Masayuki Naruse

Last updated
Masayuki Naruse
Born (1973-03-15) March 15, 1973 (age 46)
Tokyo, Japan [1]
Other namesKyo Senshi ("Mad Soldier"), Ultra Soul, Berserker (MMA)
Nationality Japanese
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight87.5 kg (193 lb)
Division Light heavyweight
Style Puroresu, Karate [2]
Fighting out ofJapan
TeamRings Japan
Teacher(s) Akira Maeda
Years active1995–2004, 2013–present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout1
By submission7
By knockout2
By submission6
By decision3
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Masayuki Naruse(Japanese:成瀬 昌由, Hepburn:Naruse Masayuki) (born March 15, 1973) is a Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial artist, competing in the light heavyweight division.

Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.

Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, and other information such as train tables, road signs, and official communications with foreign countries. Largely based on English writing conventions, consonants closely correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation.

Professional wrestling entertainment form that mimics contact sports

Professional wrestling is a form of performance art and entertainment that combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, that mimic a title-match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on – and evolved from – classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers. Much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included.


Mixed martial arts career

Naruse started practising shotokan karate in high school before turning his attention to puroresu. He was eventually accepted in Fighting Network RINGS and trained under his chairman Akira Maeda.

Puroresu (プロレス) is the predominant style of professional wrestling that has developed in Japan. The term comes from the Japanese pronunciation of "professional wrestling" (プロフェッショナル・レスリング), which is shortened to puroresu. The term became popular among English-speaking fans due to Hisaharu Tanabe's activities in the online Usenet community. Growing out of origins in the traditional US style of wrestling, it has become an entity in itself. Japanese pro wrestling is distinct in its psychology and presentation of the sport. It is treated as a legitimate fight, with fewer theatrics; the stories told in Japanese matches are about a fighter's spirit and perseverance. In strong style, the style most typically associated with puroresu, full contact martial arts strikes and shoot submission holds are implemented.

Akira Maeda Japanese combat sport event promoter, professional wreslterMMA fighter

Akira Maeda is a Japanese promoter and retired mixed martial artist and professional wrestler of Korean descent. Maeda was also known by the ring name Kwik-kik-Lee during his time on the British wrestling show World of Sport (WoS). Maeda helped develop the shoot-style of professional wrestling during the late 1980s.

Fighting Network RINGS

A longtime competitor in RINGS before the organization began hosting MMA bouts. Naruse experienced little success early in his shootfighting career, dropping six of his first seven mixed martial arts bouts, including fights against Valentijn Overeem and Magomedkhan Gamzatkhanov (commonly referred to by his nickname Volk Han). [3]

Valentijn Overeem is a Dutch professional mixed martial artist and kickboxer currently signed with United Glory. A professional competitor since 1996, he has previously fought for the PRIDE Fighting Championships, RINGS, KSW, the World Fighting Alliance, K-1, M-1 Global, Its Showtime, World Victory Road, and Strikeforce. He is the older brother of fellow MMA Superstar Alistair Overeem.

He turned things around as a participant in the eight-man Light Heavyweight title tournament in 1997,defeating Lee Hasdell, Wataru Sakata and Chris Haseman en route to becoming the first RINGS Light Heavyweight Champion. [4] He then went 3-6 over his next nine fights before RINGS dissolved in 2002. [3]

Lee Hasdell English kickboxer, combat sport promoter and mixed martial arts fighter

Lee Hasdell is a British martial artist, promoter and former professional kickboxer and mixed martial artist. Hasdell is considered by many as a true pioneer of UK mixed martial arts, as he was the main driving force and innovator in the 1990s. Hasdell promoted the first professional Mixed martial arts events in the United Kingdom and has helped develop many of the standards within the British MMA scene of today.

Wataru Sakata Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter

Wataru Sakata is a Japanese professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist.

Chris Haseman is an Australian mixed martial artist. Haseman is currently signed with Fighting Network RINGS and is a longtime veteran of the promotion. Regarded as a pioneer of MMA in Australia he competed in Australia's first MMA show along with events such as the UFC and the World Fighting Alliance.


After wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Naruse decided to go back to competing in MMA. On December 31, 2003, he defeated Jan Nortje by rear-naked choke at K-1 PREMIUM 2003 Dynamite!!. He then defeated Tony Williams via armbar at Jungle Fight 3 in Brazil.

Johannes "Jan" Nortje is a South African professional kickboxer, mixed martial artist and undefeated professional boxer who has fought for Strikeforce, DREAM, K-1, Inoki Genome Federation, PRIDE Fighting Championship and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

K-1 PREMIUM 2003 Dynamite!! was an annual kickboxing and mixed martial arts event held by K-1 on New Year's Eve, Wednesday, December 31, 2003 at the Nagoya Dome in Nagoya, Japan. It featured 6 K-1 MMA rules fights, and 4 K-1 rules fights.

