Ray Sefo

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Ray Sefo
RaySefoXtremeCouture.jpg
Born (1971-02-15) 15 February 1971 (age 50)
Auckland, New Zealand
Other namesSugarfoot
NationalityNew Zealander
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight120 kg (265 lb; 18 st 13 lb)
DivisionLight Heavyweight
Cruiserweight
Heavyweight
Reach75 in (191 cm)
StyleKickboxing, Muay Thai, Boxing
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
Kickboxing record
Total79
Wins56
By knockout38
Losses22
By knockout11
Draws1
Mixed martial arts record
Total4
Wins2
By knockout1
By submission1
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

Ray Sefo (born 15 February 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. He is one of the greatest kickboxers to have never won the K-1 World Grand Prix.

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 Choi Hong-man, 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.[5] 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]

  • K-1
  • World Kickboxing Association
    • 1997 WKA World Super Heavyweight World Champion.
  • World Muay Thai Federation
    • 1996 WMTF World Heavyweight Champion.
    • 1992 WMTF World Light Heavyweight Champion.
  • International Sport Karate Association
    • 1996 ISKA World Super Cruiserweight Champion.
    • 1995 ISKA World Cruiserweight Champion.
    • 1994 ISKA World Light Cruiserweight Champion.
  • Regional
    • 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.[9]

Kickboxing record (Incomplete)[edit]

