Bitsadze, Amiran Bitsadze).
- Russia (Volk Han, Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Kopylov, Nikolai Zuyev, Mikhail Illoukhine).
- Brazil (Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, Renato Sobral, Gustavo Machado, Renzo Gracie).
Later, a United States group was added. Fighters from United Kingdom included Lee Hasdell and Paul Cahoon. Many top American mixed martial artists such as Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, and Bobby Hoffman also competed for Rings.
Maeda retired from active duty in 1998, leaving Tamura as the top star, but the collapse of UWF International and the subsequent rise of the Pride provided competition that proved to be too much for the promotion. On February 15, 2002 the promotion ceased activity.
Following the dissolution of Hero's and Maeda's involvement with FEG, Maeda revived the Rings brand for a new series of MMA events named The Outsider. The first Rings: The Outsider event occurred on March 30, 2008.
- Akira Maeda
- Pride Fighting Championships
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Professional Wrestling
- Newborn UWF.
- UWF International
- Astral Bout 3