October 30, 1980
Jeju, South Korea
|Other names||The Techno Goliath
|Height||2.18 m (7 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||160. kg (353 lb; 25 st 3 lb)|
|Reach||224 cm (88.2 in)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Choi Hong-man (Korean: 최홍만, Hanja: 崔洪萬, born on October 30, 1980 in Jeju-do), often anglicised to Hong-man Choi, is a South Korean kickboxer, mixed martial artist and former ssireum wrestler. In Asia he is called "Che Man", "Korean Monster" and "Korean Colossus". He currently competes in K-1 and Dream and stands 2.18 m (7 ft 2 in) and weighs 160 kg (350 lb), the biggest competitor ever to fight in K-1. In K-1, he holds wins over Semmy Schilt, Bob Sapp, and Mighty Mo.
Prepared for his kickboxing career by Korean K-1 fighter Choi Hong-man, he debuted in K-1 fighting at the World GP 2005 event in Seoul in March, 2005, which he won in the final vs. Kaoklai Kaennorsing. In the Final Elimination he defeated Bob Sapp with a 2–0 decision, eventually losing to Remy Bonjasky in the World Grand Prix Final.
He got his nickname "Techno Goliath" (테크노 골리앗) when he was a ssireum wrestler in South Korea, as after a victory he would dance to techno music. He is referred to on Japanese television and news articles as the 'Korean Monster' (コリアン・モンスター).
He started the season 2006 at the K-1 World GP in Las Vegas with a unanimous decision win over Sylvester Terkay aka "The Predator". His new coach was the former Japanese Korean K-1 fighter Kin Taiei (anglicised to Taiei Kin).
One of Choi's most notable fights was against current K-1 World Champion Semmy Schilt at the World GP 2006 event in Seoul. The fight was unique due to the enormous size and weight of both fighters (Schilt 2.12 m (6 ft 11 in) 128 kg (282 lb), Choi 2.18 m (7 ft 2 in) 161 kg (355 lb)). Choi won the fight by 2-0 decision, but it was a disputed win.
On September 30, 2006, Choi fought Jérôme Le Banner in the final eliminations, and lost after 3 Rounds and 1 extra Round on points. After the fight, Le Banner said: "He is dangerous, his knees are already almost at the level of my head, he's not human! But he's a good guy and I like him, he's very tough, maybe the strongest guy in K-1, and he has hard bones -- when I kicked him, it hurt my leg! I'm sure with more experience, in two years no one will be able to knock him out!"
On March 4, 2007, he was knocked out for the first time in his career. Mighty Mo landed his trademark overhand right to the chin and Choi was not able to stand up again. In this fight he weighed 165.4 kg (365 lb; 26.05 st), was very slow and many say it was his worst performance.
On August 5. at the Asia World Grand Prix in Hong Kong, he beat Gary Goodridge by KO at 1:34 in the first round. He weighed 163.5 kg (360 lb; 25.75 st), the same when he fought Schilt in June 2006. Notable on this fight was his stance. Since his K-1 debut in 2005, he has fought using an orthodox stance. However in this fight, he adopted for the first time a southpaw stance. This was a strategy by his coach Kin Tailei for an eventual re-match with Mighty Mo (to block his devastating overhand right better as in orthodox stance).
On September 29 at the K-1 Final Eliminations in Seoul, fighting southpaw stance again, he redeemed his previous loss and defeated Mighty Mo by decision. The win was disputed because Mo was able to land many hard hands on Choi´s head, while the Korean missed most of his shots. However, due to a kick Choi delivered to Mighty Mo's groin in the second round that was inexplicably ruled a knockdown. Mighty Mo was quoted in the post-fight interview: "He (Choi) seemed a little bit stronger because I hit him with some good shots and he didn't fall down so I was surprised, actually harder than the ones I hit him with before. He must have been practicing taking punches."
In the World Grand Prix Final 2007 tournament on December 8, he again lost by decision to Jérôme Le Banner. Choi was announced by Jimmy Lennon Jr. as weighing in at 166.6 kg (367 lb; 26.24 st), to date his heaviest pre-fight weigh-in. In the post-fight Choi said: "He (Jérôme) has been my toughest opponent, who was able to resist my powerful punches and counter with speed, I admire his physical strength and I'm sure with more experience will be able to defeat him."
