Naoya Ogawa

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Naoya Ogawa
Naoya Ogawa in 2011
Born (1968-03-31) March 31, 1968 (age 47)
Suginami, Tokyo, Japan
Other names "O-chan", "Captain Hustle", "The King of Recklessness"
Nationality Japanese
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 115 kg (254 lb; 18 st 2 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Years active 1997 - 2005 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 9
Wins 7
By knockout 2
By submission 5
Losses 2
By submission 2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Naoya Ogawa (小川 直也 Ogawa Naoya, born 31 March 1968) is a Japanese former world judo champion, Olympic silver medalist, professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. He won a total of seven medals at the All-Japan Judo Championships (second only behind Yasuhiro Yamashita), and a set a record of seven medals at the World Judo Championships (tied with Robert van de Walle).

In professional wrestling, Ogawa was two-time National Wrestling Alliance world heavyweight champion.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Naoya Ogawa
Medal record
Competitor for  Japan
Men's Judo
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1992 Barcelona +95 kg
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1987 Essen Open
Gold medal – first place 1989 Belgrade +95 kg
Gold medal – first place 1989 Belgrade Open
Bronze medal – third place 1991 Barcelona +95 kg
Gold medal – first place 1991 Barcelona Open
Bronze medal – third place 1993 Hamilton Open
Bronze medal – third place 1995 Chiba +95 kg
Asian Games
Bronze medal – third place 1990 Beijing +95 kg
Asian Championships
Gold medal – first place 1988 Damascus Open

Ogawa first started in Judo in his high school years. He continued on in college attending Meiji University in 1986. In his second year at school he became a world freeclass champion, youngest in the history of Judo. He would go on to win many more championships before graduating from the College of Business Administration at Meiji University. Ogawa was Silver medalist in judo of 1992 Summer Olympics, and placed fifth at the 1996 Summer Olympics.[3]

In 1997 he was recruited by Antonio Inoki and was sent to train with Satoru Sayama. Ogawa made his debut against Shinya Hashimoto on April 12, 1997 at the Tokyo Dome wrestling with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Subsequently he was billed as Hashimoto's nemesis.

On March 14, 1999, Ogawa won the NWA world title from Dan Severn in Yokohama, Japan. Ogawa lost the title to Gary Steele in a three-way match that also involved Brian Anthony on September 25, 1999. Ogawa won the title back on October 2, 1999. Ogawa vacated the NWA title on July 2, 2000.

Ogawa was a mainstay with the HUSTLE Wrestling group as part of the HUSTLE army, from their beginning until mid year of 2007, when Ogawa left to sign with Antonio Inoki's new promotion, Inoki Genome Federation.

Ogawa currently lives in Chigasaki, Japan (Kanagawa-ken) where he teaches kids judo in his own dojo on the south side of the JR station next to the Lawson Conbini shop.[citation needed]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Ogawa had his first MMA fight the same years of his debut in NJPW, taking part in an event promoted by Chris Dolman in Holland in which he faced Rens Vrolijk. Ogawa submitted him relatively fast, throwing him to the mat and choking him out.

His first high level match, however, would be for Pride Fighting Championships at the event Pride 6 against the kickboxer and Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Gary Goodridge. Naoya evidenced his lack of MMA experience, receiving heavy blows and almost failing his first double leg takedown, but he eventually took Goodridge down. Ogawa immediately tried several submissions and took his back, while Goodridge got tired trying a reversion until the end of the round. At the second one, Ogawa swept Goodridge down and locked a keylock, making him tap out.

It was rumored that Goodridge had been paid to throw the fight, but Gary himself said in an interview that, albeit he was effectively proposed an anonymous money bribe to let Ogawa win, he rejected it and fought for real, being legitimately defeated by Ogawa.[4]

In 2000, Ogawa took part in negotiations with Rickson Gracie for a match between them at the Colosseum promotion, in which Gracie had just defeated Masakatsu Funaki. The fight was scheduled for the next year, and Ogawa vacated his NWA World Heavyweight Championship in order to focus in his fight with Gracie, but all the plans were suspended upon the news of the death of Rickson's son Rockson, and the event never had place.[5]

Ogawa returned to Pride at Pride 11 - Battle of the Rising Sun, facing world karate champion Masaaki Satake in which was called a classic style vs. style matchup. Satake had recently defeated Kazunari Murakami, Naoya's former teammate, so it also had a shade of revenge. During the match, Satake opened the action with punches and kicks, avoiding Ogawa's takedowns but at the same time being unable to land decisive blows, while Ogawa threw punches as well in an attempt to keep active. At the second round, however, Ogawa swiftly took the karateka down and executed a rear naked choke for the win.

