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.

Today, the sport 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 never should have existed.

This week we go back in time to April 8, 2007, at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan for Pride 34 where Eric “Butterbean” Esch took on Wagner da Conceicao Martins aka Zuluzinho.

Of all of the crazy bouts Pride FC put on over the years, this one may just be the most insane. In one corner, stands Butterbean; a 40 year old Toughman winner turned boxer turned pseudo MMA fighter. In the other corner you had Zuluzinho; the 28-year-old son of Vale Tudo legend Rei Zulu. Zuluzinho came into Pride with this mythical 38-0 with 38 KOs Vale Tudo record, but watching him in the ring you soon realized that record was a figment of his imagination.

How does someone who has trained in BJJ get submitted by a guy named Butterbean? That fact the Butterbean of all people pulled off a submission is just awesome.

Check out the fight above.

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.