We saw super heavyweight fighter and pro wrestler Bob Sapp pick up a rare win at Rizin’s New Year’s Eve show with a decision over Akebono. For this Flashback Friday let’s look back to a strange verbal sparring match he had in 2012 against well-known pro wrestling fan turned MMA media mogul, Ariel Helwani, who may be a lightweight in the ring, but he’s #moneyweight on the mic.
Ariel confronted Sapp about throwing fights so he wouldn’t get hurt and just to make money. It was almost like a pro wrestling match between these two as Ariel lobbed lines like, “You wanna throw a fight here? I’m not gonna fight you. Actually, with your performances I could probably beat you I think, with this pinky.” And this one. “What are you training for, to turtle up?” Ariel asked.
Sapp played the comedian, sometimes funny, sometimes whacky and manic, sometimes serious. He referenced Gary Goodridge’s brain damage and in a roundabout way tried to explain his position of not wanting to suffer serious injury.
You can view Sapp’s recent fight with Akebono (see below) and make your own judgments on the shootboxing rules match, but keep in mind, MMA is viewed differently in Japan and it’s not always so easy to tell where truth and fiction connect. And Bob Sapp seems to sort of be that way too.
Here’s just the highlights:
But you will want to watch the full interview for sure:
Bob Sapp vs. Akebono at Rizin: