Kazunari Murakami

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Kazunari Murakami
Kazunari Murakami.JPG
Born (1973-11-29) November 29, 1973 (age 43)
Nei District, Toyama, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 100 kg (220 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Style Judo, kickboxing
Team Universal Fighting-Arts Organization (UFO)
Teacher(s) Yoshinori Nishi
Years active 9 (1995-2003)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 10
Wins 5
By knockout 1
By submission 3
By decision 1
Losses 5
By knockout 4
By submission 1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Kazunari Murakami
Born (1973-11-29) November 29, 1973 (age 43)
Toyama, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Kazunari Murakami
Big Murakami
Billed height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Billed weight 105 kg (231 lb)
Trained by Antonio Inoki
Satoru Sayama
NJPW Dojo[1]
Debut 1998[1]

Kazunari Murakami (村上 和成?, Murakami Kazunari, born November 29, 1973) is a Japanese professional wrestler and a retired mixed martial artist currently working as a freelancer. He is best known for his appearances in Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX and Big Mouth LOUD, of which he was a founding member. He was also part of the first fight in PRIDE history, defeating John Dixson by submission. Murakami is also known for his appearances in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) during the mid-2000s.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

A trained judoka and wrestler since high school, Kazunari became a member of the judo team in Takushoku University. He met Wajyutsu Keishukai founder Yoshinori Nishi, who convinced him to join his team, and Murakami started his career in mixed martial arts.

Murakami began his career fighting for the Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '95 on October 13, 1995 where he lost his first fight to Akihiro Gono by knockout. A few months later, on March 30, 1996, Murakami fought at the Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '96. He fared better, defeating Isamu Osugi by submission and avenging his loss to Gono by decision, but lost to Masanori Suda by submission. In late 1996, Murakami then began fighting for Extreme Fighting where he defeated Bart Vale At EF3: Extreme Fighting 3 on October 18, 1996 by TKO. A few months later, at EF4: Extreme Fighting 4 on March 28, 1997, Murakami lost to future UFC Heavyweight Champion Maurice Smith by KO.

On October 11, 1997, Murakami made history by joining the newly formed PRIDE Fighting Championships and won in the company's first fight by defeating John Dixson at PRIDE 1. He returned to PRIDE three years later at PRIDE 10 on August 27, 2000, where he lost to Masaaki Satake by TKO. He returned to fighting two years later at UFO: Legend in a losing effort to Wallid Ismail by TKO. He last fight was at Jungle Fight 1 on September 13, 2003, where he defeated Lee Young Gun by verbal submission ending his MMA career at 5-5.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Murakami entered professional wrestling in 1998 when he joined Antonio Inoki's Universal Fighting-Arts Organization along fellow judoka Naoya Ogawa. They were sent to New Japan Pro Wrestling, where Murakami gained fame for viciously attacking wrestlers while sporting a white mask, becoming known as "The Terrorist of Heisei". One of his first matches was at Wrestling World 2000 teaming with Ogawa in a losing effort to Shinya Hashimoto and Takashi Iizuka when he submitted to Iizuka.[2] On April 7, Murakami took on Iizuka in an attempt to avenge his loss but he once again fell to Iizuka by submission.[2] On May 5 at Wrestling Dontaku 2000, Murakami teamed with Ogawa to challenge Fighting Club G-EGGS's members: Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi for the IWGP Tag Team Championship but lost when Murakami was pinned by Nagata.[3]

In early 2001, Murakami would also wrestle several times for Pro Wrestling ZERO1. In August 2001, Murakami entered the 2001 G1 Climax. He finished fourth in his block with 5 points scoring victories over Nakanishi and Tadao Yasuda while going to a double countout with eventual winner: Yuji Nagata.[4]

In the summer of 2002, Murakami joined the Makai Club. On December 10, 2002, Murakami challenged Yuji Nagata for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Despite making Nagata bleed and trapping him in his own finishing move, the Nagata Lock II. Murakami was defeated by Nagata.[5]

At Wrestling World 2003, Murakami and Yasuda lost to Michiyoshi Ohara and Shinsuke Nakamura.[2] In February 2003, Murakami teamed with Yasuda in a #1 Contenders Tournament for the IWGP Tag Titles making it to the finals before losing to Mike Barton and Jim Steele.[6] However, an injury to Steele would give the title shot to Murakami and Yasuda who challenged Cho-Ten on February 16 for the Tag Team Titles, but were unable to win them.[6] On May 2 at Ultimate Crush, Murakami lost to Enson Inoue. In the fall of 2003, Murakami wrestled three bounty matches emerging victorious in all of them. He defeated Shinya Makabe at Road to Ultimate Crush on September 21 in a 1,000,000 Yen Bounty match, then Katsuyori Shibata at Ultimate Crush II on October 13 in a 2,000,000 Yen Bounty match, and finally Koji Kanemoto at Yokohama Dead Out on November 3 in a 4,000,000 Bounty match. In Mid 2004, The Makai Club broke up and Murakami would briefly join Masahiro Chono's new stable: Black New Japan before leaving New Japan in January 2005.

In January 2005, Murakami helped form Big Mouth LOUD and regularly competed for the promotion until it's closure in the summer of 2006. In January 2006, Murakami returned to New Japan for the Toukon Shidou Chapter 1 show, in a loss to Yuji Nagata.[7] In the summer of 2006, Murakami took part in ZERO1's 2006 Fire Festival tournament, making it to the semi finals before losing to Shinjiro Ohtani.[2] In 2006, Murakami debuted for Pro Wrestling NOAH, taking part in a tournament for the GHC Tag Team Championship alongside Shinjiro Otani. They reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Takeshi Morishima and Muhammad Yone.[2]

In 2010, Murakami returned to NOAH, and on March 26 teamed with Katsumi Usuda to challenge Takeshi Rikio and Muhammad Yone for the GHC Tag Team Titles but they came up short.[1] In early 2010, Murakami joined Kensuke Sasaki's Kensuke Office promotion, where he wrestled as Big Murakami until the promotion ceased operations.

In wrestling[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 5-5 Lee Young Gun Submission (armbar) Jungle Fight 1 September 13, 2003 1 1:09 Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Loss 4-5 Wallid Ismail TKO (punches) UFO: Legend August 8, 2002 2 3:03 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 4-4 Masaaki Satake TKO (punches) Pride 10 - Return of the Warriors August 27, 2000 1 6:58 Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan
Win 4-3 John Dixson Submission (armbar) PRIDE 1 October 11, 1997 1 1:34 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 3-3 Maurice Smith KO (punch) Extreme Fighting 4 March 28, 1997 1 4:23 Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Win 3-2 Bart Vale TKO (punches) Extreme Fighting 3 October 18, 1996 1 4:37 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 2-2 Masanori Suda Submission (armbar) Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '96 March 30, 1996 2 1:38 Japan
Win 2-1 Akihiro Gono Decision Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '96 March 30, 1996 2 3:00 Japan
Win 1-1 Isamu Osugi Submission (armlock) Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '96 March 30, 1996 1 4:10 Japan
Loss 0-1 Akihiro Gono KO (head kick) Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '95 October 13, 1995 1 2:25 Japan

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Philip Kreikenbohm. "Big Murakami". cagematch.net. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Pro Wrestling History". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  3. ^ "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  4. ^ "Purolove.Com". Purolove.Com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  5. ^ "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  6. ^ a b "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  7. ^ "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Big Mouth LOUD Illusions". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 

External links[edit]