Aleksandr Karelin inducted into the Kocosports Combat Sports Hall of Fame

Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Karelin (Russian: Александр Александрович Карелин; born 19 September 1967) is a Hero of the Russian Federation and retired Greco-Roman wrestler for the Soviet Union and Russia. Nicknamed the “Russian Bear,”, “Russian King Kong”, “Alexander the Great” and “The Experiment”, he is considered the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time. Karelin won gold medals at the 1988, 1992 and 1996, as well as a silver in the 2000 Olympic Games. His wrestling record is 887 wins and two losses. Karelin was the national flag bearer at three consecutive Olympics: in 1988 for the Soviet Union, in 1992 for the Unified Team, and in 1996 for Russia. Biography Karelin was born as a 6.8 kg (15 lb)...

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Jushin Thunder Liger inducted into the Kocosports Combat Sports Hall of Fame

Keiichi Yamada (山田恵一 Yamada Keiichi, born November 30, 1964), better known as Jushin Liger (獣神ライガー Jūshin Raigā) and later, Jushin Thunder Liger (獣神サンダー・ライガー Jūshin Sandā Raigā) is a Japanese professional wrestler who primarily works for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He has wrestled and beaten many of the top smaller wrestlers in both Japan and the United States, and is frequently cited as one of the greatest and most revolutionary junior heavyweights during the 1990s. Professional wrestling career Training Keiichi Yamada was an amateur wrestler while studying in high school, where in his senior year, he lost to Toshiaki Kawada in the finals of a national championship. After high school, he applied to the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo...

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Vitor Belfort inducted into the Kocosports Combat Sports Hall of Fame

Vitor Vieira Belfort (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈvitoʁ viˈejɾɐ bɛwˈfɔʁ]; born April 1, 1977) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion as well as UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament Champion. Belfort was born in Rio de Janeiro and studied jiu-jitsu with the Gracie family, namely Carlson Gracie. As of October 6, 2014, he is #3 in official UFC middleweight rankings, #14 in light heavyweight and #12 pound-for-pound. He was also the last Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight Champion. Mixed martial arts career At the age of 19, Belfort came to the United States to compete. In his first sanctioned mixed martial arts match, an event called Superbrawl in Hawaii, his...

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Rikidōzan inducted into the Kocosports Combat Sports Hall of Fame

Mitsuhiro Momota (百田 光浩 Momota Mitsuhiro), better known as Rikidōzan (Japanese: 力道山, Korean: 역도산 Yeokdosan, November 14, 1924 – December 15, 1963), was a Korean-Japanese professional wrestler, known as the “Father of Puroresu” and one of the most influential men in wrestling history. Initially, he had moved from his native country Korea to mainland Japan to become a sumo wrestler. He was credited with bringing the sport of professional wrestling to Japan at a time when the Japanese needed a local hero to emulate and was lauded as a national hero. Early years Kim Sin-rak (Hangul: 김신락; Hanja: 金信洛) was born in South Hamgyong, in Korea, on November 14, 1924. He became the adopted son of the...

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Kitanoumi Toshimitsu inducted into the Kocosports Combat Sports Hall of Fame

Kitanoumi Toshimitsu (北の湖敏満, born May 16, 1953 as Obata Toshimitsu, Japanese:小畑 敏満) is a former sumo wrestler. He was the dominant yokozuna in sumo during the 1970s. Toshimitsu was promoted to yokozuna at age 21, becoming the youngest ever to achieve sumo’s top rank, and he remained a yokozuna for a record 63 tournaments. He won 24 tournament championships during his career and was one of a series of truly great yokozuna who came from Hokkaidō, the most northerly of the four main islands of Japan. Following his retirement in 1985 he established Kitanoumi stable. Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association from 2002 until 2008, he returned to the post in 2012, the first...

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