MMA has come a long way since its inception; it has grown from being a gritty toughman-esq competition that just wanted to find out what martial arts style was the best, into a true sporting event and martial art all its own. MMA today looks nothing like it did in the early days and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to reminisce about the good ole’ days.

The one part of MMA we truly miss in its modern form is the “Freakshow Fight”. For those of you who don’t know, a “Freakshow Fight” is a fight that pits two fighters against each other that have no business fighting; generally there is a crazy size difference between the fighters.

So in honor of our love for “Freakshow Fights”, we at The MMA Corner will share our favorite videos of our favorite fights that had no business ever taking place.

This week we travel back to 2001 to relive the K-1 Sumo tournament opening round matchup between freakshow mainstays Bab “The Beast” Sapp and Eric “Butterbean” Esch. That’s right folks, legendary kickboxing organization K-1 once held a Sumo tournament that featured a mix of kickboxers and pro wrestlers from Japan.

The tournament was exactly what you would expect; equal parts awesome and terrible. Arguably the most entertaining bout of the tournament was between Sapp and Butterbean. It didn’t last long, but watching Sapp essentially hurl a 400 pound man off of a sumo platform was extremely entertaining.

People tend to forget because he is an utterly terrible fighter that Sapp was once an elite NCAA Division I offensive lineman who was drafted into the NFL. This tournament was built for someone with Sapp’s skills to succeed. In fact, Sapp would eventually win the tournament to claim his crown as king of the freaks.


About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.