|Nickname||Kagemusha, Shadow Warrior|
|Association||Rings UK / SSJ|
|Weight Class||Heavyweight / Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.)|
|Height||6' 1" (186 cm)|
|Style||Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Daido Juku|
|Birth Date||December 13, 1966|
|Fighting Out Of||Milton Keynes, England|
|Lee Hasdell Pictures||Official Website|
Lee John Hasdell is a former British professional Mixed martial artist and Kickboxer. He is known as a pioneer of British MMA as he promoted the first professional Mixed martial arts events in the UK, the first being held in 1997. Hasdell is also UK'S Mixed martial arts director for ISKA, and is a qualified consultant, judge, referee and official.
Hasdell is a RINGS veteran as he held a professional Mixed martial arts contract with them for six years. He is a former three-time British kick-boxing champion, and World Oktagon Shoot Boxing champion.
Lee was nicknamed "The Godfather of UK MMA", but prefers to go by the nickname of "Kagemusha" or "Shadow Warrior," which was given to him by Japanese fans.
|Record||9 - 14 - 1 (Win – Loss – Draw) (1 NC)|
|Loss||Ivan Serati||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||CR 24: Feel the Pain||12/01/2007||2||1:34|
|Loss||Mario Sperry||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||CR 22: Hard as Hell||7/14/2007||1||1:39|
|Win||Hiroyuki Iti||KO||P & G: Pain and Glory||4/24/2004||1||0:32||Return to MMA after over two year hiatus; Light Heavyweight debut|
|Loss||Fedor Emelianenko||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||Rings: World Title Series 5||12/21/2001||1||4:10|
|Win||Georgi Tonkov||KO (Flying Knee)||Rings: World Title Series 4||10/20/2001||1||4:22|
|NC||Sander Thonhauser||No Contest||Rings Holland: Heroes Live Forever||1/28/2001||1||N/A|
|Loss||Volk Han||TKO (Punches)||Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block B||12/22/2000||2||0:08|
|Loss||Joop Kasteel||TKO (Shoulder Injury)||Rings Holland: Di Capo Di Tutti Capi||6/04/2000||1||1:18|
|Loss||Mikhail Illoukhine||Decision||Rings Russia: Russia vs. the World||5/20/2000||3||5:00|
|Loss||Mikhail Avetisyan||Submission (Strikes)||IAFC: Pankration World Championships 2000 [Day 2]||4/29/2000||1||N/A|
|Loss||Renato Sobral||Decision (Unanimous)||Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block A||10/28/1999||2||5:00|
|Win||Achmed Labasanov||TKO (Kick)||Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block A||10/28/1999||2||3:33|
|Win||Dave van der Veen||Submission (Armbar)||TFKRG 5: Total Fight KRG 5||10/03/1999||1||1:47||Defended TFF Vale Tudo Super Fight Championship|
|Win||Ricardo Fyeet||Submission (Toe Hold)||Rings: Rise 5th||8/19/1999||2||5:01|
|Win||Ryuki Ueyama||DQ (Eye Gouging)||Rings: Rise 2nd||4/23/1999||1||4:18|
|Win||Yasuhito Namekawa||KO (Knee)||NOTS 3: Night of the Samurai 3||3/07/1999||2||N/A|
|Loss||Gilbert Yvel||TKO (Cut)||Rings Holland: The Thialf Explosion||10/24/1998||N/A||N/A|
|Loss||Hiromitsu Kanehara||Decision||NOTS 2: Night of the Samurai 2||10/11/1998||1||15:00|
|Win||Dave van der Veen||KO (Palm Strike)||Rings Holland: Who's the Boss||6/07/1998||2||4:48|
|Loss||Hiromitsu Kanehara||TKO||Rings: Third Fighting Integration||5/29/1998||1||30:00|
|Win||Sander Thonhauser||Submission (Arm Triangle Choke)||NOTS 1: Night of the Samurai 1||3/07/1998||1||0:55||Won vacant TFF Vale Tudo Super Fight Championship|
|Loss||Joop Kasteel||Submission (Headlock)||Rings: Mega Battle Tournament 1997 Semifinal 1||10/25/1997||1||8:55|
|Loss||Hans Nijman||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||Rings Holland: The Final Challenge||2/02/1997||1||5:35|
|Loss||Cees Bezems||TKO||IMA: Battle of Styles||10/26/1996||N/A||N/A|
|Draw||Andre Mannaart||Draw||Rings Holland: King of Martial Arts||2/18/1996||2||5:00|
Martial Arts Background
Hasdell began martial arts in 1979 at the age of 12. He started training taekwondo, before taking up Boxing as well. Hasdell later started 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 training in Thai Boxing and began his competitive Amateur Kick Boxing career.