On September 27 at the K-1 final Elimination in Seoul, he came back to K-1 and fought against the current Heavyweight champion Badr Hari. After 3 rounds of fighting, Choi's corner threw in the towel due to a rib injury. Although Hari was unable to faze Choi with two heavy punches thrown in the first and second rounds, in the third round he began targeting Choi's ribcage with punches and kicks.
Since his last fight, Choi has lost much weight. He was announced with a weight of 149 kg (328 lb; 23.5 st).
Mixed martial arts
On December 31, Choi easily won his first mixed martial arts fight on K-1 Dynamite in Osaka. He decisively beat former TV star Bobby Ologun in just 16 seconds in what was considered a huge mismatch. Choi was scheduled to face former WWE, IWGP, and NCAA national champion amateur wrestler Brock Lesnar at the combined promotion event K-1 Dynamite!! USA, a pay-per-view event at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, on June 2, 2007. However, reportedly due to a benign tumor on his pituitary gland, Choi was denied his California fighter's license on May 23, 2007, putting Dynamite!! USA's main event in jeopardy only 10 days before its scheduled occurrence. Choi was replaced in the fight by fellow Korean fighter Kim Min-soo.
He was confirmed to fight MMA heavyweight and former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko at Yarennoka on New Year's Eve. Choi landed twice on top of the two takedown attempts of Fedor. He escaped an armbar attempt on the first takedown, but after the second one was forced to tap to another armbar applied by Fedor at 1:54 of the first round.
Choi fought again in MMA against Mirko Filipović on December 31, 2008 in Sataima, Japan. Filipovic defeated Choi with multiple kicks to the legs.
He fought retired baseball player Jose Canseco in an MMA match on May 26, 2009 for the promotion Dream as part of its Super Hulk Tournament. He beat Canseco in 1 minute 15 seconds. However, Choi would lose in the semi-finals to Ikuhisa Minowa via heel hook at Dream 11.
Choi was expected to participate in Dream 14, which was supposed to have taken place in Seoul, South Korea. But many factors, including the issue that many top Korean stars such as Denis Kang and him (Choi) were not available in April, contributed to the Korea event being canceled.
In April 2008, Choi joined the Korean army for his 21 months military service. After failing two medical tests, he was relieved from his military duty. The main reason was a problem with the sight in his left eye, which was the result of a brain tumor. On June 9, the tumor was finally removed through surgery.
Outside the ring
Choi recently began a singing career with supermodel Kang Soo Hee in Korea under the name of Beauty & The Beast.  He also made a rap single featuring vocals by the model Kang Soo Hee. In 2009, he made his movie debut in the Japanese film Goemon.
In April 2010, Choi appeared as part of the main cast in Japanese TV drama series Kaibutsu-kun, adapted from Fujiko Fujio's Kaibutsu-kun of the same name. Choi played the character Franken, which was one of the three understudies of prince Kaibutsu-kun.
He has also done several endorsement works with actress / former model Karina. He has been a face for Lotte's ice cream product Mona Oh ('Monaka-King') alongside Karina. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch along with Karina at the Chiba Lotte Marines-Yomiuri Giants game in Chiba Marine Stadium on June 11, 2006. He has also done endorsement works for videogame LittleBigPlanet with Mari Yaguchi, a former member of the music group Morning Musume.
