Nathan Ligo fighting with Japan Champion Masuda Akira in 1991

We chose the order of opponents for Masuda’s 100-man kumite by lots. I drew number 7. By the time he’d fought 60 90-second fights that day, he was pretty spent. Here, right at the beginning, he was just getting warmed up. This fight did a lot to build my confidence because I stood up to a Japan champion for some time . . . before he won by TKO, his famous chudan mawashi geri that completely collapsed my lungs. I was 20 years old. It was 1991.

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