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August 18, 1970 |
Hamamasu village, Hokkaidō, Japan
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight||154 lb (70 kg; 11.0 st)|
|Style||Amateur wrestling, Shoot wrestling, Judo, BJJ|
|Fighting out of||Tokyo, Japan|
|Rank||black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
black belt in Judo
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Yuki Nakai (中井祐樹 Nakai Yūki?) is a retired Japanese mixed martial artist. He currently teaches Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is the president of the Japan Shooto Association. He competed in Vale Tudo Japan 1995, where he was outweighed by every opponent in the tournament. Despite this, and despite suffering a severe eye injury in the first bout, Nakai managed to make it to the finals where he lost to Rickson Gracie. Nakai is a legend of Shooto by many fighters and fans. He is the founder of the Paraestra Shooto gyms and coaches fighters such as PRIDE and DREAM stand out Shinya Aoki, who also earned his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Nakai.
He was born August 18 in 1970. After graduating from Hokkaido Sapporo North high school, he entered Hokkaido University. He belonged to the judo club and won the renowned shichitei kosen judo championship when he was in fourth grade. In 1992, he was scouted by Satoru Sayama, who trained him in shoot wrestling at the Super Tiger Gym, and Nakai made his debut in Shooto the same year. His knowledge of groundfighting granted him a distinguished career in Shooto, where he defeated Kazuhiro Kusayanagi for the Shooto Welterwight Championship.
In 1995, as the current champion, Nakai was selected by the Shooto Commission to represent Shooto in the Vale Tudo tournament Vale Tudo Japan 1995, hosted by Sayama. His first opponent was Gerard Gordeau, a Dutch karate fighter. Nakai started the fight trying to take down Gordeau, but the Dutchman kept grabbing the ropes through the rounds to avoid it. The Shooto champion dropped down and scissored Gordeau's leg to work a leglock, but Gerard illegally eye-gouged several times him from that position and tried to kick him out the ring. A bloodied Nakai later took Gordeau down in the corner and secured a heel hook to make him tap. Despite his right eye being gravely injured and having lost half of his eyesight, Nakai advanced in the tournament and was pitted against American wrestler and WCW performer Craig Pittman, who sported a 100-lb weight advantage. The bigger wrestler took him down and performed hard ground and pound near the ropes while Nakai tried repeatedly for armbars from the bottom. Pittman continued his assault in the center of the ring, where Nakai fended him off with a kosen-inspired usage of both butterfly and spider guard. In the second round, Nakai dropped to the ground and resumed trying to submit Pittman from his guard, which he finally accomplished with an armbar for the win. Now with both of his eyes completely swollen from the punishment and almost blind, Yuki would face Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Rickson Gracie in the third and final bout. Nakai resisted Rickson's earlier attempts to pass his guard, but he was too lacerated to keep his defense and Gracie took the mount, landing some punches before catching Yuki in a rear naked choke, thus winning the tournament.
Yuki Nakai became permanently blind in his right eye due to Gordeau's illegal tactics. For years he and Sayama kept his blindness a secret to protect the reputation of mixed martial arts. The injury forced Nakai to retire from mixed martial arts competition. Despite many believing the Vale Tudo match with Rickson Gracie led him to start practicing Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, it was actually after witnessing Noboru Asahi's loss to Royler Gracie in 1996 that he took up the art. He learned it from Enson Inoue and Carlos Gracie Jr, becoming the first person from Japan to hold a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and over time was appointed president of the Japanese Confederation of Jiu-Jitsu.
Championships and accomplishments
- Shooto Welterweight Championship (1 time)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|11 matches||9 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||9-2-1||Rickson Gracie||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Vale Tudo Japan 1995||April 20, 1995||1||6:22||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||9-1-1||Craig Pittman||Submission (armbar)||Vale Tudo Japan 1995||April 20, 1995||2||7:32||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||8-1-1||Gerard Gordeau||Submission (heel hook)||Vale Tudo Japan 1995||April 20, 1995||4||2:41||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||7-1-1||Hiraoki Matsutani||Submission (heel hook)||Shooto - Vale Tudo Access 3||January 21, 1995||1||0:20||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||6-1-1||Kazuhiro Kusayanagi||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto - Vale Tudo Access 2||November 7, 1994||4||4:00||Tokyo, Japan||Won the Shooto Welterweight Championship|
|Draw||6-1-1||Arthur Cathiard||Draw||Shooto - Vale Tudo Access||September 7, 1994||3||8:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||5-1||Kyuhei Ueno||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Shooto - Shooto||May 6, 1994||5||0:52||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||4-1||Jun Kikawada||Submission (heel hook)||Shooto - New Stage Battle of Wrestling||March 11, 1994||1||0:27||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||3-1||Jun Kikawada||N/A||Seishinkaikan||February 23, 1994||N/A||N/A||Japan|
|Loss||2-1||Noboru Asahi||Decision (unanimous)||Shooto - Shooto||November 25, 1993||5||3:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||2-0||Masakazu Kuramochi||Submission (heel hook)||Shooto - Shooto||June 24, 1993||2||1:36||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||1-0||Hiroki Noritsugi||Submission (kimura)||Shooto - Shooto||April 26, 1993||1||0:53||Tokyo, Japan|
Submission grappling record
|Draw||Ricardo de la Riva||Draw||Ground Impact Revival||2013|
|Win||Ricardo de la Riva||Points||Professional Jiu Ground Impact 05||2004|
|Loss||Mario Reis||Points||Professional Jiu DESAFIO 02||2004|
|Loss||Mitsuyoshi Hayakawa||Points||Professional Jiu Ground Impact 04||2004|
|Win||Albert Crane||Points||Professional Jiu Ground Impact 03||2004|
|Loss||Alexandre Sokka||Points||Professional Jiu Ground Impact 02||2003|
|Loss||Leonardo Vieira||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Professional Jiu GI um Ground Impact||2002|
|Loss||Vitor Ribeiro||Points||Vale Tudo Japan '99||1999|
|Win||Tsutomu Fujimoto||Points||Daido-Juku THE WARS V||1999|
|Win||Masato Fujiwara||Points||Daido-Juku THE WARS IV||1997|
|Draw||Kazuya Abe||Draw||KP X WK: Koppo vs. Keisyukai||1996|
|Loss||Jean-Jacques Machado||Submission (triangle choke)||Shooto: Vale Tudo Perception||1995|
- "Yuki Nakai remains committed to teaching true spirit of martial arts." Japan Today. Retrieved on April 12, 2012.
- Abu Dhabi Combat Club. Yuki Nakai's Jiu Jitsu 'Mook'. news.adcombat.com. URL last accessed April 6, 2006.
- Frymer, William. A Sacred Cup named SHOOTO. boutreviewusa.com. URL last accessed April 6, 2006..
- Sherdog.com. Nakai talks Vale Tudo, SHOOTO and Rickson, Gerard Gordeau, Yuki Nakai. www.sherdog.com. URL last accessed April 6, 2006.