Bob Sapp to Fight Kinnikuman Cosplayer Next Week
posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
Not-So-Daily Link of the Day: The Japanese organizing body of the K-1 and DREAM styles of mixed martial arts will be hosting a December 31 bout between fighting celebrity Bob Sapp and a martial artist dressed as the Kinniku Mantaro character from the Kinnikuman Nisei Second Generations manga. The Fight Entertainment Group will be holding the bout as part of its FieLDS Dynamite!! 2008 event in Saitama, Japan. Kinniku Mantaro (Mantaro Muscle in English) is the main character in Takashi Shimada and Yoshinori Nakai's wrestling comedy manga, which Viz Media released in North America as Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy. (4Kids released the anime version as simply Ultimate Muscle.)
The Mantaro character will be played by Akihiko Tanaka, a free-style wrestler who is a seven-time winner of the All-Japan Wrestling Championship. His opponent, Sapp, is a one-time American college football star who had an NFL contract for four years but only appeared in one game. Since then, has competed in pro-wrestling and mixed martial arts events, attained minor celebrity status in Japan, and played minor roles in several Hollywood films. He played himself in the live-action You're Under Arrest: The Drama series, a world newscaster in the live-action Devilman film, and Stone in Hollywood's Elektra film.
Mantaro is the son of the main character Kinniku Suguru (Suguru Muscle) in the original Kinnikuman manga. The Kinnikuman toys were imported into the United States as "M.U.S.C.L.E." Like his father, Mantaro is cowardly and lazy — but if need be, especially if his friends are in danger, he can increase his strength many times over.
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