|Born||March 6, 1970|
|Other names||TK, Kakutogi Kai no Kenja ("The Combat Sports World Sage")|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||225 lb (102 kg; 16 st 1 lb)|
|Rank||4th Degree Black Belt in Judo|
|Years active||1995 - 2006 (MMA) 2015- present|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Tsuyoshi "TK" Kohsaka (高阪 剛 Kōsaka Tsuyoshi?, born March 6, 1970) is a retired Japanese mixed martial artist and professional wrestler. He has competed in high profile mixed martial arts promotions, such as the UFC, RINGS, Pancrase, and DEEP. Kohsaka is known for his conditioning and grappling prowess as well as fighting many of the greatest heavyweight and light heavyweight fighters of all time. His "TK Guard" is famous for its efficiency and Frank Shamrock and Maurice Smith have both credited him with having vastly improved their work from that particular position.
Mixed martial arts career
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka was an early MMA pioneer, who started his career in the RINGS Organization frequently having to fight each and every month. He won the prestigious Lumax Cup tournament, beating out Egan Inoue at the finals. During his career at Rings, Kohsaka defeated former UFC Heavyweight Champion Maurice Smith, Gilbert Yvel, Chris Haseman, and Fedor Emelianenko. The victory over Emelianenko was controversial. Footage shows that the cut was caused by a missed looping punch where Kohsaka's elbow struck Emelianenko's head. Emelianenko said that this elbow reopened a cut sustained in his previous fight against Ricardo Arona. Since the fight was in a tournament format, a winner and loser were required because draws and no-contests were not awarded. Since Emelianenko could not advance due to the injury, Kohsaka did. Emelianenko later avenged this controversial loss in a lopsided fashion in their rematch at Pride Bushido 6.
In 1998, Kohsaka signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and debuted at the event UFC 18, facing Kimo Leopoldo. The much heavier Kimo controlled the first moments of the fight and tried a kneebar, but the Japanese shooter showed his field of expertise reversing the hold and attempting his own leglocks, always keeping a strong defense. At a point, Leopoldo gained the mount, only for Kohsaka to use his "TK scissors" and reverse the position into a heel hook attempt. After minutes of fighting, TK controlled the standing, landing precise punches and leg kicks before getting down to the mat and perform ground and pound on Kimo until the end of the bout. Kohsaka won by unanimous decision.
Later that year TK fought Pete Williams at UFC Brazil. Williams went aggressively against Kohsaka using his vaunted striking, but Kohsaka kept taking him down with judo throws and attempting armlocks, also using his defensive guard whenever Williams managed to get back his offensive. At the end, Tsuyoshi won again by unanimous decision, which gained him a spot in a tournament for the title which was vacated by Randy Couture.
At 1999's UFC 18, Kohsaka returned to UFC fighting the legendary Bas Rutten in the first round of the "Road to the Heavyweight Title", which was a four-man tournament that would crown the next UFC Heavyweight Champion. Kohsaka dominated the majority of the fight with his superiority at wrestling and ground and pound game plan, but ultimately lost by TKO when Rutten recovered in overtime and knocked him out with knees and punches. However, the fight was the source of heated controversy because referee John McCarthy seemed to unfairly stand the fight back to the feet even though at some moments Kohsaka was mounted on Rutten and actively landing clean effective punches.
In the same year, TK faced Tim Lajcik at UFC 21, where he won via TKO when Lajcik quit between rounds. Kohsaka again utilized a strategy of skilled defense and reversions to set up submissions attempts, eventually sweeping Lajcik against the cage wall and performing a lengthy ground and pound, which made Tim's corner throw the towel after the end of the round.
Kohsaka also took part in the second UFC event in Japanese soil, UFC 23, where he was pitted against Ruas Vale Tudo exponent Pedro Rizzo. The two contenders spent a round cautiously, until Rizzo switched to aggressive leg kicks and Kohsaka tried to take him down in return. Through the match, Pedro blocked TK's efforts to get it to the ground and landed more punches and leg kicks. At the end, after Kohsaka had absorbed a long punishment, Rizzo landed a right hand for the TKO, being declared winner.
Tsuyoshi's last fight in UFC was at UFC 37, fighting Ricco Rodriguez. The fight featured a long, back and forth grappling action, with Rodriguez taking dominant position and Kohsaka reversing and blocking him, until Ricco finally secured a mount and threw punches to the face for the TKO victory.
After RINGS's demise, Kohsaka wandered between Pancrase and the MMA division of New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he defeated Ron Waterman and Ricardo Morais, both of whom weighed in for their contests against him in excess of 300 pounds. He then landed in PRIDE Fighting Championships, in which his first fight would be a rematch against Fedor Emelianenko for the latter's technical defeat in RINGS, taking place in PRIDE Bushido 6. The fight was one-sided and brutal, with Fedor landing strikes through Kohsaka's guard while the Japanese tried leglocks. At the end, after taking punches during most of the round, a bloody Kohsaka's corner threw the towel between rounds.
