Bob Sapp
File:Bob sapp yokota base japan 2005-crop.jpg
BornRobert Malcolm Sapp
(1974-09-22) September 22, 1974 (age 45)[1]
Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.
Other namesThe Beast
Height6 ft 5 in (Script error m)
Weight149.2 kg (329 lb; 23 st 7 lb)
DivisionSuper Heavyweight
Reach82.5 in (210 cm)
Fighting out ofSeattle, Washington, United States
TeamTeam Beast
BodyShop MMA & Fitness
TrainerPrince Amir
Years active2002–present
Kickboxing record
By knockout9
By knockout10
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout8
By submission3
By knockout8
By submission9
Other information
UniversityUniversity of Washington
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: October 15, 2011
Bob Sapp
No. 78     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1974-09-22) September 22, 1974 (age 45)
Place of birth: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 319 lb (145 kg)
Career information
College: Washington
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 3 / Pick: 69
Debuted in 1997 for the Minnesota Vikings
Last played in 1998 for the Minnesota Vikings
Career history
* Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1997
Games Played     1
Stats at

Robert Malcolm "Bob" Sapp (Japanese: [Bobu Sappu]; born September 22, 1974)[2][3] is an American kickboxer, mixed martial artist, professional wrestler, actor, comedian and former professional American football player. Sapp has a combined fight record of 22–32–1, mostly fighting in Japan. He is well known in Japan, where he has appeared in numerous commercials, television programs, and various other media, and has released a music CD, It's Sapp Time. He also appeared in an episode of the HBO program Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. He is currently working sporadically for various MMA promotions in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.

American football careerEdit

Sapp began his athletic career in high school playing football at Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He received a football scholarship to the University of Washington, where he won the Morris Award.

He was drafted by the Chicago Bears 69th overall in the 1997 NFL Draft. Sapp's career took a hit after he was suspended by the NFL for alleged steroid abuse. Sapp signed with the Minnesota Vikings after being released by the Bears. He spent two seasons with the Vikings and only played in one game.

Afterwards, Sapp was reportedly in poverty, and worked at a funeral home by moving coffins.[4]

Professional wrestlingEdit

Bob Sapp's pro-wrestling career started in NWA Wildside in 2001. He was quickly contracted by World Championship Wrestling as a developmental wrestler, before the company was bought out by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) (at that time WWF).

In 2004, Sapp competed for New Japan Pro Wrestling, winning their IWGP Heavyweight Championship and becoming the first black man to accomplish this feat, though it was vacated shortly thereafter due to a mixed martial arts fight loss and film commitments.[5]

On October 16, 2007, Bob Sapp made a surprise appearance at HUSTLE's Korakuen Hall event, attacking Razor Ramon HG and his partner Wataru Sakata. Sapp aligned himself with Generalissimo Takada's Monster Army. He also announced that he would wrestle at the HUSTLE Mania 11/25 Yokohama Arena event.[6] His opponent was later confirmed to be Razor Ramon HG [7] and Sapp defeated him in the resultant match.

Since 2008, Sapp began to participate in WWA, a pro-wrestling organization in South Korea. On October 26, 2009, Bob Sapp captured the WWA Heavyweight title by defeating Lee Wang Pyo, a famous professional wrestler in Korea who was taught by legendary Korean professional wrestler Kim Il, at Olympic Fencing Gymnasium event. On July 24, 2011, Sapp made his debut for Dramatic Dream Team at the "2011: A RYOGOKU Peter Pan" event, using a "Beast will fight for money" gimmick.[8] In a comedy match, he was defeated by Danshoku Dino, another wrestler with a homosexual character, being pinned after a kiss and a roll-up.[9][10] At a New Japan Pro Wrestling event on December 20, 2012, Toru Yano announced that Sapp would represent the villainous Chaos stable on January 4, 2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome.[11] At the event, Sapp teamed with Yano, Takashi Iizuka and Yujiro Takahashi in an eight man tag team match, where they were defeated by Akebono, Manabu Nakanishi, MVP and Strong Man.[12] Sapp made another appearance for New Japan on April 7, 2013, at Invasion Attack, where he and Chaos stablemates Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi were defeated by Akebono, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi and Super Strong Machine in another eight man tag team match.[13]

