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Tadao Yasuda (安田 忠夫, Yasuda Tadao, born 9 October 1963 in Ōta, Tokyo) is a Japanese retired sumo and professional wrestler. He competed in sumo from 1979 to 1992 under the shikona of Takanofuji Tadao, achieving the rank of komusubi, and afterwards turned to professional wrestling, in which he competed from 1994 to 2011, most notably in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he was a one time IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

Takanofuji Tadao
孝乃富士 忠雄
SHIBUYA LOFT9 CIMG5618.jpg
Yasuda speaking in Shibuya, Tokyo, July 2018
Personal information
Born (1963-10-09) October 9, 1963 (age 55)
Tokyo, Japan
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight150 kg (331 lb)
Career
StableKokonoe
Record418-459-4
DebutMarch, 1979
Highest rankKomusubi (July, 1990)
RetiredMay, 1992
Special PrizesFighting Spirit (1)
Gold Stars2 (Futahaguro)
* Up to date as of August 2007.

Sumo careerEdit

He made his professional sumo debut in March 1979 at the age of 15, after leaving junior high school. He was recruited by Kokonoe stable. In 1980 he adopted the shikona of Fujinomori, before switching to Takanofuji in 1984. He first reached sekitori status in March 1985 upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division, but could manage only 4 wins against 11 losses and was demoted back to the unsalaried makushita division. After winning promotion back to jūryō in January 1986 he made his debut in the top makuuchi division only two tournaments later in May 1986.

Takanofuji was ranked in the top division for 33 tournaments, winning one special prize for Fighting Spirit. His two gold stars for defeating yokozuna were both earned against Futahaguro (who, as Koji Kitao, also turned to professional wrestling). Takanofuji had the advantage of belonging to a stable that included two yokozuna, Chiyonofuji and Hokutoumi, which under sumo regulations meant he never had to face them in tournament play. However, his height of 1.92 m (6 ft 3 12 in) meant he had a higher centre of gravity than was ideal for a sumo wrestler,[1] and he seemed to struggle when promoted above the mid maegashira ranks. Though he managed to reach the fourth highest komusubi ranking in July 1990 he could not maintain the rank, winning only two bouts there. He was demoted from the top division after the September 1991 tournament and announced his retirement in May 1992. His career coincided exactly with that of his stablemate Hokutoumi, who made his debut alongside him in March 1979 and also retired in May 1992. At Takanofuji's own request, it was the previous head of Kokonoe stable, ex-yokozuna Kitanofuji, his long time coach, and not his successor, ex-yokozuna Chiyonofuji, who performed the topknot cutting at Takanofuji's official retirement ceremony or danpatsu-shiki.

Fighting styleEdit

Takanofuji's most common winning kimarite were yori-kiri (force out), hataki-komi (slap down) and tsuki-otoshi (thrust over).

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Tadao Yasuda
Born (1963-10-09) October 9, 1963 (age 55)
Tokyo, Japan
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Tadao Yasuda
Yasudakinen
Billed height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Billed weight130 kg (290 lb)
Trained byKensuke Sasaki
Shinya Hashimoto
Hiroshi Hase
Antonio Inoki
Genichiro Tenryu
DebutFebruary 24, 1994
RetiredFebruary 4, 2011

