“Kidding on the square.”
If you’ve read Al Franken’s entertaining-yet-nit-picky book "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," you probably remember the phrase.
It means kidding, but also really meaning it. And I could not think of a better term to begin this article with.
In other words, yeah, I’m making fun of the fact that Ikuhisa Minowa has stepped into the ring with more freak shows and circus attractions than the Ringling Brothers. But I’m also paying tribute to a career that has to have more outlandish stories and snapshots than Verbal Kint and Albert Finney’s "Big Fish" character combined.
What a career. The man has a professional record of 43-30-8. He’s fought Cro Cop, Wanderlei, Sakuraba (in tighty-whities, no less), Rampage, Filho, Funaki, Tamura, Semmy Schilt (who is the only freak too good to be considered a “freak show”), Evan Tanner, Chris Lytle, Phil Baroni twice, and Yuki Kondo.
He even, somewhat fittingly, fought MMA iron man Travis Fulton to a draw back in 1998.
And that’s BEFORE we get to his sideshow attractions. Of course, none of this would be fun without pictures, so without further ado, I give you the top ten (yes, there are TEN).