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TOURNAMENTS

Mega Battle Tournament

  • Mega Battle Tournament 1992 (Oct 29, 1992 – Jan 23, 1993) – Chris Dolman
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1993 (Oct 23, 1993 – Jan 21, 1994) – Akira Maeda
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1995 (Oct 21, 1995 – Jan 24, 1996) – Akira Maeda
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1997 (Oct 25, 1997 – Jan 21, 1998) – Kiyoshi Tamura
  • Mega Battle Tournament 1998 (Oct 23, 1998 – Jan 23, 1999) – Netherlands

King of Kings

Title Tournaments

  • Light Heavyweight Title Tournament 1997 (Mar 28 – Aug 13, 1997) – Masayuki Naruse
  • Middleweight Title Tournament 2001 (Apr 20 – Aug 11, 2001) – Ricardo Arona
  • Open-weight Title Tournament 2001 (Apr 20 – Aug 11, 2001) – Fedor Emelianenko

Other Tournaments

  • Rising Stars Heavyweight Tournament 2000 (Jul 15 – Sep 30, 2000) – Bobby Hoffman
  • Rising Stars Middleweight Tournament 2000 (Jul 15 – Sep 30, 2000) – Jeremy Horn
  • Absolute Class Tournament 2001 (Oct 20, 2001 – Feb 15, 2002) – Fedor Emelianenko

CHAMPIONSHIPS

Open-Weight Championship

No.NameDateLocationNotes
1Kiyoshi Tamura
(def. Mikhail Ilioukhine)
January 21, 1998
(Mega Battle Tournament 1997)
Tokyo, Japan
2Bitsadze Tariel
(def. Kiyoshi Tamura)
May 29, 1998
(Fighting Integration III)
Sapporo, Japan
3Kiyoshi Tamura
(def. Bitsadze Tariel)
May 22, 1999
(Rise III)
Tokyo, Japan
4Gilbert Yvel
(def. Kiyoshi Tamura)
April 20, 2000
(Millennium Combine)
Tokyo, JapanTitle was vacated in May 2000 when Yvel signed to Pride FC.
5Fedor Emelianenko
(def. Bobby Hoffman)
August 11, 2001
(Rings – 10th Anniversary)
Tokyo, JapanPromotion closed on February 15, 2002.

Light-Heavyweight Championship (-95kg)

No.NameDateLocationNotes
1Masayuki Naruse
(def. Christopher Haseman)
August 13, 1997
(Fighting Extension VI)
Kagoshima, JapanTitle Dissolved.

Middleweight Championship

No.NameDateLocationNotes
1Ricardo Arona
(def. Gustavo Ximu)
August 11, 2001
(Rings-10th Anniversary)
Tokyo, JapanPromotion closed on February 15, 2002.

ROSTER

Japanese roster

Foreigners

Rings's system was very much like the NWA in which members of "foreign promotions" (actually stables composed of fighters from a given country) competed against the Japanese members.

Stables

Tariel vs. Yvel

Netherlands

Dick Vrij , Hanse Nyman , Gilbert Yvel, Joop Kasteel, Valentijn Overeem, Alistair Overeem, Chris Dolman, Willie Peters

Australia

Chris Haseman, Elvis Sinosic, Tony Bonello

Bulgaria

Todor Todorov, Dimitar Petkov, Georgi Tonkov

Maeda vs. Kopylov

Georgia

Zaza Grom, Tariel Bitsadze, Amiran Bitsadze

Russia

Volk Han , Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Kopylov, Bazigit Atajev, Nikolai Zouev, Mikhail Illoukhine, Sotir Gotchev

Brazil

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, Renato Sobral, Gustavo Machado, Renzo Gracie

Big Nog vs. Volk Han

United Kingdom

Lee Hasdell was the representative for Rings UK, which began in the late 1990s, other British fighters included Chris Watts, Dexter Casey and Paul Cahoon.

United States Of America

Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Kerry Schall, and Bobby Hoffman

Decline

Maeda & Tamura

Maeda retired from active duty in 1998, leaving Tamura as the top star, but the collapse of UWF International and the subsequent rise of the Pride provided competition that proved to be too much for the promotion. On February 15, 2002, the promotion ceased activity. Japanese Rings stars who made transitions into puroresu since then include Nagai, Masayuki Naruse, Wataru Sakata and Hiroyuki Ito.

Revival

RINGS : THE OUTSIDERS

Following the dissolution of Hero's and Maeda's involvement with FEG, Maeda revived the Rings brand for a new series of MMA events named The Outsider. The first Rings: The Outsider event occurred on March 30, 2008. Over a dozen Outsider events have been held since.

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