Return to MMA

Nine years after retiring in 2004, Naruse returned to MMA on October 27, 2013, as he lost to Sanae Kikuta via armbar at Grabaka Live! 3. [5] Naruse then faced Japanese MMA legend Yuki Kondo at Pancrase: 257 on March 30, 2014. [6] He lost the fight via majority decision. [7]

Sanae Kikuta is a Japanese mixed martial artist currently competing in the Welterweight division. A professional competitor since 1996, he has competed for the UFC, PRIDE Fighting Championships, Pancrase, DREAM, World Victory Road, DEEP, Shooto, and Vale Tudo Japan. He is the former Pancrase Light Heavyweight Champion (2001–2003) and the winner of the ADCC 88 kg class in 2001.

Yuki Kondo is a Japanese mixed martial artist currently competing in the Welterweight division. He has officially 103 professional fights, making him one of the most experienced mixed martial artists ever. He has also competed for the UFC, PRIDE, Sengoku, Palace Fighting Championships, BodogFIGHT, and DEEP. He has competed overseas only four times, and holds a record of 2-2. He is the former Pancrase Light Heavyweight Champion as well as the former Pancrase Middleweight Champion.

Pro wrestling career

Fighting Network RINGS

Naruse debuted for Fighting Network RINGS in 1992 where he was billed as a scrappy junior heavyweight. Among the wrestlers he took on during the organization's puroresu days include Heavyweight wrestler Yoshihisa Yamomoto, kickboxer Nobuaki Kakuta, UFC 10 participant Dieseul Berto, Volk Han, MMA veteran Satoshi Honma and future tag team partner Mitsuya Nagai. [2]

Naruse and other RINGS wrestlers made the transition to mixed martial arts with the promotion in 1995.

New Japan Pro Wrestling

In 2001 with RINGS on the verge of collapse, he moved to New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was a well timed move as owner Antonio Inoki was giving former MMA fighters immediate pushes & he was immediately placed into a feud with Minoru Tanaka, who used to work for BattlARTS, RINGS' rival promotion. Within 4 months of his debut, Naruse captured the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship from his rival Tanaka. [8]

He fought for NJPW from 2001–06, defending his Junior Heavyweight title against Shinya Makabe and El Samurai before losing his belt to Tokimitsu Ishizawa. [1] His next chance at the title was as one of 11 competitors in a Battle Royal on Oct. 13, 2003 which as won by Jado. [1]

Naruse paired with Mitsuya Nagai to win the All Asia Tag Team Championship on July 26, 2004 vs. Genichiro Tenryu and Masanobu Fuchi. [1] They defended the belt three times before losing to Barry Buchanan and Rico Constantino on Feb. 2, 2005. [9]

His last bout came on Jan. 8, 2006 vs. Takashi Iizuka, his 375th career match for New Japan Pro Wrestling. [1]

Championships and accomplishments

Pro wrestling

Mixed martial arts

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
23 matches9 wins14 losses
By knockout12
By submission76
By decision03
Loss9–14 Yuki Kondo Decision (majority)Pancrase: 257March 30, 201425:00 Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Loss9–13 Sanae Kikuta Submission (armbar)Grabaka: Grabaka Live! 3October 27, 201312:25 Tokyo, Japan
Win9–12Tony WilliamsSubmission (armbar) [10] Jungle Fight 3 October 23, 200413:21 Manaus, Brazil
Win8–12 Jan Nortje Submission (rear-naked choke) K-1 PREMIUM 2003 Dynamite!! December 31, 200314:40 Nagoya, Japan
Win7–12 Ricardo Fyeet Submission (toe hold) Rings: Battle Genesis Vol. 7 March 20, 200113:46 Tokyo, Japan
Loss6–12 Hiromitsu Kanehara Decision (unanimous) Rings: Rise 4th June 24, 1999310:00 Tokyo, Japan [4]
Loss6–11 Magomedkhan Gamzatkhanov Submission (armbar) Rings: Rise 3rd May 22, 199914:26 Tokyo, Japan [4]
Loss6–10 Chris Haseman Submission (kimura) Rings: Rise 2nd April 23, 199918:18 Osaka, Japan [4]
Win6–9 Dave van der Veen Submission (achilles lock) Rings: Rise 1st March 20, 199917:36 Tokyo, Japan [4]
Loss5–9 Joop Kasteel TKO Rings: World Mega Battle Tournament December 23, 199818:33 Fukuoka, Japan [4]
Win5–8 Kenichi Yamamoto Submission Rings: Fourth Fighting Integration June 27, 1998111:07 Tokyo, Japan
Loss4–8 Mikhail Ilyukhin Submission (ankle lock) [11] Rings: Third Fighting Integration May 28, 1998113:52 Tokyo, Japan
Loss4–7 Mikhail Ilyukhin Submission (ankle lock) Rings - Mega Battle Tournament 1997 Semifinal 1 October 25, 1997112:28 Tokyo, Japan [4]
Win4–6 Chris Haseman TKORings: Extension Fighting 6August 13, 1997114:26 Kagoshima, JapanWins Rings Light Heavyweight Title. [4] Title later dissolved.
Win3–6 Wataru Sakata SubmissionRings: Extension Fighting 5July 22, 199715:55 Osaka, JapanSemifinals of Light Heavyweight Title Tournament. [4]