In 2002, Naoya particpated in the first event of Universal Fighting-Arts Organization against another Olympic medalist, the Greco-Roman wrestling champion Matt Ghaffari, who had claimed that he would knock Ogawa out with knee strikes. However, the match was quite differente, as although Ghaffari did take Ogawa down in an instance, Ogawa controlled the standing exchanges and landed a right punch which made Ghaffari stumble and fall. The wrestler tapped out before receiving further damage. Rickson Gracie attended the event and was invited to train with Ogawa, and again talked about the possibility of a match with Naoya, but it did not happen.[6]

Two years after, Ogawa took part in the PRIDE Grand Prix tournament as a representative of his home pro wrestling promotion HUSTLE. His first opponent was K-1 veteran Stefan Leko, who was doing his debut in MMA. Shockingly, Naoya knocked Leko down with a punch, locking then an arm triangle choke for the win. Ogawa's next match was against fellow HUSTLE wrestler Giant Silva, who outweighted him by 130 pounds, but the judoka took him down and overcame an unusually apt submission defence to rain ground and pound for the referee stoppage. His last match would be against a different kind of opponent, the Russian Fedor Emelianenko, a match especially asked by fan voting. Fedor overpowered Ogawa and submitted him by armbar in just 54 seconds, giving him his first MMA loss.

Ogawa's last fight in mixed martial arts was at PRIDE Shockwave 2005, facing the man who took from him the world judo championships the last time they fought, Hidehiko Yoshida. The bout was highly anticipated, and was one of the most expensive fights in MMA history, being both Ogawa and Yoshida paid $2 million USD.[7] The fight was a difficult perspective for Ogawa, as the main difference was training and experience: while Yoshida had focused in MMA since 2002, Ogawa had fought only occasionally aside from his work in the pro wrestling circuit. However, Ogawa accepted the fight fastly, and made his entrance to the arena with the hachimaki and music theme off his late friend Shinya Hashimoto as a tribute and proof of motivation. Started the battle, Yoshida threw punches and took Ogawa down, and then a long and aggressive exchange of reversions and ground and pound happened. At the end, Ogawa looked to have dominant position, but Yoshida locked an armbar from the guard by surprise, making his judo rival submit.[8]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 7-2 Hidehiko Yoshida Submission (armbar) PRIDE Shockwave 2005 December 31, 2005 1 6:04 Saitama, Japan
Loss 7-1 Fedor Emelianenko Submission (armbar) PRIDE Final Conflict 2004 August 15, 2004 1 0:54 Saitama, Japan
Win 7-0 Paulo Cesar Silva TKO (punches) PRIDE Critical Countdown 2004 June 20, 2004 1 3:29 Saitama, Japan
Win 6-0 Stefan Leko Submission (arm-triangle choke) PRIDE Total Elimination 2004 April 25, 2004 1 1:34 Saitama, Japan
Win 5-0 Matt Ghaffari TKO (punches) UFO: Legend August 8, 2002 1 0:56 Tokyo, Japan
Win 4-0 Masaaki Satake Submission (rear-naked choke) Pride 11 - Battle of the Rising Sun October 31, 2001 2 2:01 Osaka, Japan
Win 3-0 Rob Peters Submission UFO Europe: Free Fight Gala November 28, 1999 n/a n/a Kijkduin, Holland
Win 2-0 Gary Goodridge Submission (americana) Pride 6 July 4, 1999 2 0:36 Yokohama, Japan
Win 1-0 Rens Vrolijk Submission (rear-naked choke) Red Devil Free Fight 1 September 27, 1997 1 2:51 Amsterdam, Holland

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed Martial Arts[edit]

Professional wrestling[edit]




  • Zutto Issho dayo: Seiyu Ōyama Nobuyo Monogatari (2015) – Kazuya Tatekabe

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Naoya Ogawa profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Profile at Puroresu Central". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  3. ^ "Naoya "O-Chan" Ogawa profile". 
  4. ^ Rossen, Jake. "Pride Before the Fall". Sherdog. 
  5. ^ Wrestling News - Colosseum
  6. ^ Ichiban Puroresu - August 2002 News Archive
  7. ^ "Japanese icon Yoshida retires with loss to protege Nakamura". USA Today. April 25, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Naoya Ogawa - The warrior status". 
  9. ^ ""PWI 500": 101–200". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. 2010-07-31. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 

External links[edit]