Hasdell began his professional Kickboxing career in 1989 at the age of 22. Taught by Brian Walker, one of Master Toddy's first generation instructors. Hasdell met his instructor in 1987 and stayed with him for six years. Hasdell earned his first title shot in 1990. He fought Eugene Valerio for the IFCF Super-Middleweight Thai Boxing title in Wales, Hasdell lost by Decision.
In 1991, Lee went over to study in Holland at the Gym International and the Dojo Chakuriki in Amsterdam, this is where Lee was first introduced to Japanese Kickboxing and Kyokushin methods. This transformed Lee's approach to his Kick Boxing training and tuition. This became his foundation for his Mixed martial arts style.
On March 9, 1991, Hasdell captured the WKA British Super-Middleweight Full-Contact title, defeating Tony Manterfield by a seventh round TKO. Later that year, Hasdell defeated Nick Pavlovic for the BIKMA British Light-Heavyweight Thai Boxing title.
In 1992, Hasdell went his separate ways with his instructor Brian Walker due to Brian closing his club. In July, Hasdell became chief Instructor at his newly opened club "Kusala Gym" in Milton Keynes. Soon after on July 3, 1992, Hasdell won the BIKMA British Light-Heavyweight Free Style title with a second round knock-out of Bertil Queely.
Hasdell's quest for the European title began on May 28, 1993, against Paval Rumas for the ISKA European Light-Heavyweight Championship. Coming in to the fight, Hasdell was undefeated as British champion for two years and had only 5 defeats in 25 bouts. The fight was held in Katowice, Poland. Scheduled for 10 rounds, Hasdell lost the fight by split decision. Kick Boxing representatives from all over Europe were in attendance, they were impressed with Hasdell's performance, Hasdell was later offered a four fight package to fight in Holland, France, Russia and Germany.
On June 25, 1993, Lee Hasdell challenged for the WKA British Light-Heavyweight Full-Contact title in an attempt to unify the British titles. He fought Paul Senior, Hasdell knocked Senior down several times in the fight. Due to the referee ruling most of the knock downs illegal, Hasdell lost by Split Decision after seven rounds.
Lee Hasdell began a run of bad luck, suffering cuts in two major fights when he was well ahead on points. The first was against Perry Telgt, a Thai Boxing match held in Holland on October 2, 1993. The second was when he fought for the WKA Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight title against Duncan Airlie James soon after.
On January 22, 1994, Hasdell got a shot at the WKA European Super Light-Heavyweight Thai Boxing title against Bob Schrijber from Holland. The fight was held at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow in front of over 20,000 spectators. Hasdell was stopped near the end of the last round due to leg kicks. After his fight against Bob Schrijber, Hasdell continued to fight in the Super Light-Heavyweight division and on April 10, 1994, made a winning comeback. Hasdell defeated Bertil Queely in the third round by Knock-out.
On October 17, 1994, Hasdell made a move to Cruiserweight, defeating Bruno Fariot by a first round Knock-out. On November 27, 1994, Lee Hasdell fought Danny Norton for the WKA Commonwealth Super Light-Heavyweight Full-Contact title .
K-1 1995 and 2000
On September 3, 1995, Hasdell fought at K-1 Revenge II, against Duane Van Der Merwe in Tokyo, Japan. Hasdell gave away 20 kg in weight to his opponent, Hasdell was defeated at 0:30 of round one by KO from being kneed while in the clinch.
On April 16, 2000, Hasdell made his return to Kick Boxing at the K-1 World GP 2000 Preliminary UK held in Birmingham, England. Hasdell fought WKA World Heavyweight Kick Boxing champion Simon Dore in a non-tournament fight. Hasdell won by a flying knee to the head at thirty seconds of round three.
