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MMA Hall of Fame: Masakatsu Funaki

Written on April 02, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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Another professional wrestler made his way to Fighting Insider's MMA Hall of Fame! A round of applause to Pancrase co-founder and Master of Catch Wrestling -- Masakatsu Funaki.

Born on March 13, 1969, Masakatsu Funaki is a Japanese mixed martial artists and a professional wrestler who fought in New Japan Pro Wrestling, PFWG and UWF. He is also the co-founder of one of the first mixed martial arts organization and non-rehearsed shoot wrestling promotions, Pancrase.

A son of a movie theater owner, he was exposed to martial arts film at a young age. He idolized Bruce Lee above all others, and was also influenced by Sammo Hung and Sonny Chiba.

Masakatsu Funaki’s career in MMA began when he founded Pancrase with Minoru Suzuki. Pancrase became immensely popular, that other MMA organizations made their way in Japan.

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