A few of the key figures in the MMA career of Minowa: 5-foot-9 inches tall, 185 pounds, 94 professional fights. Known as “Minowaman” for his entertaining ring entrances and cape, the now 36-year-old native of Nagoya, Japan, earned the appropriate moniker “The Giant Killer” for his fistic feats.
While some might view much of Minowa’s career as a gimmick better suited to the professional wrestling audiences of Japan, there is no doubt that his ability to navigate through the 300- and 400-pound demographic has helped to keep him gainfully employed over the years. Notching wins over the likes of Bob Sapp, Eric “Butterbean” Esch and the Paulo Cesar “Giant” Silva might not gain him entry into anyone’s hall of fame, but sport is also about entertainment.
Besides, it is not like “Minowaman” does not have some signature victories to go along with his sideshow exploits. Sometimes, they can co-exist, as they did when he won the Dream Super Hulk Tournament. In a bracket that started out with current UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt, former Strikeforce light heavyweight king Gegard Mousasi, as well as oddities such as Sapp, Hong Man Choi and Jose Canseco, Minowa made his way to the final, slaying the 360-pound Sapp and 7-foot-2 Choi along the way. In the final, he bested former UFC competitor Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou with punches in the first round.
Minowa also owns notable victories against Phil Baroni, Gilbert Yvel and Kimo Leopoldo in his career. Most recently, he picked on someone his own size and fell to “The Ultimate Fighter 3” winner Kendall Grove at ProElite 3 in January. Somehow, the thought of “Minowaman” fighting his fellow 185-pounders does not seem nearly as fun.
Continue Reading » A ‘Natural’ Underdog