Bob Sapp

Bob Sapp

Bob Sapp
Born Robert Malcolm Sapp
(1973-09-22) September 22, 1973 [1]
Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.
Other names The Beast
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)[2]
Weight 350 lb (160 kg)
Division Super Heavyweight
Reach 82.0 in (208 cm)
Fighting out of Seattle, Washington, United States
Team Team Beast
BodyShop MMA & Fitness
Trainer Prince Amir
Years active 2002–2014
Kickboxing record
Total 28
Wins 11
By knockout 9
Losses 17
By knockout 11
Mixed martial arts record
Total 30
Wins 11
By knockout 8
By submission 3
Losses 18
By knockout 9
By submission 9
Draws 1
Other information
University University of Washington
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: November 17, 2013
Bob Sapp
No. 78
Position: Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1973-09-22) September 22, 1973
Place of birth: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 319 lb (145 kg)
Career information
College: Washington
NFL draft: 1997 / Round: 3 / Pick: 69
Career history
* Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games Played: 1
Stats at

Robert Malcolm "Bob" Sapp (born September 22, 1973)[3][4] is an American professional wrestler, actor, comedian and former American football player best known for his career as a kickboxer and mixed martial artist. Sapp has a combined fight record of 22–35–1, mostly fighting in Japan. He is well known in Japan, where he has appeared in numerous commercials, television programs, and various other media, and has released a music CD, It's Sapp Time. He also appeared in an episode of the HBO program Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. He is currently working sporadically for various MMA promotions in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.


  • American football career 1
  • Professional wrestling 2
  • Kickboxing and mixed martial arts career 3
    • Pride Fighting Championships 3.1
    • K-1 3.2
    • Cage Rage 3.3
    • Strikeforce, FEG and other 3.4
    • ONE Fighting Championship 3.5
    • Super Fight League 3.6
  • In wrestling 4
  • Championships and accomplishments 5
    • Kickboxing and mixed martial arts 5.1
    • Professional wrestling 5.2
  • Kickboxing record 6
  • Mixed martial arts record 7
  • Filmography 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

American football career

Sapp began his athletic career in high school playing football at Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He received a football scholarship to the University of Washington, where he won the Morris Award.

He was drafted by the Chicago Bears 69th overall in the 1997 NFL Draft. Sapp signed with the Minnesota Vikings after being released by the Bears. Sapp's career took a hit after he was suspended by the NFL in 1998 for alleged steroid abuse. He spent two seasons with the Vikings and only played in one game.

Afterwards, Sapp was reportedly in poverty, and worked at a funeral home moving coffins.[5]

Professional wrestling

Sapp's Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) at the "2011: A Ryogoku Peter Pan" event, using a "Beast will fight for money" gimmick.[9] In a comedy match, he was defeated by Danshoku Dino, a wrestler with a homosexual character, being pinned after a kiss and a roll-up.[10][11] At a NJPW event on December 20, 2012, Toru Yano announced that Sapp would represent the villainous Chaos stable on January 4, 2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome.[12] At the event, Sapp teamed with Yano, Takashi Iizuka and Yujiro Takahashi in an eight-man tag team match, where they were defeated by Akebono, Manabu Nakanishi, MVP and Strong Man.[13] Sapp made another appearance for New Japan on April 7, 2013, at Invasion Attack, where he and Chaos stablemates Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi were defeated by Akebono, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi and Super Strong Machine in another eight-man tag team match.[14] On September 8, Sapp took part in the Wrestle-1 promotion's inaugural event, teaming with Keiji Mutoh in a main event tag team match, where they defeated René Duprée and Zodiac.[15] In 2014, he would compete in the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF) and would lose to Aztecaser in his debut match.

Kickboxing and mixed martial arts career

Pride Fighting Championships

Sapp was subsequently recruited by the Japanese MMA organization Pride, where he quickly became a fan favorite due to his size, charisma and aggression. After a number of successes in Pride, Sapp was then invited to K-1 by Kazuyoshi Ishii, the creator of the fighting sport K-1. Ishii saw the combination of great potential great marketability in Sapp and he also had actually fought and not just taken dives.

