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    Fighting Network Rings

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    Fighting Network Rings, trademarked as RINGS, is a defunct Japanese combat sport promotion that was active from 1991 to 2002 with a revival in 2008. It was founded by Akira Maeda on May 11, 1991, following the dissolution of Newborn UWF.

    Short summary describing this franchise.

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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
    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
    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
    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 & 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

    No Caption Provided
    RINGS : THE OUTSIDERS
    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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