Guy Mezger

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Guy Mezger
Born (1968-01-01) January 1, 1968 (age 52)
Houston, Texas, United States
Other namesThe Sandman
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
DivisionLight Heavyweight (205 lb)
StyleKickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Submission Wrestling
Fighting out ofDallas, Texas
TeamLion's Den Dallas
Rank6th dan black belt in Kyokushin Karate
Years active1994–2003 (MMA)
Kickboxing record
By knockout19
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout11
By submission6
By decision13
By knockout6
By submission3
By decision5
Full contact karate record
By knockout40
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Guy Mezger (born January 1, 1968) is an American martial artist, who competed in professional combat sports including full contact karate, kickboxing, and boxing, but is most recognized as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. Mezger retired from professional competition on January 25, 2005. He is associated with Lion's Den and runs their school in Dallas. Mezger was a champion in mixed martial arts in two different promotions, the UFC and Pancrase. He holds wins over Tito Ortiz, Masakatsu Funaki, Yuki Kondo, Semmy Schilt, and Minoru Suzuki.

Mezger has trained with many great martial arts competitors and trainer/instructors; his main trainers have been Vince Tamura (judo), Willie Thompson (wrestling), Billy "Jack" Jackson (kickboxing), and Ken Shamrock (submission fighting/Pancrase/MMA). Mezger has co-written one book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Kickboxing, and had an uncredited speaking role in the first-season episode of Walker, Texas Ranger titled "Night of the Gladiator".

Early life[edit]

Born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Dallas, Texas, Mezger wrestled in high school and also practiced karate, in which he holds a 6th degree black belt.[1] As a professional kickboxer, he won the U.S. Heavyweight Title before subsequently winning the WKC World Heavyweight Championship in June 1995; a title that he would defend once before retiring from the sport to compete in Pancrase.[2]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pancrase[edit]

Mezger started his mixed martial arts career in the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 4 in an alternate match against Jason Fairn. Before the fight, Mezger had asked Fairn to make a 'gentlemen's agreement' not to pull hair due to the fact both men had long hair. Mezger won the bout by TKO after landing a multitude of strikes from full mount. Mezger then fought at UFC 5 in an alternate match against John Dowdy, defeating him by TKO in little over two minutes by mounted strikes. Mezger began to train with Ken Shamrock and became a member of Ken's submission fighting team, the Lion's Den, and joined the Pancrase organization in Japan.

In his second match, at Pancrase 1995 Anniversary Show, Mezger faced Pancrase co-founder and Shamrock's trainer Masakatsu Funaki. The American fighter performed well, scoring high kicks and forcing Funaki to pull guard and work from the bottom, but he was eventually caught in a leglock exchange from his own trip and submitted with an Achilles lock.

On December 1995, Mezger was involved in a controversial match against the other Pancrase co-founder, laured[check spelling] wrestler Minoru Suzuki. Mezger controlled the match, but he landed an accidental kick to the groin at 7:15 in the first round and was disqualified by the referee. His corner protested and defended the accidental nature of the strike, but the result was not changed. Guy's personal record shows it as a no contest.

Nonetheless, Mezger accumulated a Pancrase 16–7–2 record and become the 7th ever King of Pancrase world champion with a win over Masakatsu Funaki.

Mezger would not return to the UFC until UFC 13 where he competed in the Lightweight Tournament (200 lbs & under). In his first bout, Mezger fought top ranked judo fighter, Christophe Leininger. Leininger was able to score a takedown and gain mount at one point, but he was otherwise soundly beaten as Mezger battled his way to a decision victory. Mezger broke his hand during this fight but continued in the tournament.

The championship round Mezger faced future UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz. Ortiz was able to counter Mezger's takedown attempt and landed several knees to Mezger's head. To some it appeared that Mezger had tapped, but referee John McCarthy ruled Mezger was blocking the knees and his hand went down as Ortiz shifted his weight. The bout was then stopped to check Mezger's cut. The announcers, as well as Ortiz, thought that the bout was over, but the fight was instead restarted on the feet. Ortiz shot in for a takedown, but Mezger secured a guillotine choke, forcing Ortiz to submit. With this win, Mezger became the UFC 13 lightweight tournament champion.