Mixed Martial Arts Career
Mixed Martial Arts Background
Hasdell first got interested in Mixed martial arts in the Summer of 1994 after he was invited to Japan to train at the Seidokaikan the HQ for the K1 organisation, and was also a standby fighter for a K-1 event. Hasdell saw a few Shootfighting matches on the undercard. Apon his return from Japan, he began cross training in Mixed martial arts. Hasdell later promoted and fought in an exhibition Shoot fight on October 15, 1995. The event was held in Milton Keynes and was the first Shoot fight in Britain. Hasdell defeated American free fighter Boston Jones by knockout in the second round.
On February 18, 1996 at the age of 29, Lee Hasdell made his professional Mixed martial arts debut at RINGS Holland - Kings of Martial Arts. His opponent was Dutch fighter Andre Mannaart. Although the fight ended in a draw, it brought Hasdell to the attention of Akira Maeda, the president of Fighting Network RINGS, a major Japanese promotions company. Akira Maeda was impressed by Hasdell's performance and invited Hasdell to train at Akira Maeda's private Dojo in Yokohama, Japan.
On April 20, 1996, Hasdell won the Oktagon Challenge, an eight man Shoot Boxing tournament held in Milan, Italy in front of 15,000 spectators. The tournament featured eight fighters from all over the world, representing eight different martial arts, Hasdell represented the art of "Kusala" in which his gym was named. Hasdell went through to the final with two knockouts over American Scott Dobbs and Italian Judo champion Paulo Di Clemente. In the final he faced and defeated Andre Mannaart by decision (scoring by judges) to become the new World Oktagon Shoot Boxing champion. This victory raised his profile and Akira Maeda offered Hasdell a one year contract with Fighting Network RINGS, although Hasdell ended up staying with RINGS for six years.
On October 26, 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.
Preparing for his first fight in Japan, Hasdell explains his typical training days in Japan.
- "You'd get up at about 9 o'clock, you'd be running the lake; we'd normally do about 3-5 miles before we go to the dojo. As soon as you get into the dojo you'd do about 30 minutes of skipping followed by circuit training and calisthenics (special exercises designed for ground fighting). We were training up to six hours a day and maybe doing five thousand squats a day."
On April 4, 1997, Hasdell made his Mixed martial arts debut in Japan at RINGS: Battle Genesis. He defeated American fighter Sean McCulley within four minutes by guillotine choke.
In his second bout in Japan, on June 21, 1997, Hasdell was entered into the RINGS Light-Heavyweight Title Tournament. In the first round of the tournament, Hasdell lost to Masayuki Naruse by Submission. Naruse ended up winning the tournament to become the first Light-Heavyweight champion.
Hasdell then went on to defeat Dutch fighter Peter Dijkman on October 5, 1997 at Total Fight Night held in Milton Keynes, England. This bout was a Shoot fight and was for the vacant UTF Shootfighting Super Fight title. On October 25, 1997, he fought and lost by submission to Joop Kasteel in the first round of the RINGS: Mega Battle Tournament in Japan.
On March 7, 1998, Hasdell fought and defeated Sander Thonhauser in a Vale Tudo match at Night of the Samurai 1. The fight was for the vacant TFF Vale Tudo Super Fight title. Hasdell then fought Hiromitsu Kanehara for thirty minutes in Japan on May 29, 1998. Hasdell lost on points. On June 7, 1998, he fought Dutch fighter Dave van der Veen in Holland. Hasdell was knocked down in the first round before forcing Dave van der Veen to make two rope escapes. Hasdell then won the match by knockout in the second round.
Hasdell was promoted to the Shooter category and was given the nickname The Gatekeeper, meaning if a fighter from another organisation wanted to join RINGS they had to beat Hasdell first. On September 21, 1998, Hasdell lived up to his name when he knocked out UFC Japan Tournament Champion Kenichi Yamamoto after eleven minutes.
On October 11, 1998, Hasdell fought Hiromitsu Kanehara in a rematch at Night of the Samurai II held in Milton Keynes, England. Hasdell made two rope escapes in the fight and eventually lost by decision after 15 minutes. He then fought against Gilbert Yvel in his second fight of October 1998, and lost by TKO due to a cut.