Kickboxing and mixed martial arts careerEdit

Pride Fighting ChampionshipsEdit

Sapp was subsequently recruited by the Japanese MMA organization Pride, where he quickly became a fan favorite due to his size, charisma and aggression. After a number of successes in Pride, Sapp was then invited to K-1 by Kazuyoshi Ishii, the creator of the fighting sport K-1. Ishii saw the combination of great potential great marketability in Sapp and he also had actually fought and not just taken dives.

After arriving in Japan, Sapp fought three matches in Pride. His first match pitted him against pro wrestler and longtime RINGS Fighting Network competitor Yoshihisa Yamamoto, who he finished by TKO at 2:44 of the first round.[14] Sapp's second Pride match was against two-time RINGS Open-Weight Champion Kiyoshi Tamura. Though Tamura was a highly respected fighter who held wins over the likes of Pat Miletich, Jeremy Horn, and Renzo Gracie, he was giving up 150 lbs to his foe and was quickly overwhelmed by the much larger American, succumbing to strikes just 11 seconds into the bout.[15] During this time fans were first introduced to Sapp's "bullrush" technique, whereby he would rush an opponent with punches, quickly overwhelming them. Pride and K-1 collaborated to create a show billed "Dynamite" in Japan and "Shockwave" in the United States. He faced then-champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Sapp submitted to an armbar late in the second round. Sapp would never again compete in Pride, instead focusing his attention on K-1.


Despite losing his first fight by disqualification, Sapp was initially successful in K-1. He twice defeated four-time K-1 champion Ernesto Hoost by technical knockout. He became an overnight sensation in Japan afterwards, appearing on numerous television shows, advertisements, and movie cameos such as in the big screen adaptation of Devilman. K-1 heads, trying to strike while the iron was hot and hoping to duplicate the success of Sapp, made a new fighting division called "Beast" (Sapp's nickname), which featured larger fighters such as Choi Hong-man. However, the division was stopped after two events due to disappointing reviews and gate takes.

At the height of his success, there was talk and promotion of a fight between him and the former boxing Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. The two had a face to face confrontation immediately after Sapp's victory in Las Vegas over Kimo. K-1 signed Tyson to a contract and the fight looked to be on. However, Tyson's status as a convicted felon made him unable to get a visa to fight in Japan where the fight would have been most profitable.[16] Other locations for the proposed fight were made, but negotiations ended up dissipating to nothing and the fight never came off.

In June 2005, Sapp won the K-1 Japan Grand Prix in Hiroshima to become one of 16 fighters qualified for the 2005 K-1 World GP. In the Japan GP, Sapp showcased greatly improved stamina, as well as better technique, than in his previous fights after intensive training under Sam Greco. In the K-1 2005 World GP Eliminations he lost by decision to "The Techno Goliath" Choi Hong-man.

Sapp's initial success with his intimidating, blind chase-and-punch method (which he dubbed as "NFL Style") slowly petered out into disqualifications for bullrushing and punching after referee breaks. Additionally, experienced opponents discovered Sapp's weak points—his vulnerable midsection and legs as well as his limited stamina.

On May 13, 2006, Sapp was to headline the K-1 show in the Netherlands. His opponent was Ernesto Hoost. Hoost stated in previous interviews and the interview on that show that this was to be his last match in Holland before his retirement. Sapp attended all the pre-fight press conferences and even attended the opening ceremonies for the show. It is unclear at the moment as to why, but Sapp pulled out of the event midway through the show.

K-1 issued a statement claiming Sapp pulled out due to new demands he brought to promoters during the show. K-1 would not agree to those demands since they felt their written contract was final and Sapp left. The full K-1 press release can be viewed on the organization's website.