After arriving in Japan, Sapp fought three matches in Pride. His first match pitted him against pro wrestler and longtime Fighting Network RINGS competitor Yoshihisa Yamamoto, who he finished by TKO at 2:44 of the first round.[16] Sapp's second Pride match was against two-time RINGS Openweight Champion Kiyoshi Tamura. Though Tamura was a highly respected fighter who held wins over the likes of Pat Miletich, Jeremy Horn and Renzo Gracie, he was giving up 150 lbs to his foe and was quickly overwhelmed by the much larger American, succumbing to strikes just 11 seconds into the bout.[17] During this time fans were first introduced to Sapp's "bullrush" technique, whereby he would rush an opponent with punches, quickly overwhelming them. Sapp's fighting style was relatively devoid of technique, but it was distinguished by an aggressive usage of his size and strength, being able to strike in an impredictable way with his large arms and lift his opponents with ease.

In a show held by both Pride and K-1 called "Dynamite", Sapp faced then-champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira in a memorable fight, in which Sapp threw Nogueira around and performed powerbombs and piledrivers on him to counter his takedown attempts. However, Nogueira demonstrated a surprising endurance and will, and late on the second round, with Sapp's stamina near his end, the Brazilian finally could mount him and submit him with an armbar. Sapp would never again compete in Pride, instead focusing his attention on K-1.


Despite losing his first fight by disqualification, Sapp was initially successful in K-1. He twice defeated four-time K-1 champion Ernesto Hoost by technical knockout on October 5th, 2002. His win was not without controversy, however, as the majority of damage dealt by Sapp to end the fight appeared to be inflicted after the bell.[18] Nonetheless, Sapp became an overnight sensation in Japan afterwards, appearing on numerous television shows, advertisements, and movie cameos such as in the big screen adaptation of Devilman. K-1 heads, trying to strike while the iron was hot and hoping to duplicate the success of Sapp, made a new fighting division called "Beast" (Sapp's nickname), which featured larger fighters such as Choi Hong-man. However, the division was stopped after two events due to disappointing reviews and gate takes.

At the height of his success, there was talk and promotion of a fight between him and the former boxing Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. The two had a face to face confrontation immediately after Sapp's victory in Las Vegas over Kimo. K-1 signed Tyson to a contract and the fight looked to be on. However, Tyson's status as a convicted felon made him unable to get a visa to fight in Japan where the fight would have been most profitable.[19] Other locations for the proposed fight were made, but the fight ultimately never happened.

In June 2005, Sapp won the K-1 Japan Grand Prix in Hiroshima to become one of 16 fighters qualified for the 2005 K-1 World GP. In the Japan GP, Sapp showcased greatly improved stamina, as well as better technique, than in his previous fights after intensive training under Sam Greco. In the K-1 2005 World GP Eliminations he lost by decision to "The Techno Goliath" Choi Hong-man.

Sapp's initial success with his intimidating, blind chase-and-punch method (which he dubbed as "NFL Style") slowly petered out into disqualifications for bullrushing and punching after referee breaks. Additionally, experienced opponents discovered Sapp's weak points: his vulnerable midsection and legs as well as his limited stamina.

On May 13, 2006, Sapp was to headline the K-1 show in the Netherlands. His opponent was Ernesto Hoost. Hoost stated in previous interviews and the interview on that show that this was to be his last match in the Netherlands before his retirement. Sapp attended all the pre-fight press conferences and even attended the opening ceremonies for the show. It is unclear at the moment as to why, but Sapp pulled out of the event midway through the show.

K-1 issued a statement claiming Sapp pulled out due to new demands he brought to promoters during the show. K-1 would not agree to those demands since they felt their written contract was final and Sapp left. The full K-1 press release can be viewed on the organization's website.

Sapp has not issued a statement, but some sources indicated that he disagreed with K-1's account of events.[20]

However, he did participate in 2007's K-1 event in the Amsterdam Arena, fighting as a replacement for Remy Bonjasky, against Peter Aerts. Sapp lost the fight by KO within 20 seconds in the first round by a knee to the liver. While Sapp was being led from the ring, Aerts apologized to the fans in Dutch for the short bout as well as having berated his fallen opponent.

After his falling out with K-1, Sapp began to get offers from WWE as well as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) to work with them, but his K-1 contract prohibited him from going through with any return to the ring.

Sapp made a surprise return to the K-1 ring in Japan after a two-year absence against comedian and part-time K-1 competitor Bobby Ologun. Ologun was unable to mount any effective offense as he was quickly run down and overpowered by Sapp in the 1st round.

Cage Rage

Sapp wrestling in HUSTLE.