Reverting to his real name, he joined the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) promotion in June 1993, making his debut in February 1994. Yasuda spent the majority of the 1990s as an undercard wrestler, primarily competing in opening matches or as the fall guy in tag team matches with wrestlers such as Shinya Hashimoto and Kensuke Sasaki, achieving little success. In late 2000, Yasuda, along with Kazuyuki Fujita, became somewhat of a pet project for Antonio Inoki, and both of them were sent to the United States to train in mixed martial arts. Yasuda returned to Japan soon after, and was victorious in his first fight against veteran Masaaki Satake at Pride 13. Yasuda's win helped further legitimise him as a pro wrestler in the eyes of Inoki, and this was rewarded with Yasuda reaching the semi finals of the 2001 G1 Climax, where he lost to Keiji Mutoh.[2] After earning one win and one loss in MMA throughout 2001, Yasuda earned the biggest win of his career in December by choking out veteran Jerome Le Banner. His defeat of Jerome led to Yasuda's stock in New Japan skyrocketing almost overnight, and Yasuda soon found himself elevated from over the hill veteran to top title contender in early 2002. Yasuda earned the biggest win of his pro wrestling career on February 16, defeating Yuji Nagata in a tournament to win the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Championship.[3] Yasuda held the title for 48 days, before dropping it to Nagata in April. In August 2002, Yasuda and Kantaro Hoshino formed their own faction, the Makai Club, a group of wrestlers primarily with MMA backgrounds who worshipped Antonio Inoki like a god. Yasuda was viewed as the leader of the group, and in early 2003 he partnered up with his second in command Kazunari Murakami to enter the IWGP Tag Team Championship #1 Contender Tournament. Despite losing to Jim Steele and Mike Barton in the final, an injury to Steele would give the title to shot to Murakami and Yasuda who unsuccessfully challenged Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono on February 16.[4][5] Having retired from MMA, the aging Yasuda's position in the New Japan card began to fall again, and in late 2004 he left the promotion.[6] After leaving New Japan, he started making sporadic appearances for ZERO-ONE and Hustle.

In October 2007 he reportedly attempted to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning, using a yeontan. A friend however, interrupted the alleged attempt. He was hospitalized with fears of possible brain damage, but this proved not to be the case and he eventually made a return to wrestling.[7] Speaking to Tokyo Sports Yasuda later denied attempting suicide, saying the poisoning was accidental. On January 11, 2011, Yasuda announced his retirement from professional wrestling. He wrestled his final match on February 4, 2011, in which he was defeated by Genichiro Tenryu.[8]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Though very past his prime physically, Yasuda made his transition to mixed martial arts as a NJPW representative in March 2001. He had his debut at the PRIDE 13 against similarly retired kickboxer and karate champion Masaaki Satake. Yasuda received damage and bled from his face, but he nullified most of Satake' attacks by rushing him through sumo techniques against the ropes every time they were separated. At the end, the unanimous decision was given to Yasuda for controlling the fight.

Yasuda returned to MMA in the K-1 Andy Hug Memorial event, taking on Rene Rooze in a special rules match, but he lost via head kick KO at the third round. He would be more successful in December 2001, when he fought popular K-1 player Jerome Le Banner at an Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye event: Yasuda managed to take him down and submit him by pressing his forearm against Le Banner's throat, getting the biggest win of his MMA career.

He would later lost to fellow NJPW wrestler Kazuyuki Fujita in an Universal Fighting-Arts Organization event. Yasuda then fought superheavyweight kickboxer Jan Nortje, but he had to retire from the match when he hurt a leg seriously. His last fight was a rematch against Rooze, losing the fight again, this time by TKO.

FamilyEdit

Yasuda's daughter Ayami was born in 1987 and is a model.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Sumo career recordEdit

Takanofuji Tadao[12]
Year in sumo January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
1979 x (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #7
3–2–2
 
