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Lee Hasdell Bio

Lee Hasdell (born 13 December 1966) is a British martial artist, promoter and former professional kickboxer and mixed martial artist. Hasdell is considered by many as a true pioneer of UK mixed martial arts, as he was the main driving force and innovator in the 1990s. Hasdell promoted the first professional Mixed martial arts events in the United Kingdom and has helped develop many of the standards within the British MMA scene of today.

He started his professional career in 1989, as a Thai boxer, becoming a 3-time British champion in kickboxing and Thai boxing. He is also one of the first British fighters to compete in K-1 in 1995. Later in 1996, Hasdell became the inaugural winner of the Oktagon, an eight-man Shootboxing tournament held in Milan, Italy. By this time, Hasdell had already began transitioning into mixed martial arts as a shootfighter and made his official debut in February 1996. From 1997 he would spend most of his career fighting for Fighting Network RINGS in Japan.

Lee Hasdell is a RINGS veteran, fighting for them 22 times between 1996 and 2001, while also promoting RINGS UK. Throughout his career, Hasdell has fought in organisations and events such as K-1, Fenasco Oktagon, Fighting Network RINGS, IAFC – Absolute Fighting Championships, Cage Rage and has also competed in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.

Contents

  • 1 Martial arts background
  • 2 Kickboxing (1989–2002)
    • 2.1 Domestic career (1989–1993)
    • 2.2 International career (1993–1996)
    • 2.3 Comebacks
  • 3 Mixed martial arts career (1995–2007)
    • 3.1 Background
    • 3.2 Early career (1995–1997)
    • 3.3 Fighting Network RINGS (1997-2001)
      • 3.3.1 Gatekeeper for RINGS (1998-1999)
      • 3.3.2 RINGS King Of Kings, injuries & Later Career (1999-2001)
    • 3.4 Comebacks
  • 4 Submission grappling
  • 5 Promotions
    • 5.1 Total Fight Forum (RINGS UK)
      • 5.1.1 Media criticism
    • 5.2 Combudo
    • 5.3 Other events
  • 6 Championships and accomplishments
    • 6.1 Kickboxing
    • 6.2 Mixed martial arts
    • 6.3 Submission grappling
    • 6.4 Belts and honors
  • 7 Kickboxing record
  • 8 Mixed martial arts record
    • 8.1 Shootfighting breakdown
    • 8.2 Japanese Hybrid breakdown
    • 8.3 MMA breakdown
    • 8.4 Professional mixed martial arts record
    • 8.5 Unsanctioned / Mixed rules record
  • 9 Submission grappling record
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

Martial arts background

Hasdell began martial arts in 1979 at the age of 12, he learned Taekwondo under Morris Young who was the European Full Contact Taekwondo Heavyweight champion. Lee Later took up boxing and then karate as he felt that it was more of a mixed style that suited his stand up. After winning a number of local tournaments he decided to study full-contact Karate. In 1985 when he was 18 he started weight training and kickboxing. In 1987 he moved to Milton Keynes from Northampton where he began Thai Boxing. Hasdell was taught by Brian Walker, one of Master Toddy's first generation instructors, he remained with his instructor for six years.

Kickboxing (1989–2002)

Domestic career (1989–1993)

Hasdell began his professional Kickboxing career in 1989 at the age of 22 as a Super-Welterweight Thai Boxer. In 1991, Lee went over to train at the Gym International and the Chakuriki Gym in Amsterdam, Netherlands, this is where Lee was first introduced to Japanese Kickboxing and Kyokushin methods. On 9 March 1991, Hasdell won the WKA British Super-Middleweight Kickboxing title. The next month he moved up to Light-Heavyweight and won the BIKMA British Thai Boxing title. He later added the BIKMA British Light-Heavyweight Free-Style title in 1992. Hasdell remained undefeated as British champion for two years and had a record of five defeats in 25 bouts.

International career (1993–1996)

Hasdell's quest for the European title began on 28 May 1993 in Katowice, Poland. He lost against Paval Rumas by split decision after 10 rounds, it was for the ISKA European Light-Heavyweight Full Contact title. Hasdell later moved up to Super Light-Heavyweight and fought for both the WKA Commonwealth and European Thai Boxing titles. He lost the first title fight against Duncan Airlie James due to a cut in 1993. Still ranked no.1 in Britain, Hasdell fought for the European title on 22 January 1994, he fought Bob Schrijber at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Hasdell was stopped near the end of the last round due to leg kicks.

