Hirokazu Nagai (長井 弘和 Nagai Hirokazu, born November 10, 1968), better known as Mitsuya Nagai (長井満也 Nagai Mitsuya), is a Japanese mixed martial artist, kickboxer and professional wrestler. He is known for his work in Fighting Network RINGS and later in pro wrestling companies like Battlarts and New Japan Pro Wrestling. He currently wrestles for Dradition Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling and Cho Sento Puroresu FMW as Great Tiger and himself.
Career[edit | edit source]
Hirokazu trained in Satoru Sayama's Super Tiger Gym during secondary school and tried to join All Japan Pro Wrestling immediately afterwards, but its chairman Giant Baba asked him to finish school first. Nagai graduated from high school while competing in shootboxing, amassing a 5-2 record, but he changed his ambition after graduating and joined UWF Newborn instead of AJPW. He became a trainee under Akira Maeda and learned the shoot-style, but he got injured and UWF closed his doors before he could debut. Nagai eventually followed Maeda to his new promotion, Fighting Network RINGS.
Fighting Network RINGS (1991-1997)[edit | edit source]
Nagai debuted in RINGS on August 1, 1991 in a match against Herman Renting. He revealed himself as a promising rookie, showing will and toughness, but aside a high-profile match against Gerard Gordeau on December 7, in which he was defeated in 0:34, Nagai was relegated to low profile matches. He qualified for the Mega Battle Tournament 1991, but was eliminated on the first round by Masaaki Satake. Nagai competed both in professional wrestling and mixed martial arts, though only sporadically in the latter. He was defeated by Dick Vrij on May 16, 1992 by TKO, and would also lost to Willie Peeters on July 16, 1992, both in special shoot matches.
In 1994, Nagai looked to ascend the scale by taking part on the Mega Battle Tournament 1994, eliminating Ameran Bitsadze on the first round, but then losing to Chris Dolman in the second. Next year, he faced Dick Vrij in a rematch held in RINGS Holland on February 19, 1995, but he fell knocked by a knee strike while Vrij was illegally holding the ropes in the corner, action which was unnoticed by the referee. However, Mitsuya would get a trend of victories back in Japan, beating the likes of Andrei Kopylov, Yoshihisa Yamamoto and Carl Greco. He finally would get his retribution over Vrij in a MMA fight, submitting him via heel hook on August 24, 1996. Nagai then got the greatest victory until the moment, submitting Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in a match, but his momentum got cut short by Kiyoshi Tamura at the Mega Battle Tournament 1996.
In 1997, Nagai got a license by the All Japan Kickboxing Federation and competed at the Kick Over IX event as a RINGS representative. It would be his last year in the promotion, as he left RINGS after a match with Akira Maeda in which Maeda shot on him after the bell.
Other promotions (1991-present)[edit | edit source]
After leaving RINGS and started to fight in K-1 and Seikendo, finally landing in Yuki Ishikawa's pro wrestling company Battlarts. He wrestled as a heel/tweener for years, before joining his original promotion, All Japan Pro Wrestling. He formed a tag team with fellow UWF alumnus Masahito Kakihara calling themselves Team Strongs and defeated Yuji Nagata and Shinya Makabe for the vacant All Asia Tag Team titles. He also appeared in New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of the Makai Club.
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Chō Sentō Puroresu FMW
- Muga World Pro Wrestling
- Muga Premium Tournament (2006)