On November 20, 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.
Hasdell's second bout with Yasuhito Namekawa was held on January 23, 1999 in Tokyo, Japan. Hasdell lost on points after receiving a yellow card for an illegal punch during the fight. Hasdell dominated the stand up and was close to knocking Namakawa out in the dying seconds, leaving him with a bloody nose. Although Namakawa was the winner of the match, he had to be helped out of the ring. Their first two bouts in Japan went the full twenty minutes, without a break.
Their third and final fight was held in Milton Keynes, England at Night of the Samurai 3 on March 7, 1999. Hasdell was trailing by two points before knocking Namakawa out with a knee to the face.
He returned to Japan on April 23, 1999, defeating Ryuki Ueyama due to disqualification and submitting Ricardo Fyeet four months later. On September 15, 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, this time in Milton Keynes, England. Hasdell won by Armbar at 1:47 of round one to retain his TFF Shootfighting title.
On October 28, 1999, Hasdell entered the RINGS: King of Kings tournament. He was placed in Block A, in the first round of the tournament, he defeated Achmed Labasanov with a TKO in round two. Hasdell was eliminated in the second round by Brazilian fighter Renato Sobral by unanimous decision.
Lee was awarded his blackbelt in Ju-Jitsu and personally invited by the Prince of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to compete in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, where only the best grappler's in the world attend. Hasdell competed in the tournament on March 1, 2000. In April he visited Russia where he fought in the Absolute Fighting Challenge. The fight was scheduled for one thirty minute round in an octagon cage. Hasdell lost to Mikhail Avetisyan.
Hasdell began a losing streak upon returning to RINGS. His first fight back was against Mikhail Illoukhine at RINGS Russia on May 20, 2000. Hasdell dominated the first round with strikes, the second round was much the same but with Illoukhine going for submissions. After two rounds, an extra third round was called for and Illoukhine eventually won by split decision.
He then fought Joop Kasteel for a second time at RINGS Holland on June 4, 2000. Hasdell floored Kasteel twice in the opening minute before ultimately losing due to a dislocated shoulder. Hasdell's final fight of the year was against Volk Han on December 22, at the RINGS: King of Kings tournament. He lost by TKO due to punches in the second round. This was Hasdell's fourth loss in a row under RINGS.
On January 21, 2001, Hasdell won the Kamon European Brazilian Jujitsu tournament in London. Then a week later Hasdell traveled to Holland to fight Sander Thonhauser for a second time. Thonhauser kneed Hasdell clean in the face while Hasdell was still on the floor, an illegal move. Due to the following retaliation by Hasdell, the fight was declared a no contest. Hasdell was then scheduled to face British fighter James Zikic on March 11 at Millennium Brawl 2, but pulled out due to an eye injury received in training. This was the third eye injury since receiving his first against Volk Han, back in December. After this incident Hasdell took most of the year off. 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 October 20, 2001, Hasdell returned to winning ways when he fought Bulgarian Georgi Tonkov at RINGS: World Title Series 4. Hasdell won the match with a flying knee at four minutes and twenty-two seconds of round one. This bout was the first round of the Absolute Class Tournament 2001. In the Semi-Final of the tournament, on December 21, 2001, Hasdell fought and lost to Fedor Emelianenko by guillotine choke at four minutes and ten seconds of the first round. The RINGS company eventually collapsed the following year due to the success of Pride FC, making this Hasdell's final fight for RINGS.
His next fight before taking a break from the sport, was a Shoot Boxing match held in Tokyo, Japan. The fight was against French fighter Cyrille Diabate at Shoot Boxing: S Volume 1 on February 2, 2002. Hasdell lost by TKO at 2:18 of the forth round.
Return to MMA
After more than two years away from fighting, Hasdell returned to Mixed martial arts on April 24, 2004. Hasdell, now a light heavyweight, fought at 92 kg compared to his former weight of around 102 kg while in RINGS. His fight was against Japanese fighter Hiroyuki Ito at Pain and Glory held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Hasdell won by KO within thirty two seconds of round one.
