Fighting Network Rings
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Fighting Network Rings, trademarked as RINGS, is a Japanese combat sport promotion that has lived three distinct periods: puroresu promotion from its inauguration to 1995, mixed martial arts promotion from 1995 to its 2002 disestablishment, and the revived mixed martial arts promotion from 2008 onward.
|Industry||Mixed Martial Arts promotion|
|Founded||1991 (professional wrestling)|
1995 (mixed martial arts)
|Defunct||1995 (professional wrestling)|
February 15, 2002
RINGS was founded by Akira Maeda on May 11, 1991, following the dissolution of Newborn UWF. At that time, Maeda and Mitsuya Nagai were the only two people to transfer from UWF, wrestlers such as Kiyoshi Tamura, Hiromitsu Kanehara and Kenichi Yamamoto would later also transfer from UWF International.
Mega Battle TournamentEdit
- 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 1994 (Sep 21, 1994 – Jan 25, 1995) – Volk Han
- Mega Battle Tournament 1995 (Oct 21, 1995 – Jan 24, 1996) – Akira Maeda
- Mega Battle Tournament 1996 (Oct 25, 1996 – Jan 22, 1997) – Volk Han
- Mega Battle Tournament 1997 (Oct 25, 1997 – Jan 21, 1998) – Kiyoshi Tamura
- Mega Battle Tournament 1998 (Oct 23, 1998 – Jan 23, 1999) – Team Georgia
King of KingsEdit
- King of Kings Tournament 1999 (Oct 28, 1999 – Feb 26, 2000) – Dan Henderson
- King of Kings Tournament 2000 (Oct 9, 2000 – Feb 24, 2001) – Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
- 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
|1|| Kiyoshi Tamura
(def. Mikhail Illoukhine)
|January 21, 1998
(Mega Battle Tournament 1997)
|2|| Tariel Bitsadze
(def. Kiyoshi Tamura)
|May 29, 1998
(Fighting Integration III)
|3|| Kiyoshi Tamura
(def. Tariel Bitsadze)
|May 22, 1999
|4|| Gilbert Yvel
(def. Kiyoshi Tamura)
|April 20, 2000
|Tokyo, Japan||Title was vacated in May 2000 when Yvel signed to Pride FC.|
|5|| Fedor Emelianenko
(def. Renato Sobral)
|August 11, 2001
Light-Heavyweight Championship (−95 kg (209.4 lb))Edit
|1|| Masayuki Naruse
(def. Christopher Haseman)
|August 13, 1997
(Fighting Extension VI)
|Kagoshima, Japan||Title Dissolved.|
Middleweight Championship (−80 kg (176.4 lb))Edit
|1|| Ricardo Arona
(def. Gustavo Ximu)
|August 11, 2001
|Tokyo, Japan||Promotion closed on February 15, 2002.|
RINGS' system was largely much inspired by organizations such as the National Wrestling Alliance and FIFA, and featured fighters from different countries organized into stables. These foreign fighters would then compete against RINGS' Japanese competitors and against each other.
- Netherlands – Dick Vrij, Hans Nijman, Gilbert Yvel, Joop Kasteel, Bob Schrijber, Valentijn Overeem, Alistair Overeem, Chris Dolman.
- Australia – Chris Haseman, Elvis Sinosic.
- Bulgaria – Todor Todorov, Dimitar Petkov, Georgi Tonkov.
- Georgia – Zaza Tkeshelashvili, Tariel Bitsadze, Amiran Bitsadze.
- Russia – Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Kopylov, Bazigit Atajev, Nikolai Zuyev, Mikhail Illoukhine, Volk Han.
- Brazil – Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, Renato Sobral, Gustavo Machado, Renzo Gracie.
- United Kingdom – Lee Hasdell, Chris Watts, Dexter Casey and Paul Cahoon.
- United States – Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Kerry Schall, Bobby Hoffman, Jeremy Horn.
Maeda retired from active duty in 1998, leaving Tamura as the top star, but the collapse of UWF International and the subsequent rise of PRIDE provided competition that proved to be too much for the promotion. On February 15, 2002, RINGS ceased activity.
Many Japanese RINGS stars, including Masayuki Naruse, Wataru Sakata and Hiroyuki Ito, made the transition back into puroresu. The MMA promotion ZST was founded in November 2002 to accommodate former Japanese RINGS fighters who remained competitors in mixed martial arts.
Following the dissolution of Hero's and the conclusion of 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.
The brand was resurrected once more on January 22, 2012 with Battle Genesis: Vol. 9, Volume 8 took place on September 20, 2001. The event was sanctioned by fellow mixed martial arts promotion ZST.
- 前田日明 07年リングス再始動へ (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 10, 2008.
- "UFC, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) News, Results, Fighting". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- 2012年 ZST・RINGS スケジュール