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Hiromitsu Kanehara

Hiromitsu Kanehara (金原弘光, Kanehara Hiromitsu, (born Kim Wang-hong on October 5, 1970 in Owariasahi, Aichi)) is a former Japanese mixed martial artist and professional wrestler of Korean descent. A professional MMA competitor from 1998 until 2012, he competed for the PRIDE Fighting Championships, DEEP, Pancrase, RINGS, and K-1 HERO'S. Kanehara also once competed in professional kickboxing.

Hiromitsu Kanehara
Born (1970-10-05) October 5, 1970 (age 49)
Owariasahi, Aichi, Japan
Other namesThe Smiley Killer, RINGS Saigo no Ace ("RINGS's Last Ace"), UWF no Chisho ("UWF's Grand General")
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Years active1996 (Kickboxing)
1998–2002, 2004–2013 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout6
By submission5
By decision8
By knockout6
By submission4
By decision17
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Although starting as a professional wrestler in 1991, Kanehara did not have much success as such, and eventually abandoned professional wrestling when his then-home circuit, Fighting Network RINGS, abandoned the discipline in the late 1990s. Unlike most shoot-style comrades such as Masayuki Naruse, Wataru Sakata, and Minoru Suzuki, who returned to regular puroresu, Kanehara only has done sporadic appearances.

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Fighting Network RINGSEdit

Kanehara had his MMA debut in a fight on May 29, 1998 against Lee Hasdell, winning by decision. He would follow with victories over Sander MacKilljan, Hans Nijman and Hasdell again, but his winning streak broke on February 1999 against Carlson Gracie apprentice Ricardo Morais. The 60 pound heavier Morais controlled Kanehara positionally with the aid of his size, leaving the Japanese relegated to try Kimura locks from underneath and trying to escape unsuccessfully.

On May 22, Kanehara faced Valentijn Overeem from RINGS Holland. Again facing a heavier opponent, Kanehara was hit with knees and kicks to the head and downed in the initial minute, but he managed to execute a takedown on Overeem, who fell badly and dislocated his knee. Judges and referee deliberated about letting the match continue after the knee was relocated, and they eventually conceded. Returning to action, Overeem landed a body kick which Kanehara grabbed for another takedown, but Hiromitsu fell into a guillotine and was forced to spend a rope escape. The sequence repeated itself before Overeem knocked Kanehara out with a high kick.[1]

Kanehara had his debut in worldwide MMA at the 1999 edition of the King of Kings tournament, where he faced tough opposition. Kanehara eliminated Jeremy Horn in a prolonged grappling affair in the first round, winning the unanimous decision thanks to his superior wrestling and ground work, and then went to face eventual winner Dan Henderson. The match was harsh and brutal, with Kanehara getting his nose broken and finally being dominated with repeated takedowns for a majority decision loss.

After the tournament, Kanehara avenged his defeat to Valentijn Overeem, knocking out the Dutch fighter via punch from the clinch in a much shorter match. He was next sent as a RINGS representative to the event Colosseum 2000, where he found himself in front of Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Mario Sperry; even at loss, Kanehara performed impressively, countering and escaping all the bad positions he was caught with by Sperry. Before the next edition of the tournament, Kanehara still fought the former finalist Renato "Babalu" Sobral, losing by decision.

Kanehara returned to KoK format facing popular luta livre practitioner and ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship champion Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira. Although believed to be technically outmatched, Kanehara fought a long, strategic match and ended submitting the decorated grappler by kimura. He then won his next match, quickly knocking out Tommy Sauer with punches, and reached the tournament's final event. There, Kanehara fought and defeated another tough opponent in the form of Dave Menne, dominating the stand-up and knocking him out for a TKO win in round 3, although there was some controversy when Menne's corner protested the stoppage had been premature. Finally, Kanehara faced the eventual winner, Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, losing a very back and forth grappling contest when he was caught in a choke and forced to submit.

After his KoK tenures, Kanehara went to fight another Brazilian exponent and ADCC winner, Ricardo Arona, who he had already wrestled in ADCC in a losing effort. Though Kanehara was able to survive several striking combinations, holding his own on the mat, he was reversed in one of his own kneebar attempts and submitted. Right after he fought future Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Matt Hughes, losing by unanimous decision.

