Takahashi makes BodogFight debut

Takahashi makes BodogFight debut

Takahashi makes BodogFight debut

Yoshiki Takahashi's heavy hands and aggressive fighting style earned him the reputation of being Japan's biggest brawler. Strange perhaps, considering the Chiba native was better known for his wrestling skills before embarking on a decorated career in mixed martial arts.

"I was actually recruited by a Japanese pro-wrestling organization called Fujiwara-gumi," recalls the 37-year-old fighter. "But I decided instead to follow Pancrase co-founder Masakatsu Funaki into MMA."

Now in his 13th year as a professional Takahashi can feel proud about what he has accomplished. In 2001, he became the first heavyweight "King of Pancrase" under full MMA rules. Josh Barnett, Bas Rutten, and Ken Shamrock have all held this esteemed title.

However, success hasn’t always been easy to come by for Takahashi. As a natural 215-pound light-heavyweight, he has often fought well above his weight class at the request of promoters eager to capitalize on his popularity. Giving up major pounds to opponents like Igor Vovchanchyn and Heath Herring means Takahashi’s professional record (28-20-3) carries defeats uncharacteristic of a fighter with his ability.

Needless to say, this Japanese warrior will be anxious to add a win to his record when he squares off against Mark Burch on an all new episode of the hit mixed martial arts series Bodog Fight: Costa Rica Combat this Tuesday, May 15th at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central on ION Television.

Unlike Takahashi, Mark Burch has fought for Bodog Fight before, losing to Mario Rinaldi by decision in the inaugural series. That loss is one of only two defeats in nine fights for the 37-year-old from Portage, Indiana.

Coincidentally, Burch earned a victory over Serbian fighter Miodrag `Pele' Petkovich, who will take on Arizona's Kellen Flukiger in other Bodog Fight action.

The 35-year-old Petkovic, who now fights out of Chicago, has an MMA record of 13-5-1, while the 26-year-old Flukiger is a former All-American wrestler making his pro MMA debut.

Can't catch the action on ION (or The Fight Network in Canada)? All episodes of the Bodog Fight series are available worldwide through video streaming at BodogFight.com, with behind-the-scenes exclusives, fighter bios and additional footage only available online.

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