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Hideo Tokoro Bio

Hideo Tokoro (born August 22, 1977) is a Japanese mixed martial artist currently competing in Bellator's Bantamweight division. A professional competitor since 2000, Tokoro has also formerly competed for Vale Tudo Japan, ZST, Shooto, RINGS and K-1 Hero's.


  • 1 Mixed martial arts career
    • 1.1 HERO'S
    • 1.2 DREAM
    • 1.3 Vale Tudo Japan
    • 1.4 Other promotions
    • 1.5 Bellator MMA
    • 1.6 Rizin Fighting Federation
  • 2 Fighting style
  • 3 Championships and accomplishments
  • 4 Mixed martial arts record
  • 5 Submission grappling record
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Mixed martial arts career

Tokoro got his first contact with mixed martial arts in 1999, joining Kenichi Yamamoto's Power of Dream gym. He debuted in Titan Fighting Championship in 2000 and moved to multiple promotions, among them Fighting Network RINGS, Shooto, ZST and K-1, the latter of which signed him up for its HERO'S MMA promotion. Up to that point, as fighting wasn't enough to make a living, Tokoro had worked part time as a janitor, an aspect which K-1 promoted heavily in order to show him as a humble, hard-working underdog figure.


Tokoro had his debut in HERO'S in 2005 in the Lightweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal. He went against the well regarded Alexandre Franca Nogueira, and shocked pundits by knocking him out with a spinning backfist at the end of a fast-paced, back and forth match. Tokoro advanced round against Shooto veteran Caol Uno, but he was controlled and damaged for an unanimous decision loss.

On December 31, 2005, Tokoro faced Royce Gracie from the Gracie family at the K-1 PREMIUM Dynamite!!! event in a much publicited match. The bout had special stipulations, as Royce had demanded no judge decision and 10-minute rounds, and was fought at openweight, with the Brazilian outweighing Tokoro by 40 lbs. Still, Hideo gave an excellent performance, controlling the stand-up and forcing Gracie to play conservatively on his own field of strength.

Immediately landing a punch combo and a high kick, the Japanese passed the first round in Gracie's guard, slamming him several times and bloodying his opponent's face with ground and pound, while Gracie kept himself active with heel kicks and short hammerfists. At the second, Tokoro fell in bad position upon trying a spinning kick, becoming entangled into a series of reversals both in the clinch and on the ground and being forced to defend a rear naked choke, but he ended the match again attacking Royce's guard. The match ended in a draw as stipulated, but Tokoro was seen by many as a moral victor, which boosted his popularity.

At K-1 PREMIUM Dynamite!!! 2006, Tokoro faced another member of the Gracie family, this time Royce's brother, Royler, more similar to Tokoro in size and under regular rules. The Brazilian was successful in taking the fight to the mat, but Tokoro counterattacked from the bottom with unceasing submission attempts. Returning to their feet, Gracie tried to clinch, but Hideo landed a heavy jumping knee and knocked Royler down with punches. The Japanese would be momentarily thwarted after failing a flying Kimura lock attempt, but he swept Gracie and controlled him for the rest of the match, winning a unanimous decision.

Tokoro also participated in Dynamite!! USA in 2007, submitting Brad Pickett by armbar.

Also in 2007, Tokoro faced RINGS legend Kiyoshi Tamura at the Dynamite!!! event. The heavier Tamura capitalized on his striking and wrestling advantage to control the bout, which forced Tokoro to absorb punishment and use every opportunity to scramble to try to get his game. At the third round, Tamura tried a Kimura lock, and althoough he couldn't twist the arm, he stretched it. Tokoro refused to tap out, but the match was eventually called off by submission.


Tokoro competed in DREAM's Featherweight Grand Prix where he lost in the first round to Daiki Hata, but was brought back into the tournament and defeated Abel Cullum in the second round, before losing to Hiroyuki Takaya in the semi-finals.

Tokoro faced Antonio Banuelos in the opening Bantamweight Grand Prix round at DREAM 17 at Saitami Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Sept. 24. He lost the fight via split decision.

Tokoro lost to Yusup Saadulaev in a tournament reserve bout on December 31, 2011, at Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 via KO (slam) in the first round.

Vale Tudo Japan

Tokoro faced Rumina Sato at Vale Tudo Japan 2012 on December 24, 2012. Tokoro defeated Sato by TKO in the first round.

He then faced Taylor McCorriston at Vale Tudo Japan: VTJ 2nd on June 22, 2013. Tokoro won the fight via heel hook submission.

In his latest fight, Tokoro faced UFC veteran Will Campuzano at Vale Tudo Japan: VTJ 3rd on October 5, 2013. He lost the fight via split decision.

Other promotions

Fighting outside of Vale Tudo Japan, Tokoro faced Victor Henry at Grandslam MMA: Way of the Cage on July 13, 2014. He lost the fight via second-round TKO.

Bellator MMA

Tokoro made his Bellator debut against LC Davis on March 27, 2015 at Bellator 135. He lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision.

Rizin Fighting Federation

In his debut for the Rizin Fighting Federation, Tokoro faced Kizaemon Siaga on December 29, 2015. He won the fight via submission due to an arm bar in the first round.

In his second fight for the promotion, Tokoro faced Kron Gracie on September 25, 2016 at Rizin World Grand-Prix 2016: First Round. He lost the fight via submission in the first round.

In his third fight for the promotion, Tokoro faced Asen Yamamoto on December 31, 2016 at Rizin World Grand-Prix 2016: Final Round. He won the fight via submission in the first round.

In his next fight for Rizin, Tokoro faced Kyoji Horiguchi in the first round of the Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix on July 30, 2017 at Rizin 6. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.

Fighting style

Tokoro uses a style described as "breakneck paced" and "exciting." A skilled grappler, he works at high-speed on the ground and takes all risks with bold submission attempts, often leaving himself open to counterattacks in order to seek a chance to win. He favors shoot wrestling-inspired entries and leglocks, but also is known for his brilliant positional work. Despite this, he is also dangerous on his feet, counting on fast punches and jumping knees, as well as unorthodox attacks like spinning backfists and even spinning heel kicks.

Championships and accomplishments

    • 2011 DREAM Japanese Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion
    • 2009 DREAM Featherweight Grand Prix Semifinalist
  • Yahoo! Sports
    • 2015 Best Fight of the Half-Year vs. LC Davis

Mixed martial arts record

Submission grappling record

External links

  • Official Fight Team
  • Professional MMA record for Hideo Tokoro from Sherdog Edit this at Wikidata

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