PRIDE Fighting ChampionshipsEdit

At the twilight of his career, Kanehara debuted in PRIDE Fighting Championships as a RINGS veteran, and was pitted against a series of world-level opponents. The first of them would be Wanderlei Silva in a challenge fight in PRIDE 23 for the PRIDE Middleweight Championship, but Kanehara was knocked down with strikes and hit with soccer kicks and stomps until his corner threw the towel.

Hiromitsu returned to PRIDE as part of the Bushido series, taking on another feared striker in Mirko Cro Cop. The match went to the judges this time, as Kanehara absorbed a surprising amount of punishment, including Mirko's dreaded left high kick. He got similar results against Alistair Overeem in PRIDE 28; he survived a barrage of punches, flying knees and even a German suplex-like takedown, until he was finished by doctor stoppage.

His final appearance in PRIDE was in its 29th event, being defeated by Maurício Rua via TKO (stomp) in the first round.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
51 matches 19 wins 27 losses
By knockout 6 6
By submission 5 4
By decision 8 17
Draws 5
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 19–27–5 Yuki Kondo Decision (points) U-Spirits: U-Spirits Again March 9, 2013 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 19–26–5 Ryuta Sakurai Decision (unanimous) DEEP: Haleo Impact December 22, 2012 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 19–25–5 Yuki Sasaki Draw (unanimous) Grabaka: Grabaka Live 2 October 27, 2012 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 19–25–4 Yusuke Sakashita Decision (unanimous) DEEP: Cage Impact 2012 in Tokyo: Over Again April 7, 2012 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 19–24–4 Daijiro Matsui Draw (majority) DEEP: 57 Impact February 8, 2012 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Light Heavyweight bout.
Loss 19–24–3 Hideto Tatsumi Decision (unanimous) DEEP: 54 Impact June 24, 2011 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 19–23–3 Hiroki Sato Decision (unanimous) DEEP: 51 Impact December 11, 2010 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 18–23–3 Yong Choi Draw DEEP: 49 Impact August 27, 2010 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 18–23–2 Riki Fukuda Decision (unanimous) DEEP: 46 Impact February 28, 2010 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 18–22–2 Makoto Miyazawa TKO (punches) DEEP: 44 Impact October 10, 2009 1 0:25 Tokyo, Japan Catchweight (87 kg) bout.
Draw 17–22–2 Ryuta Sakurai Draw DEEP: 42 Impact June 30, 2009 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 17–22–1 Kenji Nagai TKO (punches) DEEP: 41 Impact April 16, 2009 2 3:02 Tokyo, Japan Catchweight (85 kg) bout.
Loss 16–22–1 Ichiro Kanai Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Shining 8 October 1, 2008 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 16–21–1 Keiichiro Yamamiya Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Shining 5 June 1, 2008 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 16–20–1 Izuru Takeuchi Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Shining 2 March 26, 2008 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 16–19–1 Ryo Kawamura KO (punches) Pancrase: Rising 3 March 18, 2007 3 1:36 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 16–18–1 Marcelo Brito Technical Submission (armbar) MARS 5: Marching On October 28, 2006 1 0:49 Tokyo, Japan Catchweight (85 kg) bout.
Win 16–17–1 Ruslan Abdulkhamidov Submission (heel hook) Kokoro: Kill Or Be Killed August 15, 2006 1 2:02 Tokyo, Japan Middleweight debut.
Loss 15–17–1 Kestutis Arbocius Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Blow 3 April 9, 2006 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 15–16–1 Chalid Arrab Decision (majority) HERO'S 2005 in Seoul November 5, 2005 2 5:00 Seoul, South Korea Catchweight (90 kg) bout.
Loss 15–15–1 Yuki Kondo Decision (unanimous) Pancrase: Spiral 8 October 2, 2005 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 15–14–1 Iouri Bekichev TKO (strikes) RINGS Russia: CIS vs. The World August 20, 2005 1 N/A Lithuania Heavyweight bout.