Kickboxing record (Incomplete)
56 Wins (38 (T)KO's, 18 Decisions), 22 Losses (11 (T)KO's, 11 Decisions), 1 Draw
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time Record
2012-03-10 Loss Croatia Mirko Cro Cop Cro Cop Final Fight Zagreb, Croatia Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 56-22-1
2010-10-02 Loss Suriname Tyrone Spong K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Seoul Final 16 Seoul, South Korea Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 56-21-1
Fails to qualify for K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final.
2010-05-21 Win Romania Ionuţ Iftimoaie K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Bucharest Bucharest, Romania Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 56-20-1
2009-12-31 Win Japan Yosuke Nishijima Dynamite!! 2009 Saitama, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 55-20-1
2008-12-06 Win South Korea Choi Hong-man K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final Yokohama, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 54-20-1
2008-09-27 Loss Turkey Gokhan Saki K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Seoul Final 16 Seoul, Korea Ext.R Decision 4 3:00 53-20-1
Fails to qualify for K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final.
2008-07-13 Loss Azerbaijan Zabit Samedov K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Taipei Taipei City, Taiwan 2nd Ext.R Decision (Split) 5 3:00 53-19-1
2008-04-13 Loss Morocco Badr Hari K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Yokohama Yokohama, Japan TKO (Referee Stoppage) 1 2:43 53-18-1
2007-09-29 Loss Netherlands Peter Aerts K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Seoul Final 16 Seoul, South Korea TKO (Corner Stoppage) 1 3:00 53-17-1
Fails to qualify for K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 Final.
2007-08-11 Loss Switzerland Bjorn Bregy K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Decision (Split) 3 3:00 53-16-1
2007-03-04 Loss Netherlands Semmy Schilt K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Yokohama Yokohama, Japan KO (Punch) 2 0:26 53-15-1
Fight was for K-1 Super Heavyweight Title.
2006-12-02 Win Netherlands Melvin Manhoef K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 Final Tokyo, Japan KO (Right Hook) 1 0:40 53-14-1
2006-09-30 Loss Germany Stefan Leko K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Osaka Opening Round Osaka, Japan Ext.R Decision (Unanimous) 4 3:00 52-14-1
Loses fight but invited to K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 Final as Reservist.
2006-08-12 Win Albania Azem Maksutaj K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Las Vegas II Las Vegas, Nevada, USA TKO (Referee Stoppage) 3 2:02 52-13-1
2006-06-03 Win Russia Ruslan Karaev K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Seoul Seoul, South Korea KO (Right Hook) 1 1:42 51-13-1
2006-03-05 Win South Africa Francois Botha K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Auckland Auckland, New Zealand Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 50-13-1
2005-11-19 Loss Netherlands Semmy Schilt K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 Final Tokyo, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 49-13-1
2005-09-23 Win Thailand Kaoklai Kaennorsing K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Osaka - Final Elimination Osaka, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 49-12-1
Qualifies for K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 Final.
2005-06-14 Win Russia Ruslan Karaev K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Hiroshima Hiroshima, Japan TKO (Referee Stoppage) 1 0:37 48-12-1
2004-12-31 Win Trinidad and Tobago Gary Goodridge K-1 PREMIUM 2004 Dynamite!! Osaka, Japan KO (Right Uppercuts) 1 0:24 47-12-1
2004-11-04 Loss Japan Musashi K-1 World Grand Prix 2004 Final Tokyo, Japan Ext.R Decision (Unanimous) 4 3:00 46-12-1
2004-09-25 Win Japan Hiromi Amada K-1 World Grand Prix 2004 Final Elimination Tokyo, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 46-11-1
Qualifies for K-1 World Grand Prix 2004 Final.
2004-08-07 Win United States Marvin Eastman K-1 World Grand Prix 2004 in Las Vegas II Las Vegas, Nevada, USA TKO (Referee Stoppage) 1 1:32 45-11-1
2004-06-26 Win United States Bob Sapp K-1 Beast 2004 in Shizuoka Shizuoka, Japan KO 2 0:29 44-11-1
2003-12-06 Loss Japan Musashi K-1 World Grand Prix 2003 Final Tokyo, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 43-11-1
2003-10-11 Win United States Carter Williams K-1 World Grand Prix 2003 Final Elimination Osaka, Japan Decision (Majority) 3 3:00 43-10-1
Qualifies for K-1 World Grand Prix 2003 Final.
2003-07-13 Win Japan Tatsufumi Tomihira K-1 World Grand Prix 2003 in Fukuoka Fukuoka, Japan TKO (Corner Stoppage) 5 2:15 42-10-1
2003-03-30 Win England Pelé Reid K-1 World Grand Prix 2003 in Saitama Saitama, Japan TKO (Corner Stoppage) 3 1:15 41-10-1
2002-12-07 Loss Netherlands Ernesto Hoost K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 Final Tokyo, Japan TKO (Shin Injury) 1 1:49 40-10-1
2002-12-07 Win Netherlands Peter Aerts K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 Final Tokyo, Japan Decision (Split) 3 3:00 40-9-1
2002-10-05 Win Sweden Martin Holm K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 Final Elimination Saitama, Japan Decision (Majority) 3 3:00 39-9-1
