Lib Owen

Lib Owen

Modified & Updated: 07 Oct 2023


Masakatsu Funaki is a name that holds great significance in the world of martial arts. As a renowned Japanese mixed martial artist and professional wrestler, Funaki has left an indelible mark on the combat sports industry. Born on February 13, 1969, in Osaka, Japan, Funaki started his martial arts journey at a young age and has since become a prominent figure in the Japanese fighting scene.

Throughout his impressive career, Funaki has achieved numerous accolades and garnered a reputation for his exceptional skills and unwavering determination. From co-founding the legendary fighting organization Pancrase to being recognized as a pioneer in the development of shoot-style wrestling, Funaki’s contributions to the martial arts world are unparalleled.

In this article, we will delve into 13 fascinating facts about Masakatsu Funaki, shedding light on his remarkable achievements, fighting style, and impact on the world of combat sports.

Table of Contents

Masakatsu Funaki is a Japanese mixed martial artist.

Known for his exceptional skills in various martial arts disciplines, Funaki has achieved great success in his career.

He was born on November 13, 1969, in Yokohama, Japan.

Funaki started his martial arts journey at a young age, displaying immense talent and dedication.

Funaki co-founded the famous Pancrase promotion.

Alongside Minoru Suzuki, Funaki established Pancrase, one of the pioneering organizations in the world of mixed martial arts.

He is a former professional wrestler.

Before delving into mixed martial arts, Funaki achieved success as a wrestler, competing in organizations like New Japan Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Funaki is known for his technical prowess and submission skills.

With a background in catch wrestling and judo, Funaki developed a unique style that emphasized grappling and submission techniques.

He has competed against some of the biggest names in the sport.

Throughout his career, Funaki faced off against notable opponents such as Ken Shamrock, Bas Rutten, and Frank Shamrock.

Funaki is a former King of Pancrase.

In 1994, Funaki became the inaugural King of Pancrase, solidifying his status as one of the top fighters in the organization.

He was part of the famous “Pancrase Four” rivalry.

Funaki, along with Bas Rutten, Minoru Suzuki, and Ken Shamrock, formed a fierce rivalry that captivated fans and helped elevate Pancrase’s popularity.

Funaki has trained and mentored numerous fighters.

Throughout his career, Funaki has imparted his knowledge and expertise to aspiring fighters, shaping the next generation of mixed martial artists.

He has had success as a coach.

Funaki has achieved success as a coach, guiding his students to victories in various competitions and events.

Funaki has made appearances in movies and TV shows.

Outside the world of martial arts, Funaki has showcased his acting skills in films and television series, further expanding his presence in the entertainment industry.

He is a respected figure in the martial arts community.

Funaki’s contributions to the world of mixed martial arts have earned him respect and admiration from fans and fellow fighters alike.

Funaki’s legacy continues to inspire generations of martial artists.

His remarkable career and achievements serve as a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and skill in the world of martial arts.


In conclusion, Masakatsu Funaki is an iconic figure in the world of mixed martial arts. His journey from a young judoka to a pioneering MMA fighter has left an indelible mark on the sport. Funaki’s technical skills, resilience, and determination have earned him a well-deserved place among the greats.Throughout his career, Funaki has been a source of inspiration for many aspiring fighters. His ability to adapt and excel in various combat disciplines showcases his exceptional talent and dedication.Today, Funaki continues to contribute to the world of martial arts as a trainer and mentor, passing on his knowledge and wisdom to the next generation. His legacy will live on, inspiring countless fighters to push their limits and achieve greatness in the realm of mixed martial arts.


Q: What is Masakatsu Funaki’s background in martial arts?

A: Masakatsu Funaki started his martial arts journey with judo at a young age. He later transitioned to professional wrestling and eventually became one of the founders of the highly influential Japanese promotion, Pancrase.

Q: Which organizations did Masakatsu Funaki compete for?

A: Funaki fought for organizations such as Pancrase, PRIDE Fighting Championships, and DEEP. He was known for his participation in the early years of Pancrase, where he showcased his skills against some of the best fighters of his time.

Q: What are some of Masakatsu Funaki’s notable achievements?

A: Funaki is widely recognized for his technical expertise and his contributions to the development of mixed martial arts. He achieved numerous victories in his career and was a pioneer in introducing grappling techniques into MMA competition.

Q: What is Masakatsu Funaki doing now?

A: Currently, Funaki is involved in training and coaching young fighters. He continues to contribute to the martial arts community by passing on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation.

Q: What is Masakatsu Funaki’s fighting style?

A: Funaki is known for his well-rounded fighting style. He excelled in various disciplines such as judo, wrestling, and submission grappling. His ability to seamlessly blend these styles made him a formidable opponent in the ring.