|Professional record breakdown|
|18 matches||12 wins||6 losses|
|Loss||12–6||Ray Sefo||Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 World GP Final 2008||December 8, 2008||3||3:00||Yokohama, Japan||K-1 WGP 2008 1/4|
|Loss||12–5||Badr Hari||TKO (Corner stoppage)||K-1 Seoul GP 2008||September 29, 2008||3||3:00||Seoul, South Korea||K-1 WGP 2008 Final Eliminations|
|Loss||12–4||Jérôme Le Banner||Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 World GP Final 2007||December 8, 2007||3||3:00||Yokohama, Japan||K-1 WGP 2007 1/4|
|Win||12–3||Mighty Mo||Decision (Majority)||K-1 Seoul GP 2007||September 29, 2007||3||3:00||Seoul, South Korea||K-1 WGP 2007 Final Elimination|
|Win||11–3||Gary Goodridge||KO (Knee strike)||K-1 Hong Kong GP 2007||August 5, 2007||1||1:34||Hong Kong|
|Win||10–3||Mike Malone||KO||K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Hawaii||April 28, 2007||2||2:02||Hawaii, United States|
|Loss||9–3||Mighty Mo||KO (Right overhand)||K-1 Yokohama GP 2007||March 4, 2007||2||0:50||Yokohama, Japan|
|Loss||9–2||Jérôme Le Banner||Ext.R Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Osaka Opening Round||September 30, 2006||4||3:00||Osaka, Japan||K-1 WGP 2006 Final Elimination|
|Win||9–1||Akebono||KO (Left Hook)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Sapporo||July 30, 2006||2||0:57||Sapporo, Japan|
|Win||8–1||Semmy Schilt||Decision (Split)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Seoul||June 3, 2006||3||3:00||Seoul, South Korea|
|Win||7–1||Sylvester Terkay||Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Las Vegas||April 29, 2006||3||3:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||6–1||Remy Bonjasky||Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2005||November 19, 2005||3||3:00||Tokyo, Japan||K-1 WGP 2005 1/4|
|Win||6–0||Bob Sapp||Decision (Majority)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Osaka - Final Elimination||September 23, 2005||3||3:00||Osaka, Japan||K-1 WGP 2005 Final Elimination|
|Win||5–0||Akebono||TKO (Referee Stoppage)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Hawaii||July 29, 2005||1||2:52||Hawaii, United States|
|Win||4–0||Tom Howard||KO (Knee Strike)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Hiroshima||June 14, 2005||1||2:11||Hiroshima, Japan|
|Win||3–0||Kaoklai Kaennorsing||Ext.R Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Seoul||March 19, 2005||4||3:00||Seoul, South Korea||K-1 Seoul GP 2005 Champion|
|Win||2–0||Akebono||TKO (Corner Stoppage)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Seoul||March 19, 2005||1||0:24||Seoul, South Korea||K-1 Seoul GP 2005 1/2|
|Win||1–0||Wakashoyo||KO (Left Hook)||K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Seoul||March 19, 2005||1||1:40||Seoul, South Korea||K-1 Seoul GP 2005 1/4|
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|5 matches||2 wins||3 losses|
|Loss||2–3||Ikuhisa Minowa||Submission (heel hook)||Dream 11||October 6, 2009||2||1:27||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Dream Super Hulk Grand Prix Semifinal|
|Win||2–2||Jose Canseco||Submission (punches)||Dream 9||May 26, 2009||1||1:17||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan||Dream Super Hulk Grand Prix Quarterfinal|
|Loss||1–2||Mirko Filipović||TKO (leg kick)||Dynamite!! 2008||December 31, 2008||1||6:32||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||1–1||Fedor Emelianenko||Submission (armbar)||Yarennoka!||December 31, 2007||1||1:58||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||1–0||Bobby Ologun||TKO (punches)||K-1 PREMIUM Dynamite!! 2006||December 31, 2006||1||0:16||Osaka, Osaka, Japan|
Championships and Accomplishments
Mixed Martial Arts
- 41st Cheonhajangsa Ssireum Championship in 2003
- K-1 OFFICIAL WEBSITE
- Moon, Seong Dae (2006-09-30). "최홍만, '배틀 사이보그' 밴너에 연장끝 판정패". Newsis. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- k1 News
- Jerome Le Banner vs Hong-Man Choi - K-1 WGP 2007 Final (dailymotion.com)
- "Gracie & Lesnar At L.A. Coliseum Official". MMAWeekly.com. 2007-03-23.
- Rua "Likely" to Fight, Baroni Knows Wed
- やれんのか！大晦日！２００７ Supported by M-1 GLOBAL [12月31日(月) さいたまスーパーアリーナ]
- "Canseco beaten in MMA debut".
- "DREAM.14 set for April 24 in South Korea". nightmareofbattle.com. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-02-13.[dead link]
- Beauty & The Beast Live Performance
- Wrestler Choi Hong-man Now Grapples With a Mic
- YesAsia.com: Beauty And Beast Single Album - Beauty And Beast - Korean Music - Free International Shipping
- "Live-action 'Kaibutsu-kun' scores viewership ratings of 17.5, Choi Hong-man gets highly praised", April 19, 2010, Livedoor, (Japanese)
- "Karina slashes the 'Giant' Choi in a ceremonial first pitch", June 12, 2006, Oricon News, (Japanese)
- "Little Mari Yaguchi and big Choi Hong Man cheering! 'LBP' special event is held", December 18, 2008, Dengeki Online (Japanese)