Mezger then forfeited his King of Pancrase title to fight in the UFC again. Mezger's final bout in the UFC was a rematch with Tito Ortiz at UFC 19: Young Guns. Mezger was sick before the fight but fought anyway, a decision that he regretted after the fight. This resulted in Ortiz handling Mezger and won the bout at the 9:55 mark by referee stoppage. The stoppage was somewhat controversial because both Mezger and his cornerman Ken Shamrock felt that Ortiz's strikes were not doing enough damage to warrant a stoppage. Ortiz then donned a shirt that was insulting to Mezger which provoked an immediate reaction from Ken Shamrock, Mezger's trainer. Mezger would occasionally seek a rematch with Ortiz over the next few years. In 2004 he was finally granted a chance to face Tito Ortiz at UFC 50. Unfortunately, the week of the fight, Mezger was taken to the hospital due to stroke like symptoms, and was taken off the fight card.

PRIDE Fighting championships[edit]

The former UFC champion made his Pride FC debut in 1999 at Pride 6 against the popular Akira Shoji. The two fighters passed most of the first round in the clinch, where Mezger landed strikes and tried unsuccessfully to take down Shoji. At the second, Akira scored a takedown and performed ground and pound, which Mezger retaliated by controlling the striking again when they returned to their feet; however, the Japanese took Mezger's back on the ground towards the end of the round and scored punches while Guy attempted to escape. At the third and final round, the two traded strikes again and Shoji repeated his back siege before the fight ended. The judges decreed a split decision and it was given to Shoji.

Pride officials then signed Mezger to fight Kazushi Sakuraba, who at the time was considered to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. The fight took place at the Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round. Mezger took the fight on two weeks notice and had a broken foot going into the fight. The contract that Mezger signed stipulated that the fight would be one 15-minute round with no overtime. The other fights on the card had the same stipulation. The fight mostly consisted of Mezger controlling the fight by stopping Sakuraba's takedown attempts while landing strikes from the outside. The round ended and Mezger expected the fight to go to the judges, but Pride officials wanted the fight to go to overtime. This resulted in one of the largest and most publicized controversies in MMA history.

According to Mezger, Pride did not like the outcome of the fight and changed the agreement/contract on the spot in order to give Sakuraba another chance to win the fight.[3][4] An argument ensued and Mezger was ordered out of the ring and back to the locker room by his corner man, Ken Shamrock, who was livid at the decision to extend the fight because of Mezger's foot injury and the fact that he took the fight on short notice. Later that night, the president of Pride FC made a public apology to Mezger at the Tokyo Dome for the miscommunication. Mezger added, "Royce's father came up to me after my fight and said, "You got screwed. You won that fight." Here's Helio Gracie walking up to me and telling me I got ripped off."[5]

Mezger next competed against Masaaki Satake, winning the fight by unanimous decision.

Mezger made his return to the ring at Pride 10 - Return of the Warriors, facing Brazilian superstar and future middleweight kingpin Wanderlei Silva. Mezger gained the upper hand early, cutting Silva with several crisp combinations and outpointing Silva on the feet. However, he was ultimately knocked out at the 3:45 mark. Shortly before the knockout, Silva was catching the worse end of the punching exchanges and proceeded to throw an intentional, illegal headbutt to Mezger that eventually led to landing the knockout combination. Many people felt as though this was a cheap shot that affected the end result. Some people, including Kazushi Sakuraba, felt the bout should have been changed to a no contest.[6] Mezger talked about his feelings on the matter in an interview: "I am not going to cry foul, it is the fight game and things like that happen, get used to it. It is no win situation when it comes to answering that question, if I said it did (affect the result) then I would be making excuses. I would just like a rematch."[7]

Mezger found a measure of redemption when he defeated Alexander Otsuka by TKO at Pride 12 - Cold Fury. Otsuka challenged Mezger to another fight, but was soundly beaten by TKO for a second time. Mezger returned again at Pride 13 - Collision Course to face Egan Inoue. Mezger walked away with a knockout win over Inoue.

