Sam Greco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sam Greco
BornSalvatore Greco
(1967-05-03) 3 May 1967 (age 52)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Other namesSlam 'em Sam The Man
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight112 kg (247 lb; 17.6 st)
DivisionSuper Heavyweight
StyleKyokushin Karate, Seidokaikan Karate Kickboxing
TeamTeam Greco
Rankblack belt in Kyokushin and white belt in BJJ
Years active17 (1988–2005)
Kickboxing record
By knockout11
By knockout7
No contests2
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout2
By submission1
By decision1
Other information
OccupationRestaurant owner, actor
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: 22 January 2010

Salvatore "Sam" Greco (born 3 May 1967) is a retired Australian former full contact karateka, super heavyweight K-1 kickboxer, mixed martial artist and soccer player of Italian descent. He was the 1994 Karate World Cup champion and holds notable kickboxing victories over Branko Cikatic, Ernesto Hoost, Mike Bernardo, Stefan Leko, and Ray Sefo, as well as MMA victories over Heath Herring and Shungo Oyama.

Biography and career[edit]

Salvatore Greco was born on 3 May 1967, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and grew up in the suburb of Brunswick. His Italian-born father, Vittorio, encouraged him to get involved with soccer from an early age and Greco became the youngest player at 16 years old ever to sign up with the Australian premier league team Brunswick Juventus. After 10 years playing for Juventus he stopped soccer to focus solely on karate.[1]


Greco started training in Kyokushin karate at the age of around 7 and established himself as one of Australia's best Kyokushin fighters in the late 1980s and early 1990s winning the heavyweight division of the Australian championships five times in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992.[2][3] In 1988 he fought in the heavyweight division of the 1st Commonwealth Karate Championships held in Sydney placing 3rd with English champion Michael Thompson winning. In 1991 he competed in the 5th World Open Tournament in Japan losing to Michael Thompson in the first round on decision due to accidentally punching him in the face. In 1992 he competed in the heavyweight division of the Oyama Cup Singapore International Open in Singapore with Papua New Guinean Walter Schnaubelt winning.

After the Singapore tournament in October 1992, Sam left Kyokushin fighting as an amateur to join Seidokaikan karate to become a professional karate fighter.[4] Fellow Kyokushin champion Andy Hug had recently joined Seidokaikan and won the 2nd Karate World Cup in October and then in 1993 Michael Thompson also joined Seidokaikan. In June 1993 Sam had his first karate fight at the K-1 Sanctuary III a kickboxing tournament promoted by Seidokaikan karate founder Kazuyoshi Ishii. Sam fought Keisuke Nakagawa who had placed 6th in the 2nd Karate World Cup. In October 1993 Sam competed in the 3rd Karate World Cup defeating Minoru Fujita to make the quarter finals to fight Toshiyuki Atokawa with the judges decision a draw after the first round, and again in the second round, with the fight awarded to Toshiyuki Atokawa on weight difference, who went on to place 3rd. In October 1994 Sam competed in the 4th Karate World Cup making the final after winning four fights. In the final he fought Michael Thompson winning in the first round with a left low kick followed by a straight right body shot to become the Karate World Cup Champion.


Sam had his K-1 debut in 1995 at K-1 Hercules. Following year he appeared in his first K-1 World Grand Prix tournament where he suffered his first loss in semifinals against Musashi.

After retiring in 2005 from professional competition, Sam Greco worked as trainer for other fighters, including Bob Sapp.

Professional wrestling[edit]

Greco was originally signed to professional wrestling company World Championship Wrestling, but never wrestled for them, as it folded before he could debut beyond a backstage vignette.[5][6] He would not make his wrestling debut until November 2002, when he signed up by Wrestle-1, then a co-promotion between K-1 and All Japan Pro Wrestling. In the first Wrestle-1 event, Greco teamed up with masked lucha libre exponent Dos Caras Jr. against Kaz Hayashi and Taiyo Kea, all while wearing his own mask and playing a Dos Caras body double named "Sam Grecaras". They won, with Greco receiving good reviews in the process.[7]

He wrestled again in December 2003, appearing in AJPW to team up with Keiji Mutoh and Abdullah the Butcher against Taka Michinoku, Jamal and D'lo Brown from the villainous faction RO&D. His third and last venture in professional wrestling would be two years later, as part of the briefly revived Wrestle-1 concept. This time he formed a team with fellow K-1 fighter Jan Nortje against Giant Bernard and The Predator, who defeated them when Bernard pinned Nortje.[8]

Acting career[edit]

In 1995 Greco had a small part as an enforcer in the Richard Norton movie Under the Gun, also known as Iron Fist, which was filmed in Victoria.[9] He played the stunt double for retired professional wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin in the 2007 action thriller The Condemned and also had a small part in the 2008 Australian boxing drama film, Two Fists One Heart which was shot in Western Australia. He has also appeared occasionally in movies as a fight consultant and martial arts advisor.

He had a small part in the fourth episode of the Australian mini-series Underbelly, playing nightclub bouncer Bruno Bolotzi. The episode was first broadcast in February 2008.

He had a small part in an episode of the Australian comedy Pizza, playing the Roman soldier Glutious Maximus. He made another appearance for Pizza this time in a two-part episode Holiday Pizza, playing Pauly's Italian cousin Luigi. The last appearance he made in Pizza was in the Cracker Pizza episode, playing Crackerus in the last season of the series. He also had a part in the Australian comedy Swift and Shift Couriers as Louie "Luigi" Marietti. Both Pizza and Swift and Shift Couriers were created by Greco's good friend Paul Fenech.

He played the Masked Wrestler Zarkos in Scooby-Doo. In the movie Zarkos appears as one of N'Goo Tuana's henchmen, but later he sneaks up on Daphne and captures her and steals the Daemon Ritus from her. Later in the movie he tries to sneak up on Daphne and capture her again but instead they end up fighting; near the end of the fight, he grabs Daphne and throws her onto his back and puts her in a hold but she escapes and defeats him.

Titles and accomplishments[edit]

  • 1999 K-1 World Grand Prix 3rd Place
  • 1999 W.A.K.O. Pro World Muay Thai Super Heavyweight Champion
  • 1995 The Best of the Best Tournament Champion
  • 1994 W.K.A. World Muay Thai Super Heavyweight Heavyweight Champion
  • 1994 Seidokaikan Karate World Cup Champion
  • 5 time Australian Kyokushin Karate Heavyweight Champion

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing Record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 3-1-1 Shungo Oyama KO (knees and punches) Hero's 3 9 July 2005 1 2:37 Tokyo, Japan
Win 2-1-1 Heath Herring TKO (knee injury) Hero's 1 26 March 2005 1 2:41 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 1-1-1 Lyoto Machida Decision (split) K-1 MMA ROMANEX 22 May 2004 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 1-0-1 Stefan Gamlin Submission (rear naked choke) K-1 Beast 2004 in Niigata 14 March 2004 1 0:25 Niigata Prefecture, Japan
Draw 0-0-1 Masaaki Satake Draw Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2001 31 December 2001 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boyle, Jarrod (8 May 2014). "Sam Greco: Experience is worth more than anything". International Kickboxer.
  2. ^ "Tony Bowden: The Shihan who never gave up". Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  3. ^ Boyle, Jarrod (8 May 2014). "Sam Greco: Experience is worth more than anything". International Kickboxer.
  4. ^ Boyle, Jarrod (8 May 2014). "Sam Greco: Experience is worth more than anything". International Kickboxer.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Wilson, Kevin. "All Japan Wrestle-1". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  8. ^ Wilson, Kevin. "World-1 Grand Prix". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  9. ^

External links[edit]