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Template:Nihongo is a Japanese middleweight professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter.

Once a student of legendary Pro Wrestler Akira Maeda, Tamura is known for his skill in catch wrestling as well as his ability to deliver exciting and realistic professional wrestling bouts.

He has competed in some form or another for the following organizations: Universal Wrestling Federation, UWF International, Fighting Network RINGS, K-1, PRIDE, and U-STYLE, his own promotion. He is at his best when fighting at or near his own weight, but since 1999 has made a habit of fighting much larger opponents.

Professional wrestling career Edit

He debuted in 1989 in the old Japanese UWF, but made his mark when he later joined its main successor group, UWFI. Tamura was spunky and could even demand respect from older veterans, as demonstrated during a bout against Yoji Anjo where Tamura broke a hold and delivered several kicks to Anjo's head and kicked him out of the ring.

Despite many pundits (such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated) comparing him to UWFI champion Nobuhiko Takada, Tamura never challenged for the title. As the interpromotional feud against New Japan Pro Wrestling started, Tamura jumped to RINGS, founded by old mentor Maeda. He was briefly pushed as the top star, being given the first (worked) RINGS heavyweight title, but as RINGS transitioned to real MMA bouts, his star began to flicker, as he struggled to keep pace despite winning bouts.

MMA career Edit

Tamura's 30 career wins[1] include victories over mixed martial arts greats such as Jeremy Horn, Renzo Gracie, Ikuhisa Minowa, Nobuhiko Takada and Pat Miletichsherdog. He also handed Joop Kasteel his first defeat via armbar and held Frank Shamrock to a draw at a time when Shamrock was reigning UFC champion.

However, in spite of his many accomplishments inside the arena of MMA, his record is somewhat marred by a proponderance of match-ups against top heavyweight and light-heavyweight competitors, including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the 350-pound Bob Sapp and the former Olympic gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida amongst others. His later mixed martial arts performances have also been criticized as being relatively apathetic compared to the fast-paced bouts that characterized the earlier part of his career. Part of this may owe to an absence of grappling in the bouts in question, where Tamura has often seemed more content to pursue a cautious stand-up game rather than engage in the submission exchanges he was at one point famed for. Interestingly, one of the foremost mixed martial arts record databases,, neglects to acknowledge his draw against Frank Shamrock, which many consider to be the finest performance of Tamura's mixed martial arts career.

For several years, efforts have been made by Pride Fighting Championships to put Kiyoshi Tamura and fellow UWFi alum and mixed martial artist Kazushi Sakuraba together in a fight due to their status as two of the best Japanese fighters of their time as well as a rumored rivalry. An announcement was made at Pride 34 by Nobuhiko Sakakibara that promised the fans a future fight between the two. However, Pride ceased being an active promotion after that event.

Finally it was announced that Kiyoshi Tamura and Kazushi Sakuraba were set to fight at the K-1 Fields Dynamite!! event on December 31, 2008. The fight was characterized by Tamura generally countering take-down and submission attempts by Sakuraba while applying ground-and-pound from the top position throughout the bout. At the end of the first round, Sakuraba appeared to have an armbar locked in, but Tamura held on and in the second controlled much of the action until being taken down by Sakuraba in the final minute. Ultimately, Tamura was awarded a unanimous decision.