In April 1994, Hasdell trained at the Seidokaikan Dojo in Japan, the headquarters for the K1 organisation. He also attended the K-1 Grand Prix '94 as a stand by fighter. In Autumn 1994, Hasdell made a move to Cruiserweight and later returned to train at the Chakuriki Gym to prepare for his future fights and was ranked no.1 in the Commonwealth ratings. On 15 April 1995, Hasdell fought undefeated American fighter Curtis Schuster for the ISKA World Super-Heavyweight Thai Boxing title in Paris, France. Schuster won by TKO in the first round due to clinch knees.

On 3 September 1995, he became one of the first British fighters to compete in K-1 when he fought Duane Van Der Merwe at K-1 Revenge II in Yokohama, Japan. Hasdell was defeated in the first round by clinch knees. K-1 since banned unlimited strikes while in the clinch. Hasdell took a break from Kickboxing after this fight to concentrate on Shootfighting. He later entered an 8-man tournament in Prague, Czech Republic on 13 December 1995 and was eliminated in the first round by Mirko Filipovic due to a cut in round 2.

On 20 April 1996, Hasdell entered the OKTAGON, an eight-man Shootboxing tournament held in Milan, Italy. The tournament featured fighters from the UK, United States, Israel, Spain, Netherlands, Nigeria, Italy and France, all representing eight different martial arts, Hasdell represented the art of Freestyle fighting. Hasdell went through to the final with two knockouts over American Jeet Kun Do practitioner Scott Dobbs and Italian Judo champion, Paolo Di Clemente. In the final he faced and defeated Dutch Thai boxer Andre Mannaart by decision to become the new World OKTAGON Shootboxing champion.

Comebacks

On 16 April 2000, Hasdell made his return to kickboxing at K-1 UK Battle of Britain 2000 held in Birmingham, England. Hasdell fought World Heavyweight Kickboxing champion Simon Dore in a non-tournament fight. Hasdell won by flying knee at 0:30 of round 3. This was Hasdell's first kickboxing bout in four years.

Lee Hasdell competed in a Shootboxing fight on 2 February 2002, held in Tokyo, Japan. The fight was against French fighter Cyrille Diabate at Shoot Boxing: S Volume 1. Hasdell lost by TKO due to referee stoppage at 2:18 of round 4.

Mixed martial arts career (1995–2007)

Background

In 1992, while teaching Kickboxing at a Japanese Boarding School, Hasdell began cross training with the Japanese martial arts instructors in Judo, Karate and Jujitsu. Hasdell would later witness a bout under Mixed martial arts rules while as a stand-by fighter for K-1 in April 1994. In September 1995 when he fought at K-1 Revenge II in Japan, Hasdell shared a dressing room with the Mixed martial artists that were competing that night. They had Vale Tudo and Shootfighting bouts on the card, which he watched with interest and when he returned from Japan, started grappling.

Early career (1995–1997)

On 15 October 1995, Hasdell promoted a Kickboxing event in Milton Keynes, England which featured three Shootfighting bouts. The main bout was between Lee Hasdell and American free fighter, Boston Jones. The fight was billed as "The first ultimate shootfight in Britain". Hasdell won the fight by Technical-Knockout due to a cut from a Knee in round 2.

On 18 February 1996 at the age of 29, Lee Hasdell made his official Shootfighting debut at RINGS Holland - Kings of Martial Arts against Andre Mannaart. Although the fight ended in a draw, it brought Hasdell to the attention of Akira Maeda, the president of Fighting Network RINGS. Two weeks after winning the Oktagon Shootboxing tournament in April 1996, Hasdell was invited to train at the RINGS Dojo in Yokohama, Japan for four weeks. Upon his return he began staging unofficial invitational matches in preparation for his future events, also competing in mixed rules bouts throughout the year.

