|Parts of this article (those related to the MMA record (which is stuck at 2008, even though Tamura, according to this text, didn't retire yet)) are outdated. (April 2015)|
December 17, 1969 |
Okayama, Okayama, Japan
|Other names||Koko no Tensai ("The Aloof Genius"), Pride Kara no Shikaku ("Pride Assassin")|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||90 kg (200 lb)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Once a student of legendary pro wrestlers Billy Robinson, Nobuhiko Takada and 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, often fighting much larger opponents.
He debuted in 1989 in the old Japanese UWF against Minoru Suzuki, 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.
In 2003 he opened his own promotion, U-STYLE. On November 23, 2005 he had his last match for this promotion, defeating Josh Barnett. He briefly came out of retirement for Antonio Inoki's Inoki Genome Federation, the last time being on November 8, 2007, beating Montanha Silva in the latter's IGF debut.
Mixed martial arts
Tamura's 30 career wins include victories over mixed martial arts greats such as Jeremy Horn, Renzo Gracie, Ikuhisa Minowa, Nobuhiko Takada, Pat Miletich 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 Antônio 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.
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 Nobuyuki 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, to finally beat Sakuraba.
On July 7, 2007, Tamura married tarento and pro wrestling host Yumiko Sakurai.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed Martial Arts
- Fighting Network RINGS
- RINGS Open-Weight Championship (2 Times, first)
- 1997 RINGS Mega Battle Tournament Winner
- 1996 RINGS Mega Battle Tournament Runner Up
- 1999 RINGS King of Kings Tournament Semifinalist
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Best Technical Wrestler (1998)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|48 matches||32 wins||13 losses|
|Win||32-13-3||Kazushi Sakuraba||Decision (unanimous)||Fields Dynamite!! 2008||December 31, 2008||2||5:00||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||31-13-3||Masakatsu Funaki||TKO (punches)||Dream 2: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 First Round||April 29, 2008||1||0:57||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||30-13-3||Hideo Tokoro||Submission (armlock)||K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!!||December 31, 2007||3||3:08||Osaka, Japan|
|Loss||29-13-3||Taiei Kin||Decision (unanimous)||Hero's 9||July 16, 2007||2||5:00||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||29-12-3||Ikuhisa Minowa||KO (soccer kicks)||Pride FC - Shockwave 2006||December 31, 2006||1||1:18||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||28-12-3||Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira||Submission (armbar)||Pride 31 - Dreamers||February 26, 2006||1||2:24||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||28-11-3||Makoto Takimoto||Decision (unanimous)||PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005||June 26, 2005||3||5:00||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||27-11-3||Aliev Makhmud||TKO (retirement)||PRIDE 29||February 20, 2005||1||7:09||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||26-11-3||Rony Sefo||Submission (armbar)||PRIDE Shockwave 2003||December 31, 2003||1||2:20||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||25-11-3||Hidehiko Yoshida||Submission (ezekiel choke)||PRIDE Total Elimination 2003||August 10, 2003||1||5:06||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||25-10-3||Nobuhiko Takada||KO (punch)||PRIDE 23||November 24, 2002||2||1:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||24-10-3||Ikuhisa Minowa||Decision (unanimous)||Deep - 6th Impact||September 7, 2002||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||23-10-3||Bob Sapp||TKO (punches)||PRIDE 21||June 23, 2002||1||0:11||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||23-9-3||Wanderlei Silva||KO (punch)||PRIDE 19||February 24, 2002||2||2:28||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||For Pride Middleweight Championship|