Kohsaka returned in PRIDE 31 against legendary Brazilian grappler and Brazilian Top Team coach Mario Sperry. The bout was even shorter, as Kohsaka knocked him out with punches after a brief struggle. Knowing the end of his career was near, TK announced his intentions to retire should he lose any of his matches in 2006. The day of his fight with Sperry was also the same day of his son's birth.
At PRIDE Total Elimination Absolute, Kohsaka fought Mark Hunt in what would be his last fight. TK struggled with the much heavier kickboxer, taking his back and performing an inverted triangle keylock only to Hunt to force his way out via raw strength. Back to standing, Kohsaka traded strikes with Hunt and landed effective hits despite the difference in level, absorbing heavy punches and delivering combos against the ropes. At the second round, the Japanese shooter again tried unsuccessfully to grapple with Hunt, and after long series of strikes, the kickboxer knocked him out with a right punch, finally ending the match.
Championships and accomplishments
- Lumax Cup
- Tournament of J'95 Winner
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|48 matches||28 wins||18 losses|
|Loss||28–18–2||Mark Hunt||TKO (punches)||Pride FC - Total Elimination Absolute||May 5, 2006||2||4:15||Osaka, Japan||Pride 2006 Openweight Grand Prix opening round.|
|Win||28–17–2||Mario Sperry||TKO (punches)||Pride 31 - Dreamers||February 26, 2006||1||1:20||Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||27–17–2||Mike Kyle||Technical decision (unanimous)||Pancrase: Spiral 8||October 2, 2005||3||1:17||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||27–16–2||David Shvelidze||Submission (armbar)||Rings Russia: CIS vs. The World||August 20, 2005||1||N/A||Yekaterinburg, Russia|
|Loss||26–16–2||Fedor Emelianenko||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Pride: Bushido 6||April 3, 2005||1||10:00||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||26–15–2||Ron Waterman||Decision (unanimous)||Pancrase: Brave 10||November 7, 2004||3||5:00||Urayasu, Japan||Won Pancrase Super Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||25–15–2||Ricardo Morais||Decision (unanimous)||NJPW: Ultimate Crush||October 13, 2003||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||24–15–2||Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren||TKO (doctor stoppage)||NJPW: Ultimate Crush||May 2, 2003||1||2:56||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||23–15–2||Antônio Rogério Nogueira||Decision (unanimous)||Deep - 6th Impact||September 7, 2002||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||23–14–2||Ricco Rodriguez||TKO (punches)||UFC 37||May 10, 2002||2||3:25||Bossier City, Louisiana, United States|
|Loss||23–13–2||Bazigit Atajev||Decision (majority)||Rings: World Title Series 5||December 21, 2001||3||5:00||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||23–12–2||Koba Tkeshelashvili||KO (knee)||Rings: 10th Anniversary||August 11, 2001||1||2:17||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||22–12–2||Renato Sobral||Decision (majority)||Rings: World Title Series 2||June 15, 2001||3||5:00||Yokohama, Japan|
|Loss||22–11–2||Randy Couture||Decision (unanimous)||Rings: King of Kings 2000 Final||February 24, 2001||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 2000 Tournament Quarterfinal|
|Win||22–10–2||Fedor Emelianenko||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block B||December 22, 2000||1||00:17||Osaka, Japan||King of Kings 2000 Tournament 2nd Round. Kohsaka cut Emelianenko with an illegal elbow, which led to doctor stoppage|
|Win||21–10–2||Mikhail Ilyukhin||KO (punches)||Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block B||December 22, 2000||2||01:53||Osaka, Japan||King of Kings 2000 Tournament 1st Round|
|Draw||20–10–2||Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira||Draw||Rings: Millennium Combine 3||August 23, 2000||2||5:00||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||20–10–1||Greg Wikan||Submission (toe hold)||Rings USA: Rising Stars Block A||July 15, 2000||1||02:53||Orem, Utah, United States||Rising Stars Heavyweight Tournament 2000 2nd Round. Later pulls out due to injury|
|Win||19–10–1||Travis Fulton||Decision (unanimous)||Rings USA: Rising Stars Block A||July 15, 2000||3||05:00||Orem, Utah, United States||Rising Stars Heavyweight Tournament 2000 1st Round|
|Loss||18–10–1||Gilbert Yvel||TKO (cut)||Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block B||December 22, 1999||3||05:00||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||18–9–1||Chris Haseman||Decision (split)||Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block B||December 22, 1999||1||01:17||Osaka, Japan|
|Loss||17–9–1||Pedro Rizzo||TKO (punches)||UFC 23||November 19, 1999||3||01:12||Urayasu, Japan|