Sapp has not issued a statement, but some sources indicated that he disagreed with K-1's account of events.[17]

However, he did participate in 2007's K-1 event in the Amsterdam Arena, fighting as a replacement for Remy Bonjasky, against Peter Aerts. Sapp lost the fight by KO within 20 seconds in the first round by a knee to the liver. While Sapp was being led from the ring, Aerts apologized to the fans in Dutch for the short bout as well as having berated his fallen opponent.

After his falling out with K-1, Sapp began to get offers from WWE as well as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) to work with them, but his K-1 contract prohibited him from going through with any return to the ring.

Sapp made a surprise return to the K-1 ring in Japan after a two-year absence against comedian and part-time K-1 competitor Bobby Ologun. Ologun was unable to mount any effective offense as he was quickly run down and overpowered by Sapp in the 1st round.

Cage RageEdit

File:Bob Sapp.jpg

On February 10, 2007 it was announced by the United Kingdom's Cage Rage promotion that Sapp would appear on its Cage Rage 21 event on April 21, facing Gary Turner. The move was partly a retaliatory one, as the UFC had chosen to run its first British show in years that same night at the Manchester Evening News Arena, headlined by Mirko "Cro Cop", Andrei Arlovski and British star Michael Bisping. Though Cage Rage promoter Andy Geer said that the UFC show would not affect ticket sales for CR21, the signing of Sapp was a clear sign that the company knew it would need a superstar draw in order to successfully compete with the American promotion. A few days before the event Bob Sapp pulled out of the scheduled fight. On short notice, Tank Abbott stepped in for Sapp and lost to Gary Turner.

Strikeforce, FEG and otherEdit

Sapp faced the South African fighter Jan "The Giant" Nortje at the Strikeforce: At The Dome event in Tacoma, Washington, at the Tacoma Dome on February 23, 2008. Sapp was defeated at the 55 second mark of the first round by TKO after receiving an unanswered torrent of punches. Sapp then returned to Japan on New Year's Eve 2008 and defeated Akihito Tanaka via first round TKO.

Sapp lost to Japanese Ikuhisa Minowa at Dream 9 on May 26, 2009,[18] due to Achilles lock. He fought and lost to Bobby Lashley at Ultimate Chaos in Biloxi, Mississippi, on June 27, 2009, due to first round tapout from strikes. On October 6, Sapp stood in for an injured Gegard Mousasi to face Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the semifinals at Dream 11.[19] He lost via TKO (punches) in the first round.

On November 27, Sapp fought against Swedish K-1 veteran Jörgen Kruth. The fight got a lot of publicity in Swedish and international press, but ended with an anticlimax when Sapp's corner threw in the towel after only 45 seconds, after Kruth hit Sapp with a knee to the liver.

Sapp was next going to face Stav Economou at BAMMA 5,[20] but the event was canceled due to extreme weather conditions.[21]

Sapp was scheduled to fight at K1 Dynamite!! 2010. He was set to battle Shinichi Suzukawa on New Year's Eve in a Pancrase-style matchup, but pulled out at the last minute due to contract disputes.[22] When questioned about Sapp's refusal to fight on the day of the event, FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa asked, "Does anyone actually care? I don't know the reasons why, but we did our best to make him fight. He just said he didn't want to. This is typical [of Sapp]."[23] But Sapp claims that the promoters were contracted to pay him $30,000 for the fight, but that Tanikawa offered him $15,000 shortly after he arrived in Japan for the event. Sapp refused to fight for half of the original purse.[24] In response, he "should not be considered as a normal person" and is "the worst, most lamentable dust man." Tanikawa went on to say via Twitter that "No one cares anymore, but the Sapp incident had NOTHING to do with the fight money … That guy is such a loser. He is one lonely man."

ONE Fighting ChampionshipEdit

On 11 February 2012 debuted for the Asian ONE Fighting Championship promotion. He faced Rolles Gracie at ONE Fighting Championship: Battle of Heroes in Jakarta, Indonesia and lost via submission to strikes in the first round.

