I have to admit that a little part of my inner MMA fanboy died Saturday night as I watched Kendall Grove effectively bully Minowaman in route to a lopsided victory in the main event of the ProElite 3.Â It was as crushing a defeat as one could have and while Grove is a capable fighter he lacks the, gravitas, of a Minowaman.
Now, this is not to say that Minowaman is some sort of great fighter.Â Actually, in the grand scheme of things heâs a mid-tier fighter who has managed to cultivate a rabid cult of loyal fans based on his scrappy attitude and carefully crafted public persona.Â While the thought of a mullet-sporting fighter rocking red speedos may not be everyoneâs cup of tea, the man they call Minowaman has none the less became a huge star in Japan.
Sure, a lot of that success came on the heels of comically mismatched bouts involving Minowaman taking on fighters nearly three times his size, but there was a sort of awe in seeing him fly in for a leg submission.
Unfortunately, the sport of MMA has evolved far past the WWE styled Japanese circuit and fighters like Minowaman and Kazushi Sakuraba seem like relics of a bygone era when pitted against the current crop of cage fighters.
Still, if you fell in love with MMA via PRIDE, seeing Minowaman owned in his US debut is more than a little sad.