On February 10, 2007 it was announced by the United Kingdom's Cage Rage promotion that Sapp would appear on its Cage Rage 21 event on April 21, facing Gary Turner. The move was partly a retaliatory one, as the UFC had chosen to run its first British show in years that same night at the Manchester Evening News Arena, headlined by Mirko "Cro Cop", Andrei Arlovski and British star Michael Bisping. Though Cage Rage promoter Andy Geer said that the UFC show would not affect ticket sales for CR21, the signing of Sapp was a clear sign that the company knew it would need a superstar draw in order to successfully compete with the American promotion. A few days before the event Bob Sapp pulled out of the scheduled fight. On short notice, Tank Abbott stepped in for Sapp and lost to Gary Turner.

Strikeforce, FEG and other

Sapp faced the South African fighter Jan "The Giant" Nortje at the Strikeforce: At The Dome event in Tacoma, Washington, at the Tacoma Dome on February 23, 2008. Sapp was defeated at the 55 second mark of the first round by TKO after receiving an unanswered torrent of punches. Sapp then returned to Japan on New Year's Eve 2008 and defeated Akihito Tanaka via first round TKO.

Sapp lost to Japanese Ikuhisa Minowa at Dream 9 on May 26, 2009,[21] due to Achilles lock. He fought and lost to Bobby Lashley at Ultimate Chaos in Biloxi, Mississippi, on June 27, 2009, due to first round tapout from strikes. On October 6, Sapp stood in for an injured Gegard Mousasi to face Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the semifinals at Dream 11.[22] He lost via TKO (punches) in the first round.

On November 27, Sapp fought against Swedish K-1 veteran Jörgen Kruth. The fight got a lot of publicity in Swedish and international press, but ended with an anticlimax when Sapp's corner threw in the towel after only 45 seconds, after Kruth hit Sapp with a knee to the liver.

Sapp was next going to face Stav Economou at BAMMA 5,[23] but the event was canceled due to extreme weather conditions.[24]

Sapp was scheduled to fight at K1 Dynamite!! 2010. He was set to battle Shinichi Suzukawa on New Year's Eve in a Pancrase-style matchup, but pulled out at the last minute due to contract disputes.[25] When questioned about Sapp's refusal to fight on the day of the event, FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa asked, "Does anyone actually care? I don't know the reasons why, but we did our best to make him fight. He just said he didn't want to. This is typical [of Sapp]."[26] But Sapp claims that the promoters were contracted to pay him $30,000 for the fight, but that Tanikawa offered him $15,000 shortly after he arrived in Japan for the event. Sapp refused to fight for half of the original purse.[27] In response, he "should not be considered as a normal person" and is "the worst, most lamentable dust man." Tanikawa went on to say via Twitter that "No one cares anymore, but the Sapp incident had NOTHING to do with the fight money … That guy is such a loser. He is one lonely man."

ONE Fighting Championship

On 11 February 2012 debuted for the Asian ONE Fighting Championship promotion. He faced Rolles Gracie at ONE Fighting Championship: Battle of Heroes in Jakarta, Indonesia and lost via submission to strikes in the first round.

Super Fight League

Sapp in a kickboxing match.

Sapp fought in the main event of the Super Fight League's inaugural event, SFL 1, against James Thompson on March 11, 2012. Sapp tapped out due to a Thompson takedown that caused a leg injury to Sapp in the first round.[28]

Sapp fought Yōsuke Nishijima in Nishijima's retirement fight under kickboxing rules Legend 4 in Kumamoto, Japan on November 17, 2013. Sapp was dropped with a body shot, stood back up but was then finished with body shots followed by couple of right hooks.[29][30][31]

Sapp announced his retirement in April 2014 citing that he'd paid off big medical bills and will be retiring with several million dollars in savings (including money doing work outside of fights).[32]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Kickboxing and mixed martial arts

Sapp (left) and Toshiaki Kawada looking at their opponents prior to a match in HUSTLE.

