Ray Sefo

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Ray Sefo
RaySefoXtremeCouture.jpg
Born (1971-02-15) February 15, 1971 (age 48)
Auckland, New Zealand
Other namesSugarfoot
NationalityNew Zealander
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight115.5 kg (255 lb; 18 st 3 lb)
DivisionLight Heavyweight
Cruiserweight
Heavyweight
Super Heavyweight
Reach75 in (191 cm)
StyleBoxing
StanceOrthodox
Fighting out ofLas Vegas, Nevada, US
TeamXtreme Couture
Ray Sefo's Fight Academy
Years active1989 - 2012 (Kickboxing)
1989 - 2012 (Muay Thai)
1994 - 2001 (Boxing)
2005 - 2013 (MMA)
Professional boxing record
Total6
Wins5
By knockout4
Losses1
By knockout1
Draws0
Kickboxing record
Total79
Wins56
By knockout38
Losses22
By knockout11
Draws1
Mixed martial arts record
Total4
Wins2
By knockout2
Losses2
By knockout1
By submission1
Other information
Notable relativesRony Sefo, brother
Antz Nansen, cousin
Baby Nansen, cousin
Fai Falamoe, cousin
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: 11 May 2011

"Sugar" Ray Sefo (born February 15, 1971) is a New Zealand fight promoter and retired[1] kickboxer, boxer, and mixed martial artist of Samoan descent.[2][3] He is a six-time Muay Thai World Champion[4] and eight time K-1 World Grand Prix Finals tournament participant. He is the president of MMA promotion Professional Fighters League.[5] In kickboxing, he defeated world champions Jerome Le Banner, Peter Aerts, Stefan Leko, Mike Bernardo, and Mark Hunt.

Background[edit]

Training in Wing Chun as a youth, Sefo moved to Muay Thai under Thai fighting legend Kiosot, then continued training under Lollo Heimuli at the infamous Balmoral Lee Gar Gym.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Sefo had an impressive unbeaten record as an amateur and a professional in the Oceania kickboxing league. Early in his career, he trained at Balmoral Lee Gar gym alongside Jason Suttie, Jayson Vemoa, Doug Viney, John Conway, and his brother, Rony Sefo. In 1996, Ray Sefo fought Andre Mannaart in a kickboxing match and overwhelmed Manaart with devastating speed and elusive footwork, knocking him down on numerous occasions. In the ring after the fight, Mannaart took the microphone and said, "...you should call him Sugarfist, not Sugarfoot..." Sefo's first major breakthrough was becoming a WKA Cruiserweight Champion. He also acted as a sparring partner for fellow New Zealander David Tua, when Tua first returned to New Zealand for a fight after turning pro.

K-1[edit]

Sefo made his K-1 debut against future four-time World Grand Prix Champion, Ernesto Hoost. Sefo held his own against the much more experienced Hoost but was finally knocked out in the 4th round by a leg kick. Sefo gained respect for standing up to such an elite fighter in just his first fight. Sefo gained more respect in his third K-1 fight where he knocked out K-1 legend Jerome Lebanner in the 1st round. Sefo's hard right hand was enough to break the Frenchman's jaw in four places.[citation needed]

Sefo had an up and down first few years in K-1, unable to make it past the quarter finals in the K-1 World Grand Prix against the likes of Sam Greco and Andy Hug. In 2000, he made it to the WGP final after knocking out Japanese star Musashi and French kickboxer Cyril Abidi, before losing again to Hoost. In 2002, Sefo defeated Dutch legend Peter Aerts in the quarter finals but lost again to his nemesis Hoost in the semi-finals.

In 2007, Sefo was thought to be a legitimate challenger to dethrone four-time World Grand Prix Champion Semmy Schilt for the new Super Heavyweight title. In the 1st round, Sefo became only the second man in history to knock Schilt down. However, he would go on to lose by KO in the second round. He went on to lose five more fights and would not find the winners circle again until he beat Hong Man Choi, Yosuke Nishijima, and Ionut Iftimoaie, all by decision.

Sefo was then asked to fight at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Seoul Final 16 on ten days notice against Tyrone Spong. Sefo put up a decent fight on short preparation but was beaten by decision.

MMA and retirement[edit]

In mid-February 2011, Sefo had his third MMA fight in a reserve fight for the Strikeforce Heavyweight tournament. He fought Valentijn Overeem, brother of Alistair Overeem, the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix champion. Overeem had 50 MMA fights behind him and beat Sefo by submission in the first round. Sefo's striking on the feet looked good, but as an inexperienced grappler, he lost early on by neck crank.

On 12 June 2013, Sefo announced that he would return to fighting.[6] At WSOF 3, Sefo announced that he would be facing Dave Huckaba.[7] The two fought at World Series of Fighting 4 on 10 August 2013. Sefo lost the fight via TKO in the second round. In an interview in April 2015, Sefo said, "I actually made a promise to myself that this year will be my last year." He did not fight again after losing against Huckaba.[8] While he considered fighting again, Sefo officially announced his retirement in 2018.[1]

Executive career[edit]

Sefo is the current president of MMA promotion Professional Fighters League.[9] He was named president when the promotion was still known as World Series of Fighting. He helped the promotion ink a deal with NBC Sports to air 8 to 10 events on its network.

Titles[edit]

  • 2000 K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 Runner Up.
  • 1997 WKA World Super Heavyweight World champion.
  • 1996 WMTF World Heavyweight champion.
  • 1996 ISKA World Super Cruiserweight Champion.
  • 1995 ISKA World Cruiserweight Champion
  • 1994 ISKA World Light Cruiserweight Champion.
  • 1992 WMTF World Light Heavyweight Champion.
  • 1992 South Pacific Cruiserweight Champion.
  • 1991 New Zealand Cruiserweight Champion.
  • 1990 New Zealand Heavyweight Champion.

MMA accomplishments[edit]

Hero's

  • Superfight winner at K-1 Hero's 2

Personal life[edit]

Sefo lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and continues to train out of Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts.[10]

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing Record
Boxing Record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
4 matches 2 wins 2 losses
By knockout 2 1
By submission 0 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 2-2 Dave Huckaba TKO (punches) WSOF 4 August 10, 2013 2 4:32 Ontario, California, United States
Loss 2-1 Valentijn Overeem Submission (baseball choke) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva February 12, 2011 1 1:37 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Win 2-0 Kevin Jordan TKO (injury) Strikeforce Challengers: Kennedy vs. Cummings September 25, 2009 2 0:24 Bixby, Oklahoma, United States
Win 1-0 Kim Min-soo KO (head kick) Hero's 2 July 6, 2005 2 0:30 Tokyo, Japan

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "PFL executive Ray Sefo officially announces retirement from fighting". mmafighting.com. 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Kickboxing: Fighting among friends". The New Zealand Herald. 17 February 2006. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
  3. ^ Jessup, Peter (8 October 2005). "Kickboxing: Sefo makes his presence felt". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Kickboxer Sefo battles bankruptcy". Sunday News. 13 December 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2010.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "WSOF President Ray Sefo". MMAJunkie.com. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  6. ^ "WSOF Pres. Ray Sefo Fighting on Aug. 10th Card". mmafrenzy.com.
  7. ^ "Company President Ray Sefo Set to Fight at World Series of Fighting 4 in August". mmaweekly.com.
  8. ^ "WSOF Boss Ray Sefo". MMAJunkie.com. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  9. ^ "WSOF President Ray Sefo". MMAJunkie.com. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Ray Sefo Recalls Fight With Mark Hunt". Stuff.co.nz. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.

External links[edit]