You might have heard that a certain Bob Sapp was making his American MMA debut this evening at the StrikeForce At The Dome show in Tacoma, WA (HDNet 10:30 pm ET). This fight also marks Sapp’s debut in a cage…Wait, what? You’ve never heard of Bob Sapp? Well, if so, you’re in the minority my friend.
North American pro wrestling and/or boxing fans might get a pass for not knowing who the Beast is but all that might change very quickly. The former National Football League bust made a HUGE name for himself in Asia as a dual MMA/kickboxing legend for K-1 and PRIDE.
It’s hard to truly explain how popular Sapp is (or was) overseas but I think the following three videos will do the trick. They’re Japanese commercials starring Mr. Beast himself in all his hilarious facial features glory. I dare you to watch these and not laugh hysterically (and, just for the record, I have nothing but love for Sapp. I think he’s a brilliant showman). He actually starred in over 20 of these commercials overseas, released an R&B album and even had a variety store devoted to all things Sapp. Forget MMA, could you imagine any popular athlete in our culture acting like this on television? The only one I can think of might be Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards but I doubt he could be such an effective salesman.
Recently, WWE and TNA have talked with Sapp about working for their respective promotions but nothing ever materialized. Something tells me he might be headed back to Japan sooner rather than later.
By the way, Sapp is facing Jan “The Giant” Nortje in the main event of a card that also features Maurice Smith vs. Rick Roufus, Joe Riggs vs. Cory Devela, Jorge Masvidal vs. Ryan Healy and Brad Blackburn vs. Ray Parales.
Take it away Bob…