Masato (kickboxer)

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Masato (kickboxer) : biography

March 10, 1979 –

Masato Kobayashi ( born March 10, 1979) is a Japanese former welterweight kickboxer. He was the world champion of ISKA at Welterweight under Oriental rules, and he is the winner of K-1 WORLD MAX World tournament in 2003 and 2008. In addition, he is also the runner-up of K-1 World MAX World tournament in 2004 and 2007. Prior to the K-1 Rising event in Madrid in May 2012, it was announced that Masato will be working as an executive producer for K-1.

Wolf Revolution

Wolf Revolution is an event promoted by Masato himself. It mixes live bands with MMA and kickboxing matches.


Early life

Masato Kobayashi (小林 雅人) was born in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture Japan on March 10, 1979. When he was young, he moved to Niiza, Saitama because of his parents’ job. He started going to Asagiri Municipal Asagiri 4th Junior High School(ja). After graduating junior high school, he started Saitama Sakae High School(ja), but he dropped out soon after with his friends. He described the reason for dropping out simply as "enthusiasm" when he appeared on popular Japanese television show "Junk Sports"(ja). After dropping out, he worked many jobs but did not holding a steady position. Although he got a job as an assistant at a Yakitori bar, he quit the job on the first day, saying he was "going to leave for lunch".

In 1994, when he was 15 years old, he joined Yonekura Boxing Gym. After failing his test for a professional boxers’ license, he left the gym. When he was 17 years old, he joined Fuji Gym and started learning kickboxing because he thought kickboxing was useful for street fighting. After passing the exam for professional kickboxing, he became a professional kickboxer under All Japan Kickboxing Federation(AJKF). Before his first fight, Shigeo Kato, the owner of Fuji gym, tried to name him "Fuji Sankaizan"(藤 山海山) as a ring name, but it was denied. Thereupon, Kato suggested another ring name Masato(魔裟斗), "the homonym term of Masato (雅人)". He accepted that name but he did not like it because it gave a bad impression as its script was like Japanese motorcycle gangs.

All Japan Kickboxing Federation

Masato made his professional debut on March 23, 1997 against Hutoshi Takehara, winning by KO in the first round. In his second bout, he fought against Takayuki Kohiruimaki on May 30, losing by KO due to knee strikes in the third. Originally, this bout was promoted as an ordinary freshman bout of three rounds, but was later upgraded to the main final bout due to the cancellation of a previously scheduled main bout.

On March 17, 1999, he fought against Tomoharu Chiba for the vacant national title of AJKF at welterweight when he was 20 years old. He knocked out Chiba at 3R and became the new champion. After this victory, he began receiving offers for international matches. On November 22, he fought against Eval Denton from USA, and won by decision at 5R. When Paul Ingram, the president of WKA, watched this bout, he evaluated Masato highly and considered rating him for world rating, but this was to be Masato’s last bout in the AJKF. After this bout, he was rated as #13 at welterweight by World Kickboxing Association(WKA), but he announced that he was going to be independent from AJKF in December. Masato was offered to fight against Mohamed Ouali from Morocco on January 21 by AJKF for the rating of WKA, but he denied this bout because he did not give his consent about the conditions for the bout. He sent his agent to AJKF for negotiation on January 14, but it was broken off. For this reason, this bout was canceled. He handed in a notice of withdrawal to AJKF and Fuji gym as on March 14 and returned his title at that day. According to the announcement from AJKF, the contract between AJKF, Fuji gym, and Masato was until for 2002. For this withdrawal, he lost his training area, so he asked some martial arts gyms to rent some space for training.

Silver Wolf

As Masato left AJKF, he started managing himself with his team "Silver Wolf". On April 16, 2000, Masato went to Thailand, and he fought against Kongnapa Looktubpha. He knocked out Kongnapa cold with a swift left uppercut. On November 1, he was offered by K-1 for challenging Morad Sari from France. He knocked out Sari at 2R with left hook, and he took Sari’s world championship of International Sport Karate Association(ISKA) under oriental rules. Takashi Ito, the Japanese veteran kickboxer, decided to be retired when he saw this bout. For this reason, he had a retirement bout(Exhibition) with Masato on March 30, 2001.