Professional wrestling

Kickboxing record

Mixed martial arts record

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 11–18–1 Edson França Submission (rear-naked choke) OX MMA August 8, 2013 1 0:35 Fortaleza, Brazil
Loss 11–17–1 Aleksander Emelianenko TKO (punches) Legend Fighting Show May 25, 2013 1 1:18 Moscow, Russia
Loss 11–16–1 Dusan Panajotovic Submission (punches) Night of the Champions 2012 September 15, 2012 1 1:28 Belgrade, Serbia
Loss 11–15–1 Jong Dae Kim TKO (strikes) Road FC 8 June 16, 2012 2 1:58 Wonju, South Korea
Loss 11–14–1 Tolegen Akylbekov Submission (punches) Bushido Lithuania vol.51 June 8, 2012 1 1:29 Astana, Kazakhstan
Loss 11–13–1 Soa Palelei TKO (punches) Cage Fighting Championship 21 May 18, 2012 1 0:12 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Loss 11–12–1 Mariusz Pudzianowski TKO (knees & punches) KSW XIX May 12, 2012 1 0:40 Lódz, Poland
Loss 11–11–1 James Thompson Submission (leg injury) SFL 1 March 11, 2012 1 1:56 Mumbai, India
Loss 11–10–1 Rolles Gracie Submission (punches) ONE Fighting Championship: Battle of Heroes February 11, 2012 1 1:18 Jakarta, Indonesia
Loss 11–9–1 Maro Perak TKO (punches) Noc Gladijatora 6 December 16, 2011 1 3:04 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Loss 11–8–1 Attila Uçar Submission (achilles lock) Premium Fight Night April 30, 2011 1 0:56 Vienna, Austria
Loss 11–7–1 Stav Economou TKO (punches) ADFC: Round 3 March 11, 2011 1 1:45 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Win 11–6–1 Sascha Weinpolter Submission (forearm choke) K-1 ColliZion 2010 Croatia March 27, 2010 1 2:03 Split, Croatia
Loss 10–6–1 Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou TKO (punches) Dream 11 October 6, 2009 1 1:31 Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan DREAM Super Hulk Grand Prix Semifinal. Replaced Gegard Mousasi.
Loss 10–5–1 Bobby Lashley Submission (punches) Fight Force International: Ultimate Chaos June 27, 2009 1 3:18 Biloxi, Mississippi, United States
Loss 10–4–1 Ikuhisa Minowa Submission (achilles lock) Dream 9 May 26, 2009 1 1:16 Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan DREAM Super Hulk Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win 10–3–1 Akihito Tanaka TKO (punches) Fields Dynamite!! 2008 December 31, 2008 1 5:22 Saitama, Japan
Loss 9–3–1 Jan Nortje TKO (punches) Strikeforce: At The Dome February 23, 2008 1 0:55 Tacoma, Washington, United States
Win 9–2–1 Bobby Ologun TKO (punches) K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! December 31, 2007 1 4:10 Osaka, Japan
Win 8–2–1 Kim Jong Wang TKO (punches) Hero's 2005 in Seoul November 5, 2005 1 0:08 Seoul, South Korea
Win 7–2–1 Alan Karaev KO (punch) Hero's 2 July 6, 2005 1 3:44 Tokyo, Japan
Win 6–2–1 Min-Soo Kim KO (punches) Hero's 1 March 26, 2005 1 1:12 Saitama, Japan
Draw 5–2–1 Jérôme Le Banner Draw K-1 PREMIUM 2004 Dynamite!! December 31, 2004 3 3:00 Tokyo, Japan The fight was with both Mixed Martial Arts and K-1 rules.
Loss 5–2 Kazuyuki Fujita Submission (soccer kicks) K-1 MMA ROMANEX May 22, 2004 1 2:15 Saitama, Japan
Win 5–1 Dolgorsürengiin Sumyaabazar TKO (foot injury) K-1 Beast 2004 in Niigata March 14, 2004 1 5:00 Niigata, Japan
Win 4–1 Stefan Gamlin Submission (standing guillotine choke) K-1 Japan Grand Prix 2003 September 21, 2003 1 0:52 Yokohama, Japan
Win 3–1 Yoshihiro Takayama Submission (armbar) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2002 December 31, 2002 1 2:16 Saitama, Japan
Loss 2–1 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (armbar) Pride Shockwave August 28, 2002 2 4:03 Tokyo, Japan
Win 2–0 Kiyoshi Tamura KO (punches) Pride 21 June 23, 2002 1 0:11 Saitama, Japan
Win 1–0 Yoshihisa Yamamoto KO (punches) Pride 20 April 28, 2002 1 2:44 Yokohama, Japan


Year Title Role
2003 Bob Sapp: Sapp Time The Movie! Himself
2003 You're Under Arrest Bob Hage
2004 Izo -
2005 Elektra Stone
2005 Devilman World Newscaster
2005 Longest Yard, TheThe Longest Yard Switowski
2007 Big Stan Big Raymond
2009 Frankenhood Frankie
2009 Blood and Bone Hammerman
2011 Blood Out Uncredited
2011 Conan the Barbarian Ukafa
2012 JourneyQuest (6 episodes, Season 2) Karn, the Barbarian King
2013 Miss Pilot Roy

See also


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  29. ^ Nishijima meets Bob Sapp in Retirement Match with Legend kickboxing promotion
  30. ^ LEGEND 4 - 11/17/2013: Nishijima retires after KO victory over Sapp
  31. ^ [1]
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External links