Fighting Network Rings

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Fighting Network Rings
Type Private
Industry Mixed Martial Arts promotion
Founded 1991
Founders Akira Maeda
Key people Akira Maeda

Fighting Network Rings, trademarked as RINGS, is a Japanese combat sport promotion that has lived three distinct periods: puroresu promotion from its inauguration to 1995, mixed martial arts promotion from 1995 to its 2002 disestablishment, and the revived mixed martial arts promotion from 2008 to date.

Rings 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[edit]

Mega Battle Tournament[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Title Tournaments[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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

Championships[edit]

Open-Weight Championship[edit]

No. Name Date Location Notes
1 Japan Kiyoshi Tamura
(def. Mikhail Illoukhine)
January 21, 1998
(Mega Battle Tournament 1997)
Tokyo, Japan
2 Georgia (country) Tariel Bitsadze
(def. Kiyoshi Tamura)
May 29, 1998
(Fighting Integration III)
Sapporo, Japan
3 Japan Kiyoshi Tamura
(def. Tariel Bitsadze)
May 22, 1999
(Rise III)
Tokyo, Japan
4 Netherlands Gilbert Yvel
(def. Kiyoshi Tamura)
April 20, 2000
(Millennium Combine)
Tokyo, Japan Title was vacated in May 2000 when Yvel signed to Pride FC.

Light-Heavyweight Championship (−95kg)[edit]

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

Middleweight Championship[edit]

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

Japanese roster[edit]

Foreigners[edit]

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[edit]

Decline[edit]

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.[1]

Japanese Rings stars who made transitions into puroresu since then include Nagai, Masayuki Naruse, Wataru Sakata and Hiroyuki Ito, whereas the promotion ZST was founded in November 2002 to accommodate former Rings fighters.

Revival[edit]

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.[2]

The Fighting Network RINGS brand was resurrected on January 22, 2012 with Battle Genesis: Vol. 9 (Volume 8 took place on September 20, 2001).[3] The event was sanctioned by ZST.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 前田日明 07年リングス再始動へ (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 10, 2008. 
  2. ^ "UFC, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) News, Results, Fighting". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ 2012年 ZST・RINGS スケジュール

External links[edit]