Super Fight LeagueEdit

File:WKA World Championschips 2011 160.jpg

Sapp fought in the main event of the Super Fight League's inaugural event, SFL 1, against James Thompson on March 11, 2012. Sapp tapped out due to a Thompson takedown that caused the leg injury to Sapp in the first round.[25]

In wrestlingEdit

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Kickboxing and Mixed Martial ArtsEdit

File:Bob Sapp and Toshiaki Kawada.jpg

Professional wrestlingEdit

  • World Wrestling Association (South Korea)
    • WWA (South Korea) World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

Kickboxing recordEdit

Kickboxing record

Legend:       Win       Loss       Draw/No contest

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 11–17–1 22x20px Aleksander Emelianenko TKO (punches) Legend Fighting Show 02013-05-25 25, 2013 1 1:18 Moscow, Russia
Loss 11–16–1 22x20px Dusan Panajotovic Submission (punches) Night of the Champions 2012 02012-09-15 15, 2012 1 1:28 Belgrade, Serbia
Loss 11–15–1 Template:Country data ROK Jong Dae Kim TKO (punches) Road FC 8 02012-06-16 16, 2012 2 1:58 Wonju, South Korea
Loss 11–14–1 22x20px Tolegen Akylbekov Submission (punches) Bushido Lithuania vol.51 02012-06-08 8, 2012 1 1:29 Astana, Kazakhstan
Loss 11–13–1 22x20px Soa Palelei TKO (punches) Cage Fighting Championship 21 02012-05-18 18, 2012 1 0:12 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Loss 11–12–1 22x20px Mariusz Pudzianowski TKO (knees & punches) KSW XIX 02012-05-12 12, 2012 1 0:40 Łódź, Poland
Loss 11–11–1 22x20px James Thompson Submission (leg injury) SFL 1 02012-03-11 11, 2012 1 1:56 Mumbai, India
Loss 11–10–1 22x20px Rolles Gracie Submission (punches) ONE Fighting Championship: Battle of Heroes 02012-02-11 11, 2012 1 1:18 Jakarta, Indonesia
Loss 11–9–1 22x20px Maro Perak TKO (punches) Noc Gladijatora 6 02011-12-16 16, 2011 1 3:04 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Loss 11–8–1 22x20px Attila Uçar Submission (achilles lock) Premium Fight Night 02011-04-30 30, 2011 1 0:56 Vienna, Austria
Loss 11–7–1 22x20px Stav Economou TKO (punches) ADFC: Round 3 02011-03-11 11, 2011 1 1:45 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Win 11–6–1 22x20px Sascha Weinpolter Submission (forearm choke) K-1 ColliZion 2010 Croatia 02010-03-27 27, 2010 1 2:03 Split, Croatia
Loss 10–6–1 22x20px Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou TKO (punches) Dream 11 02009-10-06 6, 2009 1 1:31 Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan DREAM Super Hulk Grand Prix Semifinal. Replaced Gegard Mousasi.
Loss 10–5–1 United States Bobby Lashley Submission (punches) Fight Force International: Ultimate Chaos 02009-06-27 27, 2009 1 3:18 Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
Loss 10–4–1 Japan Ikuhisa Minowa Submission (achilles lock) Dream 9 02009-05-26 26, 2009 1 1:16 Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan DREAM Super Hulk Grand Prix Quarterfinal
Win 10–3–1 Japan Akihito Tanaka TKO (punches) Dynamite!! 2008 02008-12-31 31, 2008 1 5:22 Saitama, Japan
Loss 9–3–1 22x20px Jan Nortje TKO (punches) Strikeforce: At The Dome 02008-02-23 23, 2008 1 0:55 Tacoma, Washington, USA
Win 9–2–1 22x20px Bobby Ologun TKO (punches) K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! 02007-12-31 31, 2007 1 4:10 Osaka, Japan
Win 8–2–1 22x20px Kim Jong Wang TKO (punches) Hero's 2005 in Seoul 02005-11-05 5, 2005 1 0:08 Seoul, South Korea
Win 7–2–1 22x20px Alan Karaev KO (punch) Hero's 2 02005-07-06 6, 2005 1 3:44 Tokyo, Japan
Win 6–2–1 22x20px Min-Soo Kim KO (punches) Hero's 1 02005-03-26 26, 2005 1 1:12 Saitama, Japan
Template:DrawDraw 5–2–1 22x20px Jérôme Le Banner Draw K-1 PREMIUM 2004 Dynamite!! 02004-12-31 Template:Dts/lkoff 3 3:00 Tokyo, Japan The fight was with both Mixed Martial Arts and K-1 rules.
Loss 5–2 Japan Kazuyuki Fujita Submission (soccer kicks) K-1 MMA ROMANEX 02004-05-22 22, 2004 1 2:15 Saitama, Japan
Win 5–1 22x20px Dolgorsürengiin Sumiyaabazar TKO (foot injury) K-1 Beast 2004 in Niigata 02004-03-14 14, 2004 1 5:00 Niigata, Japan
Win 4–1 United States Stefan Gamlin Submission (standing guillotine choke) K-1 Japan Grand Prix 2003 02003-09-21 21, 2003 1 0:52 Yokohama, Japan
Win 3–1 Japan Yoshihiro Takayama Submission (armbar) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2002 02002-12-31 31, 2002 1 2:16 Saitama, Japan
Loss 2–1 22x20px Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (armbar) Pride Shockwave 02002-08-28 28, 2002 2 4:03 Tokyo, Japan
Win 2–0 Japan Kiyoshi Tamura KO (punches) Pride 21 02002-06-23 23, 2002 1 0:11 Saitama, Japan
Win 1–0 Japan Yoshihisa Yamamoto KO (punches) Pride 20 02002-04-28 28, 2002 1 2:44 Yokohama, Japan