Mezger then met UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell at Pride 14 - Clash of the Titans. Liddell was coming off of a stunning KO over former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Kevin Randleman. Mezger gained control of the first round, knocking Liddell to the mat with a strike and landing a left kick to Liddell's face a few minutes before the bell sounded ending the first round. The second round would be short-lived as Liddell came out strong, knocking Mezger out.

Mezger faced two time ADCC champion Ricardo Arona at Pride 16. Mezger entered the ring with an American flag draped across his shoulders out of respect for the World Trade Center attacks in New York. He also wore trunks with an American flag design. Arona and Mezger circled each other for a few moments, before moving in and exchanging strikes. Mezger ended the round one with two takedowns and side mount position but couldn't capitalize on it. The second round was much of the same until Mezger landed a stunning kick to Arona's face. The third round took a different turn with three minutes left in the round, Arona scored his only takedown of the fight. The third round continued like this, with Arona laying on Mezger, using his ground and pound style for the last three minutes of the bout. Although Mezger controlled the first two rounds (1st round being 10 minutes and the second and third rounds were 5 minutes each), the judges awarded a controversial split decision victory to Arona, causing many to feel that Mezger was robbed of the win.[8]

In December 2001, Mezger was proposed the idea of fighting at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye while wearing Tiger Mask's attire and mask, but he didn't accept.[9] Thus, Mezger returned to competition at Pride 22 after a year long lay-off, easily winning a decision over Norihisa Yamamoto. Mezger then battled Antônio Rogério Nogueira at Pride 24. Mezger had several good striking exchanges and showcased his submission and takedown defense, but again lost the fight by a controversial split decision.


On January 25, 2005, Guy Mezger retired from professional fighting after experiencing stroke-like symptoms prior to his scheduled bout with Tito Ortiz.[10] Mezger trains students in boxing, kickboxing and the Lion's Den Mixed Martial Arts system at his gym, Guy Mezger's Combat Sports Club, in the Dallas suburb of Addison. He also has a consulting company, CS Consulting, that works with both Federal and State law enforcement agencies on re-vamping their defensive tactics training. Mezger is a part owner in a movie/TV production company that is making "reality TV" shows and action and documentary movies. In 2011, he finished up his studies in holistic medicine (receiving his PhD in Holistic Health) and formed a partnership with a doctor's group called Optimal Health Specialists.

Mezger was the President of Mark Cuban's HDNet Fights and was responsible for developing new talent and securing promotion partners for HDnet's Friday Night Fights. He has also commentated for Chuck Norris' full contact, team-based martial arts competition, the World Combat League, and for Japanese MMA organization DREAM.

Personal life[edit]

Mezger and his wife Michelle have two children, Logan and Rachel. He also has a son named Jake from a previous relationship.[11]

In December 2011, Mezger was involved in an altercation in Dallas in front of a sporting goods store where a man was physically abusing a woman. He stepped in to assist the woman by fighting the man, who attacked Mezger with a knife. The attacker was on parole and afterwards needed medical attention for multiple facial bone and arm bone fractures. Mezger's hand was cut in the fight. It was surgically repaired and he was expected to fully recover.[12][13]


Mixed martial arts[edit]


World Full Contact

  • 1993 & 1994 World Full-Contact Karate Champion


World Kickboxing Council

  • 1995 WKC World Kickboxing Champion
  • Other
    • 1996 WFFF World Freestyle Fighting Champion (Junior-Heavyweight)


Mixed Martial Arts: 30–14–2 (12 KO's)
Kickboxing: 22–3 (19 KO's)
Full-Contact Karate record: 42–1 (40 KO's)

