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MMA Hall of Fame: Karl Istaz

Written on May 22, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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The God of Pro Wrestling - Karl Istaz - leaves his mark not only in sports, but also in Fighting Insider's MMA Hall of Fame.

Born on August 3, 1924, Karl Istaz was a professional wrestler and trainer born in Antwerp, Belgium who was popularly known as Karl Gotch. The Holocaust survivor learned Greco-Roman wrestling during his younger years. A very well-known sportsman, Karl Istaz wrestled in the notable sports center in Antwerp — The Hippodroom.

He excelled in amateur wrestling and had his breakthrough by competing as Charles Istaz for Belgium in the 1948 Olympics. Karl Istaz’s professional wrestling career began after his training at the Snake Pit, which was owned by renowned catch wrestler — Billy Riley. He debuted in 1959 as Karl Krauser, and established himself as one of Europe’s best wrestler. After four years, Karl Istaz ventured to US.

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