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MMA Hall of Fame: Akira Maeda

Written on April 10, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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From shoot style wrestling to competitive mixed martial arts, Akira Maeda is one great fighter that paved the way for MMA in Japan.

Also known as Kwik-kik-Lee, Akira Maeda was born on January 24, 1959. He helped develop the shoot style of professional wrestling during the late 1980s.

He formed the Fighting Network RINGS, dubbed as RINGS, in 1991. After the collapse of UWF International in 1997, RINGS no longer bill itself as wrestling. Akira Maeda retired from active competition in 1999, following his loss against three-time Olympic gold medalist — Alexander Karelin.

After his retirement, Akira Maeda switches RINGS shoot-style to competitive mixed martial arts.

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