On 26 October 1996, Hasdell fought Cees Bezems in a no holds barred match at IMA - Battle of Styles held in Amsterdam, Holland. Hasdell lost by Technical knockout due to a cut. On 2 February 1997, Hasdell returned to RINGS Holland where he fought Dutch fighter, Hans Nijman. This bout ended up having a controversial finish. In the second round Nijman had Hasdell in a guillotine choke, Hasdell grabbed the ropes for a rope escape although the referee did not see it, forcing Hasdell to tap out to break the hold.

Fighting Network RINGS (1997-2001)

On 4 April 1997, Hasdell made his debut for Fighting Network RINGS in Tokyo, Japan. He defeated American fighter, Sean McCully in the first round by guillotine choke. On 21 June 1997, in his second Shootfight in Japan, Hasdell was entered into the RINGS Light-Heavyweight Title Tournament. In the first round of the tournament, Hasdell lost to Masayuki Naruse by submission. On 5 October 1997, He fought Dutch fighter Peter Dijkman at UTF (In conjunction with RINGS) - Total Fight Night in Milton Keynes, England. This bout was for the vacant UTF Super-fight Heavyweight Shootfighting title. Hasdell won the bout by Rear naked choke.

On 25 October 1997, he returned to Japan where he competed in the annual RINGS: Mega Battle Tournament. It was a 16-man tournament to determine the first ever RINGS Open-Weight champion. In the round of 16, Hasdell lost to Joop Kasteel by submission. On 7 March 1998 at TFF - Night of the Samurai, Hasdell fought and defeated Dutch fighter Sander Thonhauser by armbar in round 1. This was for the vacant UTF Super-Fight Heavyweight Vale Tudo title. On 29 May 1998, Hasdell fought Hiromitsu Kanehara in Sapporo, Japan and lost by decision after thirty minutes. On 7 June 1998, he fought Dutch fighter, Dave van der Veen at RINGS Holland - Who's the Boss, Hasdell won by KO in the second round.

Gatekeeper for RINGS (1998-1999)

On 21 September 1998, Hasdell fought Kenichi Yamamoto in Yokohama, Japan and won the fight by KO. On 11 October 1998, Hasdell fought Hiromitsu Kanehara in a rematch at TFF - Night of the Samurai II held in Milton Keynes, England. After 15 minutes, Hasdell lost again by decision. Then on 24 October 1998, he fought Gilbert Yvel at RINGS Holland - Thialf Explosion, Hasdell lost by TKO due to a cut in the first round.

On 20 November 1998, Hasdell began what would be a trilogy of fights with Japanese fighter, Yasuhito Namekawa. Their first confrontation was held in Osaka, Japan and after twenty minutes, it ended in a draw. Their second bout was held on 23 January 1999 at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Hasdell lost on points after receiving a yellow card for an illegal punch during the fight. Their first two bouts in Japan went the full twenty minutes, without a break. Their third and final bout was held in Milton Keynes, England at TFF - Night of the Samurai III, on 7 March 1999. Hasdell was trailing the fight by two points before knocking Namakawa out with a knee at 5:55.

He returned to Japan on 23 April 1999, defeating Ryuki Ueyama due to disqualification and submitting Ricardo Fyeet four months later. On 15 September 1999, Hasdell fought Satoshi Honma in Tokyo, Japan. After twenty minutes, the bout ended in a draw. The following month, Hasdell faced Dave van der Veen for a second time at TFF - Total Fight KRG 5 in Milton Keynes, England. Hasdell won by armbar at 1:47 of the first round to retain his UTF Super-Fight Heavyweight Shootfighting title.

RINGS King Of Kings, injuries & Later Career (1999-2001)

On 28 October 1999, Hasdell entered the RINGS King of Kings Tournament 1999, in the Round of 32 he defeated Achmed Labasanov by TKO in round 2. Hasdell was then eliminated in the next round by Brazilian fighter, Renato Sobral by unanimous decision. Hasdell became the first British fighter to compete in a major international Mixed martial arts tournament. This was the first event in RINGS to introduce the King of Kings rules with Vale Tudo gloves. Hasdell took a break after this tournament to heal an injured knee.