West Jonokuchi #8
5–2
 
West Jonidan #87
3–4
 
East Jonidan #99
5–2
 
1980 East Jonidan #64
3–4
 
West Jonidan #83
4–3
 
East Jonidan #56
5–2
 
West Jonidan #17
1–6
 
West Jonidan #49
3–4
 
West Jonidan #59
5–2
 
1981 West Jonidan #17
5–2
 
West Sandanme #73
3–4
 
West Sandanme #86
7–0–P
 
East Makushita #58
1–6
 
West Sandanme #21
3–4
 
West Sandanme #32
4–3
 
1982 East Sandanme #18
5–2
 
East Makushita #53
3–4
 
East Sandanme #6
4–3
 
West Makushita #53
3–4
 
West Sandanme #12
6–1
 
West Makushita #38
4–3
 
1983 West Makushita #31
5–2
 
East Makushita #18
3–4
 
East Makushita #31
4–3
 
West Makushita #21
4–3
 
West Makushita #16
3–4
 
East Makushita #27
2–5
 
1984 West Makushita #43
6–1
 
East Makushita #19
5–2
 
East Makushita #9
4–3
 
West Makushita #5
2–5
 
East Makushita #20
6–1
 
West Makushita #6
5–2
 
1985 West Makushita #1
5–2
 
West Jūryō #10
4–11
 
West Makushita #6
5–2
 
West Jūryō #13
6–9
 
West Makushita #4
4–3
 
West Makushita #2
6–1
 
1986 West Jūryō #9
9–6
 
West Jūryō #2
9–6
 
East Maegashira #14
8–7
 
East Maegashira #10
8–7
 
West Maegashira #3
4–11
West Maegashira #9
8–7
 
1987 West Maegashira #5
6–9
 
East Maegashira #9
8–7
 
East Maegashira #5
5–10
 
West Maegashira #9
9–6
 
West Maegashira #1
3–12
East Maegashira #9
8–7
 
1988 West Maegashira #2
3–12
 
West Maegashira #9
8–5–2
 
East Maegashira #5
7–8
 
West Maegashira #6
8–7
 
West Maegashira #1
2–13
 
West Maegashira #12
9–6
 
1989 East Maegashira #6
8–7
 
East Maegashira #3
3–12
 
East Maegashira #10
8–7
 
West Maegashira #7
6–9
 
East Maegashira #11
9–6
 
West Maegashira #4
7–8
 
1990 East Maegashira #5
9–6
 
West Maegashira #1
2–13
 
East Maegashira #9
11–4
F
East Komusubi #1
2–13
 
West Maegashira #9
8–7
 
East Maegashira #4
6–9
 
1991 East Maegashira #7
8–7
 
West Maegashira #2
1–14
 
East Maegashira #15
8–7
 
East Maegashira #11
5–10
 
East Maegashira #15
7–8
 
East Jūryō #3
8–7
 
1992 West Jūryō #2
6–9
 
East Jūryō #6
6–9
 
East Jūryō #10
Retired
4–11
x x x
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Top Division Runner-up Retired Lower Divisions

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi(s); P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
6 matches 2 wins 4 losses
By knockout 0 3
By submission 1 1
By decision 1 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 2-4 Rene Rooze TKO (punches) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 December 31, 2003 1 0:50 Kobe, Japan
Loss 2-3 Jan Nortje TKO (injury) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2002 December 31, 2002 2 0:57 Saitama, Japan
Loss 2-2 Kazuyuki Fujita Submission (arm triangle choke) Universal Fighting-Arts Organization: Legend August 8, 2002 1 2:46 Tokyo, Japan
Win 2-1 Jérôme Le Banner Submission (forearm choke) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2001 December 31, 2001 2 2:50 Saitama, Japan
Loss 1-1 Rene Rooze KO (kick) K-1 Andy Memorial 2001 Japan GP Final August 19, 2001 3 0:09 Saitama, Japan
Win 1-0 Masaaki Satake Decision (split) Pride 13 - Collision Course March 25, 2001 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Patmore, Angela (1990). The Giants of Sumo. MacDonald & Co. ISBN 0-356-18120-0.
  2. ^ "NJPW G1 Climax 2001 - Tag 6". Cagematch.
  3. ^ https://www.cagematch.net/?id=1&nr=41992
  4. ^ "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  5. ^ https://www.cagematch.net//?id=1&nr=841
  6. ^ https://www.cagematch.net/?id=1&nr=24068
  7. ^ Tadao Yasuda attempts suicide | FightOpinion.com - Your Global Connection to the Fight Industry
  8. ^ "(Results) Tadao Yasuda Produce, 04.02.2011". Purolove. Archived from the original on 2011-02-05. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
  9. ^ "Hustle Tournaments". www.prowrestlinghistory.com. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  10. ^ Tadao Yasuda Cagematch.net retrieved by April 10, 2019
  11. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Tadao Yasuda « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  12. ^ "Takanofuji Tadao Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-08-27.

See alsoEdit