How good was Erik Paulson?

Ninja mon - walking legend!

 Yep.  EP is a real life living legend. 

Right on Humboldt JiuJitsu! And he's also one of the coolest mofos I've ever met! Funny as hell!


 He's very good.

I remember hearing a story about him where he got into a bar fight and broke some guy's ankle. He then took the guy to the emergency room and paid for the bill.

Really cool, and smart move.

I think he's awesome, his fight with Ronald Juhn in Japan is one of my all time favorite fights and LIGHT years ahead of its time technique-wise.

he got mugged against paul jones, his skinny little limbs didn't have the power to finish any of his submissions, totally overpowered and sooplaid even

I like Erik. 

But . . . lol at 0:25 when he jumps over an arm bar from side mount to go for a leg lock.  They didn't give a damn about positioning in Japan back then.


 tons of respect for being a pioneer but honestly makes a better teacher than fighter. His arguably best win was against Ron Jhun (22-23-1). The 10 other wins are just as unremarkable. Lost to anyone with above average talent and lost due to vanity to someone who never should have had a chance at beating him.

But yes, excellent coach and trainer.

Ill be a dedicated Paulson student the rest of my life

Remarkable teacher and person

A great Catch wrestler! ;)

Paulson was very good - a very skilled and well-rounded pioneer for the early days.

And as already mentioned, his fight with Hume was a classic. Really ahead of its time (much like Hume-Miletich) in terms of being a highly technical, well-rounded, and evenly matched battle - where both guys actually knew WTF they were doing in every phase of the game. They were even throwing sharp kicks at each other on the ground while also going for leglocks, in an era when most guys were still spazzing and flailing in the same positions. And the fight was essentially even, before the cut stoppage.

But I'm going to have to rein in the exaltation here and point out that, overall, Paulson was never really that consistently dominant - and was not really a great champion in Shooto, even though he had a very long official reign there.

Paulson really had a chance to become the first historically significant and really defining figure for the 187 division - like Sakurai was for 167, Sato for 152, and Pequeno for 143 - but he lost non-title fights which he never avenged, while still staying the officially reigning titleholder (much like Miletich would later in the UFC), which ultimately kept that title (and really the entire division) from gaining traction as being really major-league.

Actually, most of Paulson's most memorable fights were losses.

Aside from his impressive performance in the Hume cut-stoppage loss in Extreme Fighting, he got dragged around by the hair while being battered by Warring in the WCC (where Paulson should have been a founding member of the Hair Club for MMA, along with Kimo and Fairn-Mezger in the UFC).

(But in Paulson's defense, he was fighting a boxing and kickboxing champion in Warring in the grappling-limited strikers' half of the tournament. But then again, that also allowed him to bypass the two tournament favorites, Renzo and the much bigger Vale - who were on the other side of the draw in the grapplers' division - until potentially the final.)

Paulson also had two tough fights with Paul Jones - where the one in Extreme Fighting ended up a time-limit draw (although Paulson likely would have lost a decision had there been judges), and did lose an official decision to Jones in the rematch in Shooto in a non-title fight. Paulson was also then quickly and easily submitted by Carlos Newton in another non-title matchup.

So Paulson's lack of consistency and dominance as a champion really marred his long official reign. His best wins were over Kawaguchi (the reigning Shooto champ at the time), Suda (future champ after Paulson would vacate and retire), Ben Spijkers (the judo Olympic bronze medalist that Renzo neck-stomped), and Ronald Jhun.

So again, much like Miletich, Paulson was an ahead-of-his-time well-rounded early pioneer, as well as a top-level fighter for his era - but not really a great, definitive champion or standard-bearer for his division.

But still, also like Miletich, Paulson is just an unbelievably comprehensive and cross-trained martial artist - JKD and FMA under Inosanto, BJJ BB under Rigan, certified instructor in Shooto and Muay Thai, etc. - and his martial arts credentials and background are beyond reproach. Throw in his actual MMA fighting career on top of that, and there can really be no more qualified instructor possible.

 still wonder why the wcc put him in the striking division, not allowing subs in a couple fights

 I understand! His name is Erik Paulson!


paulson is the man tho..i rmr him in Kickboxer 3 or 4 wearing that silly wrestling singlet and acting like some wild man lol

are u sure it isnt Erich Paulson? :)

 If you ever get a chance to roll with him or attend one of his seminars you will understand.

His ability to break it down to the basics is awesome.

He is a great coach.