Antonio Inoki, one of the pioneers of mixed martial arts, has passed away.
The professional wrestler and combat sports icon in Japan died on Friday of last week at the age of 79, succumbing to a long battle with amyloidosis. The news was first reported by Inoki’s wrestling promotion, New Japan Pro Wrestling, on its website and social media accounts.
Though most well known in combat sports for his 1976 mixed rules bout opposite legendary boxer Muhammad Ali – a precursor to the eventual birth of modern MMA – Inoki was also recognised outside of fighting. In 1989, while still competing, Inoki was elected to the Japanese House Of Councillors and played a key role in negotiating with Saddam Hussein for the release of 36 Japanese prisoners in 1990 ahead of the Gulf War.
Inoki last competed in 1998, retiring following his defeat of MMA legend Don Frye.
The AllStar MMA roundup
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- UFC Vegas 62: Mike Jackson eyes a statement finish after ‘cheating ass’ Dean Barry sullied prior win
- Breakdown: Islam Makhachev is like Khabib Nurmagomedov but with better striking, says Matt Frevola
The best of the rest
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- Four-division boxing champ Adrien Broner calls out Nate Diaz: ‘Let’s get it!’ – MMAMania.com
- Daniel Cormier to serve as special guest referee in WWE match involving ex-UFC fighter Matt Riddle – MMAFighting.com
MMA Twitter reacts to Mark Zuckerberg renting out the UFC Apex for UFC Vegas 61:
The morning view
Casey O’Neill breaks down the future of the flyweight division after UFC Vegas 61:
Aj Dobson catches up with JHK ahead of UFC 280:
MMA On Point asks the tough question:
Paulo Costa, Pitbull, and Liver King go head to head in a raw liver eating contest:
- None to note
On this day in MMA…
On the 3rd of October, 2015, Islam Makhachev suffered the first, and so far only, loss of his MMA career at UFC 192 in Houston, Texas.
In what was his sophomore appearance in the UFC, a 24-year-old Makhachev (12-0) would face veteran Adriano Martins (27-7) on the preliminary card of the pay-per-view event.
At just under the two-minute mark of the opening round, after opting to stand and trade strikes with his dance partner, Makhachev ate a solid right hand from Martins that sent him directly to the land of wind and ghosts. A one-punch knockout left the Dagestan prodigy motionless on the canvas.
In the time since, Makhachev has put together a 10-fight win streak and is set to challenge for the UFC title this month; while Martins, after a total of six more fights, is yet to notch another win.