|Win||17–8–1||Gilbert Yvel||Technical Decision (lost points)||Rings: Rise 5th||August 19, 1999||1||08:17||Japan|
|Win||16–8–1||Tim Lajcik||TKO (corner stoppage)||UFC 21||July 16, 1999||2||05:00||Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States|
|Loss||15–8–1||Yoshihisa Yamamoto||TKO (palm strikes)||Rings: Rise 3rd||May 22, 1999||3||00:44||Japan|
|Loss||15–7–1||Gilbert Yvel||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Rings: Rise 2nd||April 23, 1999||1||14:58||Japan|
|Loss||15–6–1||Bas Rutten||TKO (punches)||UFC 18||January 8, 1999||1||14:15||Kenner, Louisiana, United States||Road to the Heavyweight Title Tournament Semifinals|
|Win||15–5–1||Pete Williams||Decision||UFC Brazil||October 16, 1998||1||15:00||São Paulo, Brazil||Qualifies for the Road to the Heavyweight Title Tournament|
|Draw||14–5–1||Kiyoshi Tamura||Draw||Rings: Fourth Fighting Integration||June 27, 1998||1||30:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||14–5||Volk Han||Submission||Rings: Third Fighting Integration||May 29, 1998||1||10:10||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||13–5||Kimo Leopoldo||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 16||March 13, 1998||1||15:00||Kenner, Louisiana, United States|
|Win||12–5||Rob van Esdonk||Submission (heel hook)||Rings Holland: The King of Rings||February 8, 1998||2||0:57||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Loss||11–5||Mikhail Ilyukhin||N/A||Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Final||January 21, 1998||N/A||N/A|
|Win||11–4||Jerry Askoff||N/A||Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Opening Round||October 25, 1997||N/A||N/A||United States|
|Win||10–4||Borislav Jeliazkov||Decision (lost points)||Rings - Mega Battle Tournament 1997 Semifinal 1||October 25, 1997||1||00:00||Japan|
|Loss||9–4||Frank Shamrock||Decision||Rings - Extension Fighting 7||September 26, 1997||1||30:00||Japan|
|Loss||9–3||Kiyoshi Tamura||Submission (toe hold)||Rings - Extension Fighting 2||April 22, 1997||1||13:57||Japan|
|Win||9–2||Mikhail Ilyukhin||N/A||Rings - Budokan Hall 1997||January 22, 1997||N/A||N/A||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||8–2||Volk Han||Submission (armbar)||Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Final||January 1, 1997||1||13:52|
|Win||8–1||Dick Vrij||N/A||Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Opening Round||October 25, 1996||N/A||N/A|
|Loss||7–1||Volk Han||Submission (armbar)||Rings - Maelstrom 6||August 24, 1996||1||13:52||Japan|
|Win||7–0||Scott Sollivan||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Various Fights||June 6, 1996||1||2:58||United States|
|Win||6–0||Willie Peeters||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Rings Holland - Kings of Martial Arts||February 18, 1996||N/A||N/A||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Win||5–0||Maurice Smith||Submission (heel hook)||Rings - Budokan Hall 1996||January 24, 1996||1||4:13||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||4–0||Egan Inoue||Decision (unanimous)||Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '95||October 13, 1995||1||3:40||Japan||Won Lumax Cup Tournament of J '95|
|Win||3–0||Susumu Yamasaki||Submission (heel hook)||Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '95||October 13, 1995||1||0:52||Japan||Tournament of J '95 Semifinals|
|Win||2–0||Hiroyuki Yoshioka||TKO (punches)||Lumax Cup: Tournament of J '95||October 13, 1995||3||3:00||Japan||Tournament of J '95 First Round|
|Win||1–0||Wataru Sakata||N/A||Rings - Budokan Hall 1995||January 25, 1995||N/A||N/A||Tokyo, Japan|
Submission grappling record
|Loss||Fabrício Werdum||Points||ADCC 2003 +99 kg||2003|
|Loss||Jean-Jacques Machado||Submission (armbar)||ADCC 2001 Absolute||2001|
|Loss||Rolles Gracie||Points||ADCC 2001 -99 kg||2001|
|Loss||Tom Erikson||Decision||The Contenders||1997||5||5:00|
- Nate Wilcox. "MMA History XX: Kazushi Sakuraba and Frank Shamrock Emerge at Ultimate Japan". Bloody Elbow.
- "411MANIA - MMA Legacy 9.21.09: Bas Rutten". MMA Legacy 9.21.09: Bas Rutten.
- "FansOfK1.com - Mark Hunt". fansofk1.com.
- "Rizin FF - Rizin Fighting Federation 1". Sherdog. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "Fedor Emelianenko still without an opponent, Tsuyoshi Kosaka to face James Thompson at Rizin". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "The Karate of UFC Featherweight Katsunori Kikuno". Fightland.
- "Profile at Oocities". Oocities. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
- "Pro Wrestling History". prowrestlinghistory.com.
- "Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Opening Round Official Results". mixedmartialarts.com. October 25, 1997.
- "Various Fights Official Results". mixedmartialarts.com. June 6, 1996.