Ali vs. Inoki

One of the highest profile MMA matches of modern times, which turned out to be a major disappointment.

On the same evening in NYC, Andre "The Giant" batlled Chuck Wepner in an MMA match that had alot more action.

Notice the ref is Judo Gene LeBelle in the Ali / Inoki match.

Keep in mind that the rules were favored towards Ali in this fight. Inoki was not permitted to "ground fight". Once it hit the mat, the ref was ordered to stand them up. During the brief periods that the fight went to the ground, once up. Ali began protesting and threatening to walk out.

Inoki throws an elbow at Ali at one point out of frustration.

The "Butt Scooting" on the part of Inoki made for a very boring fight. He did however cause some damage to Ali's legs (bloodclots)

Here's another short clip of the escapades leading up to the fight.

Notice Ali's "trainer's" for the fight "Classy" Freddie Blassie, and Jhoon "Safe-T-Chop" Rhee leading him to the press conference.

Inoki's second's for the fight were Catch Wrestling legend Karl Gotch, and Olympic Judoka Seji Sakaguchi. Inoki also had trained at Mas Oyama's Kyokushin-Kai Dojo in preparation for the match.

Pretty please, don't call that garbage an "MMA-match". Ali's camp made sure that Inoki was neither allowed to take Ali down nor use submissions, because they knew what happens when any decent grappler gets a hold of a pure boxer.

Part of a recent interview with Angelo Dundee about Ali / Inoki

"Angelo Dundee's unique ring savvy made him listened by his boxers. The only time that Muhammad Ali didn't follow his advice was for the fight against pro wrestling legend Antonio Inoki. I call it a fight because that's what it was. If it was a "work" (using a typical expression of the wrestling people), Ali and Inoki would have studied a spectacular choreography. Instead, the match turned boring with Inoki on his back for most of the time. Why? This is what Angelo told me:"

"It's very simple, Inoki knew that one of Muhammad's punches would have been enough to end the fight. Staying on his back, Inoki didn't run any risks and he could kick Ali's legs. When the match was over, Muhammad's legs were full of hematomas and he had to go to the hospital. I wouldn't have accepted the bout because Ali could make the same money and get the same worldwide publicity through boxing, but Muhammad wanted to do it badly. As a matter of fact, he helped sell the fight, putting up a great show at every press conference. I think that Ali's claims that he would knock out the Japanese wrestler convinced Inoki not to get into a brawl. On that occasion, I had a proof of how small the world is because the referee was Gene Le Bell. His mother was a boxing promoter based in Los Angeles: Aileen Eaton. She was a good woman and Gene is a good guy. I want you to meet him, if you ever to go Los Angeles."    

"I saw this fight live on closed circuit TV in Shea Stadium. It was part of a big wrestling card."

Then you must have seen the Ande "The Giant" vs. Chuck Wepner match live. From what I understand, that match went totally out of "script", and both corners got into a donneybrook as the match ended. Police had to break it up.

Wepners three cornermen apparently went after Andre and his second, Gorilla Monsoon, and started throwing shit at them. Not part of the script. Monsoon got punched in the face a few times, and he in turn, lost it.

More action in that one than in the whole Inoki / Ali fight.

Aha ! Wepner vs. Andre clip !

never seen Andre vs Wepner before... clearly a work.

"never seen Andre vs Wepner before... clearly a work."

I think that it was more of a work gone bad. I believe that Andre was supposed to win by what have you, a headbutt KO or count out. Then the seconds got involved and real punches were thrown. Guy's were chucking beer and stuff at Andre and Monsoon.

Actually, Ali changed his mind after Inoki had paid him, brought him to Japan, paid to promote teh event and there was no going back... so Inoki reluctantly agreed to a "shoot" and started to get ready with Karl Gotch... Ali's team, worried that a real MMA fight wouldn't go well for Ali, insisted no submissions, and no suplex movement, and a few others I forget, so Inoki came up with the butt scoot