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Fighting Network Rings

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Fighting Network Rings, trademarked as RINGS, is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion turned mixed martial arts organization from 1991 to 2002 with a revival in 2008. It was founded by Akira Maeda on May 11, 1991, following the dissolution of Newborn UWF.

At that time, Maeda and Mitsuya Nagai were the only two people to transfer from UWF International, which had been inaugurated just the day before. Wrestlers such as Kiyoshi Tamura, Hiromitsu Kanehara, and Kenichi Yamamoto later transferred from UWF International.

Tournaments

Mega Battle Tournament

  • Mega Battle Tournament 1992 (Oct 29, 1992-Jan 23, 1993) - Chris Dolman
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1993 (Oct 23, 1993-Jan 21, 1994) - Akira Maeda
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1994 (Sep 21, 1994-Jan 25, 1995) - Volk Han
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1995 (Oct 21, 1995-Jan 24, 1996) - Akira Maeda
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1996 (Oct 25, 1996-Jan 22, 1997) - Volk Han
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1997 (Oct 25, 1997-Jan 21, 1998) - Kiyoshi Tamura
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1998 (Oct 23, 1998-Jan 23, 1999) - Netherlands

King of Kings

  • King of Kings Tournament 1999 (Oct 28, 1999 - Feb 26, 2000) - Dan Henderson
  • King of Kings Tournament 2000 (Oct 9, 2000-Feb 24, 2001) - Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera

Title Tournaments

  • Light Heavyweight Title Tournament 1997 (Mar 28 - Aug 13, 1997) - Masayuki Naruse
  • Middleweight Title Tournament 2001 (Apr 20 - Aug 11, 2001) - Ricardo Arona
  • Open-weight Title Tournament 2001 (Apr 20 - Aug 11, 2001) - Fedor Emelianenko

Other Tournaments

  • Rising Stars Heavyweight Tournament 2000 (Jul 15-Sep 30, 2000) - Bobby Hoffman
  • Rising Stars Middleweight Tournament 2000 (Jul 15-Sep 30, 2000) - Jeremy Horn
  • Absolute Class Tournament 2001 (Oct 20, 2001-Feb 15, 2002) - Fedor Emelianenko

[1]


Championships

Open-Weight Championship

No. Name Date Location Notes
1 Kiyoshi Tamura
(def. Mikhail Ilioukhine)
January 21, 1998
(Mega Battle Tournament 1997)
Tokyo, Japan
2 Bitsadze Tariel
(def. Kiyoshi Tamura)
May 29, 1998
(Fighting Integration III)
Sapporo, Japan
3 Kiyoshi Tamura
(def. Bitsadze Tariel)
May 22, 1999
(Rise III)
Tokyo, Japan
4 Gilbert Yvel
(def. Kiyoshi Tamura)
April 20, 2000
(Millennium Combine)
Tokyo, Japan Title was vacated in May 2000 when Yvel signed to Pride FC.
5 Fedor Emelianenko
(def. Bobby Hoffman)
August 11, 2001
(Rings – 10th Anniversary)
Tokyo, Japan Promotion closed on February 15, 2002.

[1]

Light-Heavyweight Championship (-95kg)

No. Name Date Location Notes
1 Masayuki Naruse
(def. Christopher Haseman)
August 13, 1997
(Fighting Extension VI)
Kagoshima, Japan Title Dissolved.

[2]

Middleweight Championship

No. Name Date Location Notes
1 Ricardo Arona
(def. Gustavo Ximu)
August 11, 2001
(Rings-10th Anniversary)
Tokyo, Japan Promotion closed on February 15, 2002.

[3]

Japanese roster

Foreigners

Rings's system was very much like the NWA in which members of "foreign promotions" (actually stables composed of fighters from a given country) competed against the Japanese members.

Stables

Decline

Maeda retired from active duty in 1998, leaving Tamura as the top star, but the collapse of UWF International and the subsequent rise of the Pride provided competition that proved to be too much for the promotion. On February 15, 2002 the promotion ceased activity.

Japanese Rings stars who made transitions into puroresu since then include Nagai, Masayuki Naruse, Wataru Sakata and Hiroyuki Ito.

Revival

Following the dissolution of Hero's and Maeda's involvement with FEG, Maeda revived the Rings brand for a new series of MMA events named The Outsider. The first Rings: The Outsider event occurred on March 30, 2008. Over a dozen Outsider events have been held since.

References

  1. http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/
  2. http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/
  3. http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/

External links

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