Bobby Ologun

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Bobby Ologun
Born Alaji Karim Ologun
(1973-04-08) April 8, 1973 (age 41)
Ibadan, Nigeria
Other names Bobby
Nationality Nigerian
Japanese
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15.4 st)
Division Heavyweight
Style Kickboxing
Fighting out of Saitama, Japan
Team Team Ologun
Grabaka
Kickboxing record
Total 1
Wins 0
Losses 1
Mixed martial arts record
Total 4
Wins 2
By decision 2
Losses 2
By knockout 2
Other information
Notable relatives Andy Ologun, brother
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Bobby Ologun (ボビー・オロゴン Bobī Orogon?, born Alaji Karim Ologun on April 8, 1973) is a Nigerian-born TV personality in Japan, and a mixed martial artist. In Japan, he is known simply as Bobby (ボビー?). He speaks English, Yoruba and Japanese. He currently lives in Saitama, Saitama Prefecture. On July 26, 2007, he announced on Mezamashi TV that he had become a naturalized citizen of Japan, taking his wife's surname and registering officially as Bobby Konda (近田 ボビー Konda Bobī?).

He is currently working as the narrator for YOU wa Nani Shi ni Nihon e (YOUは何しに日本へ?).

Early life[edit]

Ologun is the third brother in a family of thirty-one brothers and sisters. After graduating from a Nigerian university, he came to Japan as an assistant to a trading company which his father manages. In 2001, he worked a part-time job in the kitchen of a cafe in Daikanyama, Shibuya while also first appearing in Sanma Akashiya's television program Sanma's Super Karakuri-TV on Tokyo Broadcasting System as a non-Tarento interviewee. By the end of the year, he was regular on the popular skits featured on Karakuri-TV, The Funniest Language School, as a student.

Fame by gaffing[edit]

Foreigners who have trouble speaking Japanese are often featured in Japanese variety shows, which may explain the immediate success of Bobby Ologun. His frequent confusion (or feigned confusion) quickly made him an instant star on the Karakuri-TV show.

Some of his famous mistakes were:

  • When asked once to compose a haiku poem, he quickly created this work of art:
"A winter morning, The pigeon looks very, very delicious."
  • Frequently shouted "Don't mess about!" to people who hold a higher position or status than him. He also addresses them with very rude pronouns, such as "Omae"(you) and "Aitsu"(that damn person over there).
  • Called the famous diviner Kazuko Hosoki, "Usagi-sensei" (Rabbit teacher) instead of "Hosoki-sensei" on her TV show.
  • Confused tensai (genius) with hentai (pervert).
  • Rearranged Ayumi Hamasaki's name into "Amaguri Kayumi" (Itchy Sweet-chestnut). However, the "Amaguri" could have been a switchout for "Hamaguri" which is a type of clam that is symbolic of the vulva in Japanese culture (it is common to switch taboo words for their closest spelled or phonetic equivalent in Japanese entertainment), hence the lasting novelty of the gaffe. He is supposedly a fan of Hamasaki.
  • Routinely mistook "Kinchō" (nervous) with "Kanchō" (enema).

Fighting origins and records[edit]

One of the running skits on Sanma's Super Karakuri TV featured Ologun attempting a variety of different jobs and skills in which he had no previous experience (he succeeded Tamao Nakamura in these skit performances). Inspired from watching Bob Sapp vs Taro Akebono on K-1 Dynamite!! on New Year's Eve in 2003, Ologun tried judo on Karakuri-TV. Karakuri-TV's emcee, Sanma Akashiya (who had previously watched a VTR of Ologun struggling in the martial art and half-jokingly said, "Bobby might be able to take part in a combat sport event at the end of the year."), in reference to the New Year's Eve supershows put on by K-1, PRIDE, and Antonio Inoki's now defunct BOM-BA-YE promotion. As a result, he tried various full contact combat sports on the program.

By February 2004, he was initiated into the Pancrase stable, "GRABAKA" and studied under its founder, Sanae Kikuta. In March of that same year, he experienced a sparring match with MMA and Jiu-Jitsu legend Royce Gracie. He lost, but Ologun performed better than expected, as he was able to cut Gracie and make him bleed from his forehead. In a joke turned reality, he faced French kickboxer Cyril Abidi in K-1 Dynamite!! at the Osaka Dome on December 31, 2004. Billed as "The World's Most Dangerous Newcomer", Ologun won by three-round decision, and scored a surprise victory. This match was the only pure MMA rules bout on that night's card, giving Ologun a slight advantage due to his training and the fact that his opponent, while an accomplished kickboxer, wasn't prepared for MMA style fighting. Abidi was a last minute addition to the fight, Ologun's original opponent Mike Bernardo had to withdraw due to an injury. Additionally, there was confusion to the rule system of the bout as the captions showed it to be the general kickboxing rules but ended up as an MMA contest. Abidi was admonished for actions Ologun was doing repeatedly in the fight, such as mounted punches, which led fighting pundits to believe the fight was fixed. Abidi himself hinted the fight was fixed in a post fight interview.[1] The Japanese media, which focused quite a bit of time on fighting events such as K-1 and PRIDE, soon dubbed Ologun Saikyō no Shirōto (The Strongest Amateur).

Ologun's next fight was against former Yokozuna, Akebono at K-1 Dynamite!! on New Year's Eve 2005. Akebono, who had a fighting record of 1-9 entering the fight, fiercely attacked Ologun in the first and second rounds. However, Ologun steadily fought his way to another three round decision.

