AVAILABLE THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 30th 16:00 UK TIME
Susumu Nagao has been present at some of the most iconic events in MMA history, from the formative proto-Pride events in Japan to the early UFCs, all the way up to Rizin and modern day MMA spectaculars. Over the years he has photographed legends that are household names in mixed martial arts and grappling. We have long been fans of his photography, and it is our absolute pleasure to introduce this collaboration between Scramble, Susumu Nagao and four legendary fighters.
Over the years, Scramble founder & partners Matt and Ben have been lucky enough to meet and spend time with some of these legends (although, not all of them.)
Matt has interviewed Yuki Nakai, Enson Inoue and Kazushi Sakuraba for his early “Grappling Dummies” videos (embedded at the end of this post), while both Ben and Matt worked closely with Kazushi Sakuraba for Quintet. Matt also received his black belt in jiujitsu from Yuki Nakai. Although neither of them have met Genki Sudo in person, he was a big inspiration in the early days of MMA and jiujitsu with his incredible grappling skill and showmanship.
This t-shirt celebrates Enson Inoue, the Hawaiian-born Japanese who had a storied MMA career, having fought in the UFC and Pride, and being the first Shooto heavyweight champion. Since retiring from MMA, Enson has shown himself to be a philanthropist, providing regular aid to victims of the Fukushima earthquake / tsunami disaster that happened in 2010. The picture we chose shows Enson with his beloved dog, Shooto, when he won the Shooto heavyweight title.
This t-shirt celebrates Yuki Nakai, the grappler who shot to prominence thanks to his gutsy appearance in “Choke”, a documentary about the Vale Tudo Japan tournament. Despite being the lightest fighter in the tournament, Nakai made it to the finals, where he would ultimately lose to Rickson Gracie. Nakai is the founder of Paraestra, one of the most widespread Shooto and Jiujitsu clubs in Japan, and embodies the simple virtue of being a lifelong martial artist.
The image we chose shows the pure joy Nakai was feeling as he advanced through the Vale Tudo Japan tournament with a win via submission.
Kazushi Sakuraba needs no introduction – one of the most iconic grapplers / MMA fighters of all time, with legendary wins over the Gracie Family, a win at the first UFC Japan tournament, and a storied career as the biggest draw in Pride, the biggest MMA show that has ever existed. Sakuraba’s appeal has always been his ability to transcend the simple sport of fighting and elevate it to a human art form in his legendary performances, often with a wry grin on his face. This is perfectly embodied in this picture that we chose, taken from his iconic hour-long clash with the legend that is Royce Gracie at the Pride GP 2000.
This t-shirt celebrates Genki Sudo, a Japanese mixed martial artist who earned millions of fans worldwide not only for his fighting prowess but also his unique, iconic ring entrances and his flamboyant, original style. Many true original grappling fans remember the video of Genki crashing an early tournament in California and submitting all comers with his signature style. Since retiring from MMA, Sudo has in turn been a musician and professional dancer with his group World Order, a successful order, and now a politician. A true renaissance man and a genuine icon for creativity.