Qualifies for K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 Final.
2002-07-14 Win Netherlands Gilbert Yvel K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 in Fukuoka Fukuoka, Japan KO (Low Kicks) 2 2:07 38-9-1
2002-06-02 Win Brazil Julio Cesar Santana K-1 Survival 2002 Toyama, Japan KO (Right Hook) 1 0:37 37-9-1
2002-03-03 Win South Africa Mike Bernardo K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 in Nagoya Nagoya, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 5 3:00 36-9-1
2001-10-08 Win New Zealand Mark Hunt K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 in Fukuoka Fukuoka, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 35-9-1
2001-06-24 Loss Netherlands Remy Bonjasky K-1 Survival 2001 Sendai, Japan Ext.R TKO (Corner Stoppage) 4 3:00 34-9-1
2001-04-29 Win Australia Adam Watt K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 in Osaka Osaka, Japan TKO (Right Hook) 1 2:20 34-8-1
2001-03-17 Win Canada Michael McDonald K-1 Gladiators 2001 Yokohama, Japan KO (Right Hook) 1 1:56 33-8-1
2000-12-10 Loss Netherlands Ernesto Hoost K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 Final Tokyo, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 32-8-1
Fight was for K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 title.
2000-12-10 Win France Cyril Abidi K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 Final Tokyo, Japan TKO (Referee Stoppage) 1 1:45 32-7-1
2000-12-10 Win Japan Musashi K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 Final Tokyo, Japan TKO (Referee Stoppage) 1 1:38 31-7-1
2000-08-20 Loss France Cyril Abidi K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 in Yokohama Yokohama, Japan TKO (Corner Stoppage) 2 3:00 30-7-1
2000-08-20 Win Germany Frank Otto K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 in Yokohama Yokohama, Japan TKO (Referee Stoppage) 1 2:24 30-6-1
2000-08-20 Loss Netherlands Peter Aerts K-1 The Millennium Osaka, Japan KO (Right Low Kick) 3 2:24 29-6-1
1999-12-05 Loss Australia Sam Greco K-1 World Grand Prix 1999 Final Quarter Finals Tokyo, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00 29-5-1
1999-10-03 Win Morocco Samir Benazzouz K-1 World Grand Prix '99 Opening Round Osaka, Japan TKO (Referee Stoppage) 1 2:14 29-4-1
Qualifies for K-1 World Grand Prix 1999 Final.
1999-06-06 Win United States Jim Mullen K-1 Survival '99 Sapporo, Japan KO (Right Hook) 2 0:45 28-4-1
1999-04-25 Loss Switzerland Andy Hug K-1 Revenge '99 Yokohama, Japan TKO (Corner Stoppage) 4 3:00 27-4-1
1998-12-13 Loss Switzerland Andy Hug K-1 World Grand Prix 1998 Final Quarter Finals Tokyo, Japan TKO (Referee Stoppage/Two Knockdowns) 2 2:28 27-3-1
1998-09-27 Win Croatia Stefan Leko K-1 World Grand Prix '98 Opening Round Osaka, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 5 3:00 27-2-1
Qualifies for K-1 World Grand Prix 1998 Final.
1998-05-24 Loss England Matt Skelton K-1 Braves '98 Fukuoka, Japan TKO (Corner Stoppage) 2 3:00 26-2-1
1998-04-09 Draw Brazil Francisco Filho K-1 Kings '98 Yokohama, Japan Draw 5 3:00 26-1-1
1998-01-23 Win France Stephane Reveillon N/A N/A KO 2 N/A 26-1
Won WKBF Super Heavyweight title.
1997-10-00 Win United States Jean-Claude Leuyer N/A N/A Decision 5 3:00 25-1
1997-07-20 Win United States Jean-Claude Leuyer K-1 Dream '97 Nagoya, Japan Decision (Unanimous) 7 3:00 24-1
Won WKBA Super Heavyweight title.
1997-04-29 Win France Jérôme Le Banner K-1 Braves '97 Fukuoka, Japan KO (Right Hook) 1 1:31 23-1
1997-03-16 Win Croatia Petar Majstorovic K-1 Kings '97 Yokohama, Japan TKO (Referee Stoppage) 4 1:36 22-1
1996-12-08 Loss Netherlands Ernesto Hoost K-1 Hercules '96 Nagoya, Japan KO (Low Kicks) 4 0:25 21-1
1996-09-09 Win England Kirkwood Walker N/A Hong Kong KO N/A N/A 21-0
Won WMTF World Heavyweight title.
1996-08-01 Win England Lee Swaney New Zealand vs England Auckland, New Zealand KO N/A N/A 20-0
1996-02-25 Win Netherlands Andre Mannaart NZ - AUS - HOL Auckland, New Zealand KO (Punches) 4 N/A 19-0
Wins I.S.K.A. Super Cruiserweight World title.
1995-08-25 Win Canada Michael McDonald N/A Auckland, New Zealand KO (Right Hook) 3 N/A 18-0
Won ISKA World Light Cruiserweight title.
1995-04-27 Win United States Rob Martin N/A Auckland, New Zealand KO (Left Hook) 1 N/A 17-0
Won WMTF Light Heavyweight title.
Boxing record
5 Wins (4 (T)KO's, 1 Decision), 1 Loss (1 (T)KO)
Date Result Opponent Location Method Round Time Record
2001-09-02 Loss United States Chester Hughes Elgin, Illinois, USA KO 1 N/A 5–1
2001-06-03 Win United States Joe Lenhart Elgin, Illinois, USA TKO 1 N/A 5–0
2001-02-11 Win United States Steve Griffin Elgin, Illinois, USA TKO 1 N/A 4–0
1996-10-05 Win New Zealand Nicky Faamata Auckland, New Zealand TKO 3 N/A 3–0
1995-03-16 Win New Zealand Paul Baker Auckland, New Zealand PTS 4 N/A 2–0
1994-11-24 Win New Zealand Alex Katu Auckland, New Zealand TKO 1 N/A 1–0
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
4 matches 2 wins 2 losses
By knockout 1 1
By submission 1 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 Submission (knee 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. Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
  5. ^ a b "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. ^ "Ray Sefo Recalls Fight With Mark Hunt". Stuff.co.nz. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.

External links[edit]