On July 14, 2007, at the age of 40, Hasdell made another return to Mixed martial arts as he was contracted to fight for Cage Rage. He fought Brazilian fighter Mario Sperry at Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell, held in Wembley arena. Hasdell lost by rear naked choke in the first round.
Lee Hasdell's latest Mixed martial arts fight to date was against Ivan Serati on December 1, 2007, at CR 24: Feel the Pain. Hasdell began the fight hesitant to throw strikes with Serati dominating the first round with takedowns. Hasdell defended well on the ground until Serati unloaded his ground and pound tactics. Hasdell was lucky to escape the first round after Serati had hyper extended Lee's arm in an armbar at the end of the round.
Hasdell came into the second round with a now injured arm and the round began much the same as the first. To evoid Serati's ground and pound, Hasdell gave up his back to the Italian to set up the rear naked choke at 1:34 of round 2.
In early 2008, Lee Hasdell became the first Kudo (also known as Daido Juku) black belt in the UK, under Master Azuma. On November 18, 2008, Lee Hasdell achieved his second Kudo black belt.
On May 23, 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.
Before his Mixed martial arts events in the UK, Hasdell has promoted multiple thai-boxing events in the early 1990s.
While fighting in RINGS, Hasdell formed Universal Total-Fight Forum (UTF), later known as Total Fight Forum (TFF) and promoted the first Mixed martial arts events in the UK. Which were all held in Milton Keynes, England. The first event was in October, 1997. The show featured Vale Tudo and (RINGS Rule) Shoot fighting matches. Lee's vision for a UK pro-mma scene materialised in 1998, the first in a trilogy of professional MMA events in the UK called Night of the Samurai which featured international fighters from Japan, USA, Holland, France and Spain. These were among the first mixed martial arts events in Britain.
This is a list of the professional Mixed martial arts events that Hasdell promoted in Milton Keynes:
- Total Fight Night - October 5, 1997
- Night Of The Samurai 1 - March 7, 1998
- Night Of The Samurai 2 - October 11, 1998
- Night Of The Samurai 3 - March 7, 1999
- KRG 5 - October 3, 1999
- Ring Of Truth 1 - March 12, 2000
- Ring Of Truth 2 - July 9, 2000
- Ring Of Truth 3 - October 8, 2000
- UZI 1: Cage combat Evolution - November 30, 2002
- UZI 2: Combat Evolution - March 8, 2003
- Combudo 2 - July 18, 2009
The Combudo organisation was founded by MMA pioneer and innovator Lee Hasdell in 2000 the year of the new millennium. Lee's vision was to create an MMA game that would challenge the mind, body and fighting spirit of the participants in a safe, disciplined and respectful environment. Combudo was developed after Lee spent many years staging MMA events in the UK throughout the 90's.
Hasdell's last Kickboxing event was held on July 5, 2008 called COMBUDO 1. The event featured K-1, Kickboxing and Thai Boxing rules. COMBUDO 2 was held on July 18, 2009, which featured mixed martial arts matches.
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's events were also criticised on Trevor McDonald's Tonight (TV series) programme on July 22, 1999. During this time Hasdell featured on Nightlife LWT and other News programmes. The events were often compared to the Ultimate Fighting Championships, which at the time had very few rules compared to Hasdell's "Total Fighting", which was based on Vale Tudo and RINGS rules matches. Criticism of Hasdell's events continued and on March 15, 2000, Lee Hasdell, Dexter Casey and Lee Murray appeared on Johnny Vaughan's The Big Breakfast.
- WKA British Super-Middleweight Full-Contact champion (1991)
- BIKMA British Light-Heavyweight Thai Boxing champion (1991)
- BIKMA British Light-Heavyweight Free Style champion (1992)
- World Fenasco Shoot Boxing champion (1996)
- UTF (RINGS rule) Shootfighting Super Fight champion (1997)
- TFF Vale Tudo Super Fight champion (1998)
- Kamon European Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu open winner (2001)
- UMA 'No Gi' Groundfighting Championships (Mens Masters Division Open Weight) winner (2009)
- 6th Dan Shin Sen Juku/Combudo Blackbelt
- Combat Magazine Hall of fame