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
46 matches 30 wins 14 losses
By knockout 11 6
By submission 6 3
By decision 13 5
Draws 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 30–14–2 Daniel Bergman TKO (punches) European Vale Tudo 1 – Genesis December 6, 2003 2 1:46 Copenhagen, Denmark
Loss 29–14–2 Antônio Rogério Nogueira Decision (split) Pride 24 – Cold Fury 3 December 23, 2002 3 5:00 Fukuoka, Japan
Win 29–13–2 Yoshihisa Yamamoto Decision (unanimous) Pride 22 – Beasts From The East 2 September 29, 2002 3 5:00 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 28–13–2 Ricardo Arona Decision (split) Pride 16 – Beasts From The East September 24, 2001 3 5:00 Osaka, Japan
Loss 28–12–2 Chuck Liddell KO (punch) Pride 14 - Clash of the Titans May 27, 2001 2 0:21 Yokohama, Japan
Win 28–11–2 Egan Inoue KO (knee and punch) Pride 13 - Collision Course March 25, 2001 1 2:25 Saitama, Japan
Win 27–11–2 Alexander Otsuka TKO (cut) KOTC 7 - Wet and Wild February 24, 2001 2 1:57 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 26–11–2 Alexander Otsuka TKO (strikes) Pride 12 - Cold Fury December 9, 2000 1 1:52 Saitama, Japan
Win 25–11–2 Sam Adkins Submission Freestyle Fighting Championship November 18, 2000 1 2:11 Dallas, Texas, United States
Loss 24–11–2 Wanderlei Silva KO (punches) Pride 10 - Return of the Warriors August 27, 2000 1 3:45 Tokyo, Japan
Win 24–10–2 Masaaki Satake Decision Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals May 1, 2000 1 15:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 23–10–2 Brad Jones TKO (strikes) Pure Action 2 March 3, 2000 2 1:35 King's Point, New York, United States
Loss 22–10–2 Kazushi Sakuraba TKO (retirement) Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round January 30, 2000 1 15:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 22–9–2 Akira Shoji Decision (split) Pride 6 July 4, 1999 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 22–8–2 Tito Ortiz TKO (strikes) UFC 19 March 5, 1999 1 9:56 Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, United States
Win 22–7–2 Yuki Kondo Decision (majority) Pancrase - Advance 12 December 19, 1998 1 20:00 Chiba, Japan Defended King of Pancrase Openweight Championship. Later vacated title
Win 21–7–2 Ryushi Yanagisawa Decision (lost points) Pancrase - 1998 Anniversary Show September 14, 1998 1 30:00 Tokyo, Japan Defended King of Pancrase Openweight Championship
Loss 20–7–2 Semmy Schilt TKO (strikes) Pancrase - Advance 8 June 21, 1998 1 13:15 Kobe, Japan
Win 20–6–2 Masakatsu Funaki Decision (unanimous) Pancrase - Advance 5 April 26, 1998 1 30:00 Yokohama, Japan Won King of Pancrase Openweight Championship
Win 19–6–2 Ryushi Yanagisawa Decision (unanimous) Pancrase - Advance 4 March 18, 1998 1 20:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 18–6–2 Johnny Magilonico Submission (choke) World Pankration Championships 2 January 16, 1998 1 N/A Dallas, Texas, United States
Win 17–6–2 Satoshi Hasegawa TKO (armlock) Pancrase: Alive 11 December 20, 1997 1 2:52 Yokohama, Japan
Win 16–6–2 Kiuma Kunioku KO (kick) Pancrase: Alive 9 October 29, 1997 1 11:12 Tokyo, Japan
Win 15–6–2 Paul Lazenby Submission (choke) World Pankration Championships 1 October 26, 1997 1 N/A Texas, United States
Loss 14–6–2 Masakatsu Funaki Submission (triangle/armbar) Pancrase: 1997 Anniversary Show September 6, 1997 1 3:58 Chiba, Japan
Win 14–5–2 Keiichiro Yamamiya Decision (lost points) Pancrase: Alive 7 July 30, 1997 1 15:00 Fukuoka, Japan
Win 13–5–2 Tito Ortiz Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 13 May 30, 1997 1 3:00 Augusta, Georgia, United States Won UFC 13 Lightweight Tournament