Loss 15–13–1 Maurício Rua TKO (stomp) PRIDE 29: Fists of Fire February 20, 2005 1 1:40 Saitama, Japan
Loss 15–12–1 Alistair Overeem TKO (doctor stoppage) PRIDE 28 October 31, 2004 2 3:52 Saitama, Japan
Loss 15–11–1 Mirko Cro Cop Decision (unanimous) PRIDE Bushido 3 May 23, 2004 2 5:00 Yokohama, Japan Heavyweight bout.
Loss 15–10–1 Wanderlei Silva TKO (corner stoppage) PRIDE 23 November 24, 2002 1 3:40 Tokyo, Japan For the PRIDE Middleweight Championship.
Draw 15–9–1 Mikhail Ilyukhin Draw RINGS: World Title Series Grand Final February 15, 2002 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 15–9 Paul Cahoon Decision (split) RINGS: World Title Series 5 December 21, 2001 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 14–9 Kelly Jacobs TKO (lost points) RINGS: World Title Series 4 October 20, 2001 2 1:51 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 13–9 Matt Hughes Decision (majority) RINGS: 10th Anniversary August 11, 2001 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 13–8 Ricardo Arona Submission (kneebar) RINGS: World Title Series 2 June 15, 2001 2 0:53 Yokohama, Japan 2001 RINGS Middleweight Championship Tournament First Round.
Loss 13–7 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (rear-naked choke) RINGS: King of Kings 2000 Final February 24, 2001 2 0:27 Tokyo, Japan 2000 RINGS King of Kings Semifinals.
Win 13–6 Dave Menne TKO (punches) RINGS: King of Kings 2000 Final February 24, 2001 3 3:24 Tokyo, Japan 2000 RINGS King of Kings Third Round.
Win 12–6 Tommy Sauer TKO (punches) RINGS: King of Kings 2000 Block B December 22, 2000 1 4:14 Osaka, Japan 2000 RINGS King of Kings Second Round.
Win 11–6 Alexandre Ferreira Submission (kimura) RINGS: King of Kings 2000 Block B December 22, 2000 2 2:45 Osaka, Japan 2000 RINGS King of Kings First Round.
Win 10–6 Josh Hall Decision (split) RINGS USA: Rising Stars Block B July 22, 2000 2 5:00 Hawaii, United States 2000 RINGS Rising Stars Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals; later pulled out of tournament.
Win 9–6 Adrian Serrano Submission (armlock) RINGS USA: Rising Stars Block B July 22, 2000 1 2:07 Hawaii, United States 2000 RINGS Rising Stars Middleweight Tournament First Round.
Loss 8–6 Renato Sobral Decision (unanimous) RINGS: Millennium Combine 2 June 15, 2000 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 8–5 Mario Sperry Decision (majority) C2K: Colosseum 2000 May 26, 2000 2 5:00 Japan
Win 8–4 Valentijn Overeem KO (punch) RINGS Holland: There Can Only Be One Champion February 6, 2000 1 4:14 Netherlands
Loss 7–4 Dan Henderson Decision (majority) RINGS: King of Kings 1999 Block A October 28, 1999 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan 1999 RINGS King of Kings Tournament Second Round.
Win 7–3 Jeremy Horn Decision (majority) RINGS: King of Kings 1999 Block A October 28, 1999 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan 1999 RINGS King of Kings Tournament First Round.
Win 6–3 Wataru Sakata Decision (lost points) RINGS: Rise 5th August 19, 1999 3 5:00 Japan
Win 5–3 Masayuki Naruse Decision (unanimous) RINGS: Rise 4th June 24, 1999 3 10:00 Japan
Loss 4–3 Valentijn Overeem TKO (corner stoppage) RINGS: Rise 3rd May 22, 1999 1 4:35 Japan
Loss 4–2 Kiyoshi Tamura Submission (armbar) RINGS: Rise 1st March 20, 1999 3 0:14 Japan
Loss 4–1 Ricardo Morais Decision RINGS: Final Capture February 21, 1999 5 5:00 Japan
Win 4–0 Hans Nijman Submission (armbar) RINGS: World Mega Battle Tournament December 23, 1998 1 9:04 Japan
Win 3–0 Lee Hasdell Decision NOTS 2: Night of the Samurai 2 October 11, 1998 1 15:00 England
Win 2–0 Sander MacKilljan Submission (armlock) RINGS: Fourth Fighting Integration June 27, 1998 1 3:26 Tokyo, Japan
Win 1–0 Lee Hasdell Decision RINGS: Third Fighting Integration May 29, 1998 1 30:00 Tokyo, Japan

Kickboxing recordEdit

Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest

Submission grappling recordEdit

Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Notes
Loss   Ricardo Arona Points ADCC -99 kg First Round 2000 N/A N/A Opening Round


External linksEdit