After a six-month break Hasdell returned to Mixed martial arts when he traveled to Russia on 29 April 2000, competing in the IAFC Pankration World Championships. Hasdell lost to Mikhail Avetisyan after tapping out due to ground and pound. On 20 May 2000 he fought Mikhail Illoukhine at RINGS Russia - Russia vs. the World. Illoukhine won by split decision. He then took on Joop Kasteel at RINGS Holland on 4 June 2000. Hasdell lost due to a dislocated shoulder in the first round 1. At this point, Hasdell had competed in four different fighting styles within only three months; ADCC Submission Wrestling, K-1, Absolute Fighting Championships and two Rings King of King rules bouts.

He returned six months later on 22 December 2000 and took on Volk Han in the Round of 32 at the RINGS: King of Kings tournament 2000. Hasdell lost due to TKO in the second round, Hasdell suffered an eye injury from one of the punches. On 28 January 2001, Hasdell traveled to the Netherlands to fight Sander Thonhauser. Thonhauser kneed Hasdell clean in the face while Hasdell was still on the floor, which is an illegal move. Due to the following retaliation by Hasdell, the fight was declared a no contest in round 1.

Hasdell was then scheduled to face British fighter James Zikic on 11 March, 2001 at Millennium Brawl 2, but pulled out due to an eye injury received in training. Hasdell took most of the year off and during this time Hasdell appeared in a music video for American singer Shea Seger. In 2001, Hasdell was given an award from Akira Maeda in Japan for his hard work, dedication and contribution to the martial arts worldwide.

On 20 October 2001, Hasdell entered the RINGS Absolute Class Tournament. In the Quarter-finals he beat Bulgarian Judo fighter Georgi Tonkov by flying knee in round 1. On 21 December 2001, in the semi-final of the tournament, Hasdell lost to Fedor Emelianenko by Guillotine Choke in the first round. This was the first time since 25 October 1997 that Hasdell had submitted due to a submission hold, a total of over four years and 23 bouts (including submission grappling). This was Lee Hasdell's final fight for RINGS as the promotion would cease operating from 2002.

Comebacks

After almost two and a half years away from Mixed martial arts, Hasdell returned on 24 April 2004. Now fighting at 92kg, around 10kg lighter than his fighting weight in RINGS. His fight was against Japanese fighter, Hiroyuki Ito at Pain and Glory, held at the NEC in Birmingham, England. Hasdell won by Knock-out at 0:32 of round 1.

At the age of 40, after a 3-year hiatus from the sport, Hasdell made his Cage Rage debut at Cage Rage 22. He fought Brazilian, Mario Sperry in the Light-Heavyweight division on 14 July 2007 at Wembley Arena in London. Hasdell lost by Rear naked choke in the first round. On 1 December, 2007, at Cage Rage 24, Hasdell fought and lost to Italian Ivan Serati, again by rear naked choke at 1:34 of round 2. This was his second and last fight for the promotion.

Submission grappling

In 2000, Hasdell was awarded his blackbelt in Ju Jutsu and personally invited by the Prince of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to compete in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship on 1 March 2000. Hasdell competed in the +99kg category and was eliminated by South African Mark Robinson after the match went the distance.

On 21 January 2001, Hasdell won the Kamon European Brazilian Jujitsu tournament in London.

On 23 May 2009, Lee Hasdell took part in the U.M.A. International Open Groundfighting and Grappling Championships. Hasdell achieved Gold in the open weight masters division.

Promotions

Total Fight Forum (RINGS UK)

In 1997 Hasdell formed Universal Total-Fight Forum (UTF), later known as Total Fight Forum (TFF) in conjunction with RINGS and would later become President for RINGS UK. On 5 October 1997 Hasdell promoted UTF's first professional event called 'Total Fight Night'. The show featured Vale Tudo and (RINGS rules) Shoot fighting matches. On 8 March 1998, Hasdell promoted the first in a series of events called Night of the Samurai. The follow up Night of the Samurai II was held on 11 October 1998 and then Night of the Samurai III on 7 March 1999. Hasdell later promoted a fifth event called Total Fight KRG 5 on 3 October 1999. Total Fight Forum featured international fighters from Japan, United States, Netherlands, France and Spain. The events were held at the Sanctuary Music Arena and Planet Ice in Milton Keynes, England. Hasdell also promoted many amateur RINGS rules and Vale Tudo competitions between 1998 and 1999.

In 2000, Lee Hasdell promoted the Ring of Truth series, these were three events featuring Vale Tudo and RINGS King of Kings bouts, it also featured a Ring of Truth Vale Tudo tournament. These events were again held at the Sanctuary Music Arena in Milton Keynes.

