Sumo wrestlers and jujitsu masters will enter the ring in Santa Barbara tonight as part of the Earl Warren Showgrounds’ Martial Arts Expo.
The Tsunami Extreme Fight Productions sponsors the event, which begins at 7 p.m. The night will include a Taiko drumming contest in addition to the fight competitions.
According to a press release from Tsunami, UCSB alumnus and former lightweight sumo champion Andrew Freund will act as master of ceremonies for tonight’s event. Freund, who is also the director of the U.S. Sumo Open, will explain the rules and history of sumo to those in the audience who are less familiar with the sport.
Sumo wrestlers from Japan and the United States will exhibit the power of this martial art during the course of several matches. According to the press release, one bout will even include Byambajav Ulambayar, the current world champion. Ulambayar, who is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 340 pounds, currently boasts an undefeated worldwide record, as well as the title of U.S. Sumo Open champion.
Other contenders include three-time U.S. Sumo Champion Kelly Gneiting, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 420 pounds, California Sumo Champion Dan Kalbfleisch, 6 feet tall and 300 pounds, and former Continental Champion Doug Cochran, 6 feet 2 inches tall and 270 pounds.
Additionally, the event will feature the Pacific Challenge and Battle Jujitsu. Audience members will watch as members of the local fighting teams partake in the ancient art of chokes, grappling and submission.
This is all in addition to the massive Japanese Taiko drums. According to the press release, the drums were a favorite at last March’s TsunamiXF event.
According to the press release, one contender may even break a world record tonight, as he prepares to smash 400 lbs of cement.
Tickets cost $50 for the floor and $75 for ringside seats. Tickets are available at the door.