Win 12–5–2 Christophe Leininger Decision UFC 13 May 30, 1997 1 15:00 Augusta, Georgia, United States UFC 13 Lightweight Tournament Semifinals
Loss 11–5–2 Yuki Kondo Decision (lost points) Pancrase: Alive 2 February 22, 1997 1 20:00 Chiba, Japan
Win 11–4–2 Semmy Schilt Decision (lost points) Pancrase: Alive 1 January 17, 1997 1 20:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 10–4–2 Yuki Kondo Decision (lost points) Pancrase - Truth 10 December 15, 1996 1 20:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 9–4–2 Kiuma Kunioku Decision (split) Pancrase - Truth 7 October 8, 1996 1 10:00 Nagoya, Japan
Win 9–3–2 Ryushi Yanagisawa Decision (unanimous) Pancrase - 1996 Anniversary Show September 7, 1996 1 20:00 Chiba, Japan
Draw 8–3–2 Osami Shibuya Draw Pancrase - Truth 6 June 25, 1996 1 10:00 Fukuoka, Japan
Win 8–3–1 Minoru Suzuki TKO (strikes) Pancrase - Truth 5 May 16, 1996 1 7:59 Tokyo, Japan
Win 7–3–1 Ryushi Yanagisawa KO (head kick) Pancrase - Truth 4 April 8, 1996 1 12:21 Tokyo, Japan 1996 Panrase Ranking Tournament Finals
Win 6–3–1 Manabu Yamada TKO (doctor) Pancrase - Truth 3 April 7, 1996 1 6:14 Tokyo, Japan 1996 Panrase Ranking Tournament Semifinals
Win 5–3–1 Takaku Fuke Decision (unanimous) Pancrase - Truth 3 April 7, 1996 1 10:00 Tokyo, Japan 1996 Panrase Ranking Tournament First Round
Loss 4–3–1 Bas Rutten Submission (heel hook) Pancrase - Truth 2 March 2, 1996 1 19:36 Kobe, Japan
Win 4–2–1 Gregory Smit Decision (lost points) Pancrase - Truth 1 January 28, 1996 1 10:00 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 3–2–1 Minoru Suzuki TKO (doctor stoppage) Pancrase - Eyes Of Beast 7 December 14, 1995 1 7:15 Sapporo, Japan
Draw 3–1–1 Ryushi Yanagisawa Draw Pancrase - Eyes Of Beast 6 November 4, 1995 1 10:00 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 3–1 Masakatsu Funaki Submission (achilles lock) Pancrase - 1995 Anniversary Show September 1, 1995 1 6:46 Tokyo, Japan
Win 3–0 John Renfroe Submission (armlock) Pancrase - 1995 Neo-Blood Tournament Second Round July 23, 1995 1 7:25 Tokyo, Japan
Win 2–0 John Dowdy TKO (strikes) UFC 5 April 7, 1995 1 2:02 Charlotte, North Carolina, United States UFC 5 Tournament Alternate Bout
Win 1–0 Jason Fairn TKO (corner stoppage) UFC 4 December 16, 1994 1 2:13 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States UFC 4 Tournament Alternate Bout


  1. ^ "Guy Mezger's Combat Sports Club". Guy Mezger's Combat Sports Club.
  2. ^ [1] Archived December 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ [2] Archived February 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "MMA News". Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  5. ^ > "ESPN - Pride & Glory". Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  6. ^ "Guy Mezger Pre-Pride 13 Interview". Archived from the original on April 10, 2001. Retrieved June 18, 2015.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  7. ^ [3] Archived December 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Guy Mezger Airing Pride's Dirty Laundry - Cagepotato". Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  9. ^ Pride: The Secret Files (in Japanese). Kamipro. 2008.
  10. ^ Rossen, Jake (June 23, 2010). "Pride and Glory - Postscript". Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  11. ^ "GUY MEZGER:WHERE IS HE NOW? : SANDMAN REVISITED". July 4, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  12. ^ "Awesome Story of the Day: Guy Mezger Saved a Woman from Knife-Wielding Scumbag Last Month". January 21, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  13. ^ "Guy Mezger hospitalizes knife wielding attacker". January 21, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jerry Bohlander
UFC 13 Lightweight Tournament winner
May 30, 1997
Succeeded by
Pat Miletich