Funaki is a name many will know from a more recent stint in DREAM and his fight against Kazushi Sakuraba at K-1 Dynamite!! 2007, but he has been fighting for a very long time, as he was one of the founders of combat sports organization Pancrase.
His roots, of course, are with professional wrestling. Funaki was the charismatic youngster at a time when Shin’ya Hashimoto, Minoru Suzuki and Masahiro Chono were getting their starts as well. Funaki fit in with the likes of Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Akira Maeda and soon joined the ranks of UWF after the “shoot” group splintered from the more “traditional” New Japan Pro Wrestling. The legend of Masakatsu Funaki began then, and after 50+ MMA bouts, he makes his return to a pro wrestling ring to round out his career.