On 9 June 2001, Hasdell staged a Grassroots competition featuring grappling, Thai Boxing and RINGS King of Kings bouts.

These events produced and featured fighters such as James Zikic, Bobby Razak, Paul Cahoon, Gary Turner, Ian Freeman, Lee Murray, Mark Weir, Valentijn Overeem, Wataru Sakata, Hiromitsu Kanehara, Yasuhito Namekawa and Jess Liaudin.

Media criticism

The events was the source of some criticism in the UK with critics arguing for an outright ban or better regulation of the events. Hasdell responded to the complaints, arguing

In Japan you are seen as an athlete. [...] Here there is this taboo. It's always on the fringe. I admit it's dangerous but that adds to the thrill of taking part and watching. [...] The sport's appeal is the fact that it is the most dangerous martial art in this country which is a pull for audiences, half of which are women. [...] But all the fighters are properly trained, the rule book is 32 pages long, and there is not much contact to the head.

Hasdell also insisted that the sport is adequately controlled and have an amazing safety record. Hasdell's events were also featured on many News programs such as LWT Nightlife, Trevor McDonald's Tonight programme on 22 July 1999 and also appeared on Johnny Vaughan's The Big Breakfast show on 15 March 2000.

Combudo

Lee Hasdell founded the Combudo organisation in 2000 and has staged many amateur events since. In 2008 he promoted a professional Combudo event featuring bouts under K-1, Kickboxing and Thai Boxing rules. The second professional event was held in 2009 and featured Mixed martial arts matches. Combudo specialises in modern Japanese Hybrid Budo Martial Arts and fuses together the ethics and spirituality of traditional budo with modern style self-defence and combat sports.

Other events

Lee Hasdell promoted multiple amateur/professional Kickboxing events between 1993 and 1995. On 15 October 1995, Hasdell promoted Fighting Arts Gala in Milton Keynes. This event featured three Shoot fights on a mainly Kickboxing stacked card, this event set the stage for his first official Mixed martial arts event in 1997.

In 2002 and 2003, Hasdell promoted the UZI-Cage Combat Evolution series, a Mixed martial arts and Kickboxing event held in a Cage.

In 2009, Lee Hasdell became the new and first ISKA UK National Director for MMA. In 2013, Hasdell became a consultant for the ISKA sanctioned KT-MMA promotion.

Championships and accomplishments

Kickboxing

  • World Kickboxing Association (WKA)
    • British Super-Middleweight (-76kg) Kickboxing champion (1991)
  • British & International Kickboxing & Martial Arts Association (B.I.K.M.A)
    • British Light-Heavyweight (-79kg) Thai Boxing champion (1991)
    • British Light-Heavyweight (-79kg) Freestyle champion (1992)
  • Fenasco OKTAGON
    • World Oktagon Shoot Boxing tournament winner (1996)

Mixed martial arts

  • Universal Total-Fight Forum (UTF)
    • Super-Fight Heavyweight (90kg+) Shootfighting champion (1997)
    • Super-Fight Heavyweight (95kg+) Vale Tudo champion (1998)

Submission grappling

  • Kamon European Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu open winner (2001) Gold
  • UMA 'No Gi' Groundfighting Championships (Men's Masters Division Open Weight) winner (2009) Gold

Belts and honors

  • Kickboxing (ISKA/WKA) – 7th Dan Black Belt
  • Jujutsu (W.C.J.J.O) – Black Belt
  • Karate (BCKA) – 7th Dan Black Belt
  • Kudo Daido-Juku (KIF) – 2nd Dan Black Belt – Master Azuma (2008)
  • Japanese Submission Arts (SAW/AJJTF) – Black Belt – Master Aso (2013)
  • Combat Magazine Hall of Fame (1998)
  • Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine Hall of Fame (2015)

Kickboxing record

* This In-complete Kickboxing record only includes the rules of; K-1/Oriental and Shoot boxing.

Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes

Mixed martial arts record

Shootfighting breakdown

Japanese Hybrid breakdown

MMA breakdown

Professional mixed martial arts record

Unsanctioned / Mixed rules record

Submission grappling record

External links

MMA Shirts



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