Year Title Role
2003 Bob Sapp: Sapp Time The Movie! Himself
2003 Taiho Shichauzo Bob Hage
2004 Izo -
2005 Elektra Stone
2005 Devilman World Newscaster
2005 Longest Yard, TheThe Longest Yard Switowski
2007 Big Stan Big Raymond
2009 Frankenhood Frankie
2009 Blood and Bone Hammerman
2011 Blood Out Uncredited
2011 Conan the Barbarian Ukafa
2012 JourneyQuest: Season 2 Karn, the Barbarian King


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  2. "Bob Sapp NFL Football Statistics". 1974-09-22. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  3. Bob Sapp   (1973-09-22). "Bob Sapp, G at". Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  4. Mayer, Larry (25 April 2013). "These Bears draft picks gained fame in other areas". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
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  7. "スポーツナビ". Retrieved 2012-10-18.
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  13. "Invasion Attack" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
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  18. "DREAM | OLYMPIA DREAM.9 フェザー級グランプリ2009 2ndROUND 第1試合/スーパーハルクトーナメント1回戦". Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  19. "Bob Sapp To Face Sokoudjou At Dream 11". 2009-09-09.
  20. "Welcome to BAMMA - Home". Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  21. "MMA News | BAMMA 5 Cancelled; Weather Conditions Cited | Your MMA - Our Passion". Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  22. Dave Meltzer. "Overeem win highlights traditional NYE show". Yahoo!.
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  24. Steven Marrocco. "Bob Sapp explains DREAM "Dynamite!! 2010" no-show, says DREAM is "broke"". MMAjunkie.
  25. "Weekend Rundown-Leg Injury Forces Bob-Sapp to Submit to James Thompson in India". 2012-03-11.
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  28. 28.0 28.1 "HUSTLE Results: 2008" (in German). Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  29. "HUSTLE Results: 2007" (in German). Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  30. "Black Belt Hall of Fame Inductee Directory". Black Belt Magazine. Archived from the original on December 20, 2010.

External linksEdit

Template:IWGP Heavyweight Championship

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