|Loss||23-8-3||Gustavo Machado||Decision (unanimous)||Rings: World Title Series 1||April 20, 2001||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||23-7-3||Renato Sobral||Decision (majority)||Rings: King of Kings 2000 Final||February 24, 2001||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||23-6-3||Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira||Submission (armbar)||Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block A||October 9, 2000||2||2:29||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||23-5-3||Zaza Tkeshelashvili||Decision (unanimous)||Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block A||October 9, 2000||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||22-5-3||Pat Miletich||Decision (majority)||Rings: Millennium Combine 3||August 23, 2000||2||5:00||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||21-5-3||Jeremy Horn||Decision (unanimous)||C2K - Colosseum 2000||May 26, 2000||2||5:00||Japan|
|Loss||20-5-3||Gilbert Yvel||TKO (strikes)||Rings: Millennium Combine 1||April 20, 2000||1||13:13||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||20-4-3||Renato Sobral||Decision (majority)||Rings: King of Kings 1999 Final||February 26, 2000||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||20-3-3||Renzo Gracie||Decision (unanimous)||Rings: King of Kings 1999 Final||February 26, 2000||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||19-3-3||Borislav Jeliazkov||Submission (rear naked choke)||Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block B||December 22, 1999||2||1:17||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||18-3-3||Dave Menne||Decision (unanimous)||Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block B||December 22, 1999||2||5:00||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||17-3-3||Joop Kasteel||Submission (arm bar)||Rings: Rise 5th||August 19, 1999||2||2:17||Japan|
|Draw||16-3-3||Yoshihisa Yamamoto||Draw||Rings: Rise 4th||June 24, 1999||3||5:00||Japan|
|Win||16-3-2||Tariel Bitsadze||Submission||Rings: Rise 3rd||May 22, 1999||1||9:19||Japan|
|Draw||15-3-2||Frank Shamrock||Draw||Rings: Rise 2nd||April 23, 1999||1||20:00||Japan|
|Win||15-3-1||Hiromitsu Kanehara||Submission (arm bar)||Rings: Rise 1st||March 20, 1999||3||0:14||Japan|
|Win||14-3-1||Valentijn Overeem||Submission (arm bar)||Rings: Final Capture||February 21, 1999||1||6:08||Japan|
|Win||13-3-1||Kenichi Yamamoto||TKO||Rings: World Mega Battle Tournament||December 23, 1998||2||1:26||Japan|
|Draw||12-3-1||Tsuyoshi Kohsaka||Draw||Rings: Fourth Fighting Integration||June 27, 1998||1||30:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||12-3||Tariel Bitsadze||TKO||Rings: Third Fighting Integration||May 29, 1998||1||3:39||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||12-2||Mikhail Ilyukhin||KO||Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Final||January 21, 1998|
|Win||11-2||Akira Maeda||KO||Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Final||January 21, 1998|
|Win||10-2||Joop Kasteel||KO||Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Final||January 21, 1998|
|Win||9-2||Hans Nijman||Submission (arm lock)||Rings - Mega Battle Tournament 1997 Semifinal 1||October 25, 1997||1||10:34||Japan|
|Win||8-2||Volk Han||Decision||Rings - Extension Fighting 7||September 26, 1997||1||12:48||Japan|
|Win||7-2||Tsuyoshi Kohsaka||Submission (toe hold)||Rings - Extension Fighting 2||April 22, 1997||1||13:57||Japan|
|Win||6-2||Andre Mannaart||Submission (rear naked choke)||Rings Holland - The Final Challenge||February 2, 1997||1||2:11||Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands|
|Loss||5-2||Volk Han||TKO||Rings - Budokan Hall 1997||January 22, 1997||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||5-1||Volk Han||KO||Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Final||January 1, 1997|
|Win||5-0||Yoshihisa Yamamoto||KO||Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Final||January 1, 1997|
|Win||4-0||Mitsuya Nagai||KO||Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Final||January 1, 1997|
|Win||3-0||Mikhail Ilyukhin||KO||Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Opening Round||October 25, 1996|
|Win||2-0||Maurice Smith||Submission (armbar)||Rings - Maelstrom 6||August 24, 1996||1||10:58|
|Win||1-0||Patrick Smith||Submission (heel hook)||K-1 Hercules||December 9, 1995||1||0:55||Japan|
|Professional record breakdown|
|1 match||1 win||0 losses|
|Win||1–0||Matthew Saad Muhammad||Submission (rear naked choke)||UWF-i Combat Sport Yokohama||May 8, 1992||1||0:38||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan|
Submission grappling record
|Loss||Ricardo Liborio||Points||ADCC 2001 -88 kg||2001|
- "Profile at Puroresu Central". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Kiyoshi Tamura".
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2010-09-15.