Mixed Martial Arts recordEdit

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 32-13-3 Japan flag Kazushi Sakuraba Decision (Unanimous) Dynamite!! 2008 December 31, 2008 2 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 31-13-3 Japan flag Masakatsu Funaki TKO (Punches) DREAM.2 – Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Opening Round April 29, 2008 1 0:57 Saitama, Japan
Win 30-13-3 Japan flag Hideo Tokoro Submission (Armlock) K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! December 31, 2007 3 3:08 Osaka, Japan
Loss 29-13-3 Japan flag Taiei Kin Decision (Unanimous) K-1 HERO's - Middleweight Tournament Opening Round July 16, 2007 2 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 29-12-3 Japan flag Ikuhisa Minowa KO (Soccer Kicks) PRIDE Shockwave 2006 December 31, 2006 1 1:18 Saitama, Japan
Loss 28-12-3 Brazil flag Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (Armbar) PRIDE 31 February 26, 2006 1 2:24 Saitama, Japan
Win 28-11-3 Japan flag Makoto Takimoto Decision (Unanimous) PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005 June 26, 2005 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 27-11-3 Azerbaijan flag Aliev Makhmud TKO PRIDE 29 February 20, 2005 1 7:09 Saitama, Japan
Win 267-11-3 New Zealand flag Rony Sefo Submission (Armbar) PRIDE Shockwave 2003 December 31, 2003 1 2:20 Saitama, Japan
Loss 25-11-3 Japan flag Hidehiko Yoshida Submission (Ezekiel Choke) PRIDE Total Elimination 2003 August 10, 2003 1 5:06 Saitama, Japan
Win 25-10-3 Japan flag Nobuhiko Takada KO (Punch) PRIDE 23 November 24, 2002 2 1:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 24-10-3 Japan flag Ikuhisa Minowa Decision (Unanimous) DEEP - 6th Impact September 7, 2002 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 23-10-3 United States flag Bob Sapp TKO (Punches) PRIDE 21 June 23, 2002 1 0:11 Saitama, Japan
Loss 23-9-3 Brazil flag Wanderlei Silva KO (Punch) PRIDE 19 February 24, 2002 2 2:28 Saitama, Japan PrideFC Middleweight championship
Loss 23-8-3 Brazil flag Gustavo Machado Decision (Unanimous) Rings - World Title Series 1 April 20, 2001 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 23-7-3 Brazil flag Renato Sobral Decision (Majority) Rings - King of Kings 2000 Final February 24, 2001 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 23-6-3 Brazil flag Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (Armbar) Rings - King of Kings 2000 Block A October 9, 2000 2 2:29 Tokyo, Japan
Win 23-5-3 Georgia flag Zaza Tkeshelashvili Decision (Unanimous) Rings - King of Kings 2000 Block A October 9, 2000 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 22-5-3 United States flag Pat Miletich Decision (Majority) Rings - Millennium Combine 3 August 23, 2000 2 5:00 Osaka, Japan
Win 21-5-3 United States flag Jeremy Horn Decision (Unanimous) C2K - Colosseum 2000 May 26, 2000 2 5:00 Japan
Loss 20-5-3 Netherlands flag Gilbert Yvel TKO (Strikes) Rings - Millennium Combine 1 April 20, 2000 1 13:13 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 20-4-3 Brazil flag Renato Sobral Decision (Majority) Rings - King of Kings 1999 Final February 26, 2000 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 20-3-3 Brazil flag Renzo Gracie Decision (Unanimous) Rings - King of Kings 1999 Final February 26, 2000 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 19-3-3 Bulgaria flag Borislav Jeliazkov Submission (Rear Naked Choke) King of Kings 1999 Block B December 22, 1999 2 1:17 Osaka, Japan
Win 18-3-3 United States flag Dave Menne Decision (Unanimous) Rings - King of Kings 1999 Block B December 22, 1999 2 5:00 Osaka, Japan
Win 17-3-3 Netherlands flag Joop Kasteel Submission (Arm Bar) Rings - Rise 5th August 19, 1999 2 2:17 Japan
Draw 16-3-3 Japan flag Yoshihisa Yamamoto Draw Rings - Rise 4th June 24, 1999 3 5:00 Japan
Win 16-3-2 Georgia flag Tariel Bitsadze Submission Rings - Rise 3rd May 22, 1999 1 9:19 Japan
Draw 15-3-2 United States flag Frank Shamrock Draw Rings - Rise 2nd April 23, 1999 1 20:00 Japan
Win 15-3-1 Japan flag Hiromitsu Kanehara Submission (Arm Bar) Rings - Rise 1st March 20, 1999 3 0:14 Japan
Win 14-3-1 Netherlands flag Valentijn Overeem Submission (Arm Bar) Rings - Final Capture February 21, 1999 1 6:08 Japan
Win 13-3-1 Japan flag Kenichi Yamamoto TKO Rings - World Mega Battle Tournament December 23, 1998 2 1:26 Japan
Draw 12-3-1 Japan flag Tsuyoshi Kohsaka Draw Rings - Fourth Fighting Integration June 27, 1998 1 30:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 12-3 Georgia flag Tariel Bitsadze TKO Rings - Third Fighting Integration May 29, 1998 1 3:39 Tokyo, Japan
Win 12-2 Russia flag Mikhail Illoukhine KO Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Final January 21, 1998
Win 11-2 Japan flag Akira Maeda KO Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Final January 21, 1998
Win 10-2 Netherlands flag Joop Kasteel KO Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Final January 21, 1998
Win 9-2 Netherlands flag Hans Nijman Submission (Arm Lock) Rings - Mega Battle Tournament 1997 Semifinal 1 October 25, 1997 1 10:34 Japan
Win 8-2 Russia flag Volk Han Submission (Arm Bar) Rings - Extension Fighting 7 September 26, 1997 1 12:48 Japan
Win 7-2 Japan flag Tsuyoshi Kohsaka Submission (Toe Hold) Rings - Extension Fighting 2 April 22, 1997 1 13:57 Japan
Win 6-2 Netherlands flag Andre Mannaart Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Rings Holland - The Final Challenge February 2, 1997 1 2:11 Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Loss 5-2 Russia flag Volk Han TKO Rings - Budokan Hall 1997 January 22, 1997 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 5-1 Russia flag Volk Han KO Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Final January 1, 1997
Win 5-0 Japan flag Yoshihisa Yamamoto KO Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Final January 1, 1997
Win 4-0 Japan flag Mitsuya Nagai KO Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Final January 1, 1997
Win 3-0 Russia flag Mikhail Illoukhine KO Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Opening Round October 25, 1996
Win 2-0 United States flag Maurice Smith Submission (Armbar) Rings - Maelstrom 6 August 24, 1996 1 10:58
Win 1-0 United States flag Patrick Smith Submission (Heel Hook) K-1 Hercules December 9, 1995 1 0:55 Japan

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit


External linksEdit

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