His next fight was a kickboxing match in Sapporo at K-1 Revenge on July 30, 2006 where he fought Asian GP champion Yusuke Fujimoto. Ologun earned the ire of the referee with unsportsmanlike conduct as he tripped and pushed over Fujimoto repeatedly, trying to punch at him afterward, and going for sucker punches after gesturing for a break, all of which led to a yellow card. At the end of the 3rd round, he tripped Fujimoto one last time and then stood over him in an unsportsmanlike fashion. Added to the knockdown he suffered in the first round, he lost his first fight and his first under K-1 rules by unanimous decision.

At K-1 Dynamite, New Year's Eve 2006, during the K-1 HERO'S was set face the 7'2", 360 lb. Choi Hong Man. Choi, on the Hero's website, warned Ologun about his in-ring behavior, saying (in Japanese), "Bobby had better grow up.", and, "If he makes me mad, he's going to the hospital.". In the subsequent fight, Ologun immediately tried a flying kick to Choi's head, but missed. This allowed Choi to capitalize and punch Ologun repeatedly in the head, leading to a stoppage of the bout after 16 seconds into the first round.

Ologun's latest fight was on the next year's K-1 Dynamite show against the returning Bob Sapp. Once again, he was defeated easily by his larger and more powerful opponent by Technical Knock Out in the first round.

Assault controversy[edit]

On January 25, 2006, Ologun allegedly assaulted Katsuyuki Ito, the president of the entertainment agency, R&A Promotions, to which Ologun belongs in Shibuya. Police deliberated whether to send prosecution documents to court in lieu of the charges.[2] According to the investigation, Ologun reportedly seized the president's clothes and acted violently by throwing around furniture because of a dispute over payment. John Muwete Muruaka, who is famous in Japan as the former private secretary of the scandalized Representative Muneo Suzuki and a member of the same agency as Ologun, happened to be there and tried to stop the fight, resulting in a scuffle between the two men.

Ologun later denied that the incident had happened saying, "I didn't hit anybody. On the contrary, I was hit by Muruaka" at a news conference on the same day. The official explanation presented later was that Ologun was being paid per the stipulations of his contract, but he did not fully understand the Japanese legalese in it, so he made a deal which he did not have fully understand.

At the same time, it was found that he had lied about his age when the police checked his driver's license in Harajuku police station. He claimed to have been born in 1973 until then, but he was actually born in 1966. He has denied lying about his age. Ologun now uses this incident as part of his gimmick by lying about his age on his blog and on television shows as he maintains his fictitious 1973 birth year.

He was banned from appearing on Japanese television for three months and was confined to his quarters from January to April 2006 by the geinokai following the assault incident.[3] He has since returned to television, but his appearances and bookings have been sparse as compared to before the incident. This was believed to be because the talent agency that held his contract, R&A Promotions, was not sending any jobs his way due to the bad publicity surrounding the incident. Ologun was still under contract to R&A until December 2007. For that reason, and even though he was under contract and the legality of his actions were questionable, in May 2006, Ologun announced the start of his own independent talent agency, Alemco Productions. However, on September 8, 2006 an announcement on Ologun's blog by R&A Promotions mentioned that they had come to a reconciliation with Ologun and were representing him once again.

Personal life[edit]

  • Ologun's younger brother, Andy Ologun, is a K-1 lightweight mixed martial artist and kickboxer in Japan. Bobby was in his corner for his first ever fight in a losing effort at K-1 MAX 2006.
  • Ologun is married to a Japanese woman named Kyoko Konda.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Ologun is a character in the re-release of Shin Goketsuji Ichizoku ~ Matrimelee, namely as the new boss character. His set of moves does not involve any moves associated with K-1, however, they are more comical, possibly owing to his associations with comedy in Japanese culture. The character itself was later renamed "Bobby Strong".
  • Ologun had a cameo appearance in 2005's angling comedy Tsuribaka Nisshi 16, a long running movie series with Japanese actor/comedian Toshiyuki Nishida.

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 2-2 United States Bob Sapp TKO (punches) K-1 PREMIUM 2007 Dynamite!! December 31, 2007 1 4:10 Osaka, Japan
Loss 2-1 South Korea Choi Hong-man TKO (punches) K-1 Premium 2006 Dynamite!! December 31, 2006 1 0:16 Osaka, Japan
Win 2-0 Japan Akebono Decision (unanimous) K-1 Premium 2005 Dynamite December 31, 2005 3 3:00 Osaka, Japan
Win 1-0 France Cyril Abidi Decision (unanimous) K-1 Premium 2004 Dynamite December 31, 2004 3 3:00 Osaka, Japan

Kickboxing record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0-1 Japan Yusuke Fujimoto Decision (unanimous) K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Sapporo July 30, 2006 3 3:00 Sapporo, Japan

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cyril Abidi: I didn’t have enough time to prepare for this fight, but I think I did do a good job for my first time. It was really good that my opponent is not so strong…..If he was a really strong fighter, I would have had had a hell of a time. Why I am smiling a lot? Even though I lost this fight, I don’t have any feelings that I really lost a realistic fight. Maybe this was as expected."K-1 Dynamite, Iron life Magazine, Retrieved on April 24, 2008
  2. ^ Update on the Bobby Ologun Situation Fight Opinion, Retrieved on January 29, 2006
  3. ^ Bobby Ologun Investigated, Fight Opinion, Retrieved on January 25, 2006

External links[edit]

(Japanese)

(English)