Win2–6 Lee Hasdell Submission Rings - Extension Fighting 4 June 21, 1997112:58 Tokyo, JapanQuarterfinals of Light Heavyweight Title Tournament. [4]
Loss1–6 Yoshihisa Yamamoto Submission (armbar) Rings - Extension Fighting 2 April 22, 1997121:20 Osaka, Japan [4]
Loss1–5 Valentijn Overeem TKO (cut) Rings Holland - The Final Challenge February 2, 199713:58 Amsterdam, Holland
Loss1–4 Zaza Tkeshelashvili N/A Rings - Budokan Hall 1997 January 1, 1997N/AN/A Tokyo, Japan
Loss1–3 Magomedkhan Gamzatkhanov N/A Rings - Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Opening Round October 25, 1996N/AN/A Nagoya, Japan [4]
Win1–2 Egan Inoue Disqualification Rings - Maelstrom 6 August 24, 1996111:51 Tokyo, Japan
Loss0–2 Willie Peeters Decision (unanimous) Rings Holland - Free Fight February 19, 1995110:00 Amsterdam, Holland
Loss0–1Satir GotchevN/A Rings - Budokan Hall 1995 January 25, 1995N/AN/A Tokyo, Japan

Related Research Articles

Jushin Liger Japanese professional wrestler

Keiichi Yamada, better known as Jushin Liger and later Jushin Thunder Liger is a Japanese professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist who primarily works for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he is the longest-tenured member of the roster, having remained with the company since his debut in 1984 to the present day. Throughout his career, which has spanned more than three decades, he has wrestled over 4,000 matches and performed in major events for various promotions across the globe.

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.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara Japanese professional wrestler

Yoshiaki Fujiwara is a Japanese professional wrestler and trainer. He is famous for his long career in wrestling, having worked in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE (ZERO-ONE), and the two incarnations of shoot style promotion Universal Wrestling Federation. Fujiwara is known for his catch wrestling expertise, having been praised by fighters like Josh Barnett and Ken Shamrock. He is considered to be Karl Gotch's best student and has trained many MMA fighters and professional wrestlers.

Yoshihiro Takayama Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter

Yoshihiro Takayama is a Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. Debuting for UWF International (UWFI) in the 1990s, Takayama joined All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in 1997 after UWF-i folded. In 2000, he joined Pro Wrestling Noah (Noah), and later became a mainstay in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) where he arguably achieved his greatest success, holding the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and NWF Heavyweight Championship simultaneously in 2003. He is one of only two men to hold all three of puroresus major heavyweight titles, the other being Kensuke Sasaki.

Kazuyuki Fujita Japanese professional wrestler and MMA fighter

Kazuyuki Fujita is a Japanese professional wrestler, mixed martial artist and a former amateur wrestler. He has most recently fought in Road FC, but is also known for his work in the PRIDE Fighting Championships, K-1, Rizin Fighting Federation, and World Victory Road.

Nobuhiko Takada Japanese professional wrestler, actor and mixed martial arts fighter

Nobuhiko Takada is a Japanese former mixed martial artist, retired professional wrestler and actor. He competed in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) and Union of Wrestling Forces International (UWFI) in the 1980s and 1990s, becoming one of the highest figures of the "shoot-style" movement. He later turned to mixed martial arts where despite his controversial match fixing ventures and lack of competitive success he was credited with the existence and development of global MMA promotion PRIDE Fighting Championships in which he worked as an executive after his retirement from active competition until its closure. He also founded and starred at the sports entertainment professional wrestling promotion HUSTLE from 2004 to 2008 and currently works as an executive for Rizin Fighting Federation.

Manabu Nakanishi Japanese professional wrestler

Manabu Nakanishi is a Japanese professional wrestler and former amateur wrestler who competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He currently works for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). He is a former one-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

Masakatsu Funaki Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter

Masaharu Funaki is a Japanese actor, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler known professionally as Masakatsu Funaki, who has previously wrestled in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi (PWFG), Newborn UWF (UWF), and Wrestle-1 (W-1). He is also the co-founder of Pancrase, one of the first mixed martial arts organizations and non-rehearsed shoot wrestling promotions. Funaki was also Pancrase's biggest star; Josh Barnett described him as the "symbol of Japan", Frank Shamrock labeled Funaki "the golden boy" of Pancrase, and Guy Mezger called Funaki "hands down the smartest and most skilled fighter in Pancrase next to Ken Shamrock".

Minoru Suzuki Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial artist

Minoru Suzuki is a Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial artist, currently working for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) as a freelancer. In NJPW, Suzuki has held the IWGP Intercontinental Championship as well as the NEVER Openweight Championship. He is also a former British Heavyweight Champion and co-holder of the Undisputed British Tag Team Championship alongside fellow Suzuki-gun stablemate, Zack Sabre Jr. in Revolution Pro Wrestling (RPW). He is also known for his time in Pro Wrestling Noah (Noah), where he is a former one-time GHC Heavyweight Champion and a former one-time GHC Tag Team Champion along with Naomichi Marufuji.

Kendo Kashin Japanese professional wrestler

Tokimitsu Ishizawa, better known by his ring name Kendo Kashin, is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to WWE, where he is a coach at the WWE Performance Center. He is perhaps best known for his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he was a two time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, a one time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, and the winner of the 1999 Best of the Super Juniors. He is also known for his forays into mixed martial arts, most notably for Pride Fighting Championship (Pride), where he defeated Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighter Ryan Gracie at PRIDE 15.

Naoki Sano is a Japanese professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist. He currently goes by the name Takuma Sano.

Gedo (wrestler) Japanese professional wrestler

Keiji Takayama is a Japanese professional wrestler, better known under the ring name Gedo. Gedo is the main booker of New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), a backstage position that started in the early 2010s with the junior heavyweight division and since 2015 the primary booker of NJPW. In the ring Gedo is best known for his tag team work alongside partner Jado, forming a very successful tag team from around 1990 through the mid-2010s.

Kazunari Murakami Japanese professional wrestler and MMA fighter

Kazunari Murakami is a Japanese professional wrestler and retired mixed martial artist currently working as a freelancer, though on hiatus due to knee surgery. Murakami is best known for his work in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) during the late 1990s and early 2000s, where he primarily competed as a member of the villainous Makai Club stable. Aside from pro wrestling, Murakami was also part of the first fight in PRIDE history, defeating John Dixson by submission in 1997.

Yoji Anjo Australian professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter

Yoji Anjo is a retired Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial artist.

Masahito Kakihara is a former Japanese professional wrestler, who is known for his work in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and UWF International (UWFI).

Yuji Sakuragi Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter

Yuji Sakuragi is a Japanese mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and professional wrestler, currently associated with Real Japan Pro Wrestling's team Seikendo. He is known for his Kyokushin Karate background and his ability to score KO wins. In MMA, he competed for the Pancrase, M-1 Global, and DEEP promotions.

Hirokazu Nagai, better known as Mitsuya Nagai, is a Japanese mixed martial artist, kickboxer and professional wrestler. He is known for his work in Fighting Network RINGS and later in pro wrestling companies like Battlarts and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). He currently wrestles for Dradition Pro Wrestling (Dradition) and Pro Wrestling Noah (Noah).

Sho Tanaka Japanese professional wrestler

Sho Tanaka is a Japanese professional wrestler signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he currently performs under the ring name Sho. As the tag team Roppongi 3K, he and Yoh are former three-times IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. He has previously worked for the American Ring of Honor (ROH) and Mexican Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), where he was known under the ring name Raijin, named after the Japanese God of thunder, and was part of La Ola Amarilla alongside Okumura, Kamaitachi and Fujin.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Masayuki Naruse Profile & Match Listing". The Internet Wrestling Database.
  2. 1 2 "Masayuki Naruse". Puroresu Central.
  3. 1 2 "Masayuki Naruse bio on".
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "RINGS Events". Pro Wrestling History.
  5. "Grabaka - Grabaka Live! 3". October 27, 2013.
  6. "Former King of Pancrase Yuki Kondo meets RINGS veteran Masayuki Naruse at PANCRASE 257". March 6, 2014.
  7. "Pancrase 257 Official Results". March 30, 2014.
  8. "NJPW Dome Quake". The Internet Wrestling Database.
  9. "AJPW Excite Series '05 - Day 1". The Internet Wrestling Database.