Byambajav Ulambayar (Four-Time WORLD SUMO CHAMPION) in his native Mongolia, was the National Junior Champion in three sports — Sambo, Judo, and Mongolian Wrestling. At age 15, he was recruited by a visiting Japanese Sumo Grand Champion, and accepted an invitation to enter professional Japanese sumo a few months later. Under the “shikona” (sumo name) of “Daishochi”, he made an immediate impact, winning a divisional championship while still only 16 years old! He rose quickly up the ranks, and by the tender age of 18, Daishochi was the highest-ranked wrestler in his “heya” (sumo stable, or team). Daishochi seemed destined for pro sumo’s very highest ranks, but just after turning 20, opted to leave pro sumo.
Internationally, he subsequently won the Mongolian Sumo Championships and the World Sumo Championships his first two years, with additional titles after that! Now, as the four-time World Champion, he aspires to even more titles in the coming years. Byamba is quite a hero in Mongolia, being awarded many of the nation’s top athletic honors and awards. At one point, he had a streak of over 60 consecutive victories in international competition!
Byamba was featured with multiple full-page photos in the “Body Issue” of ESPN Magazine (October 19, 2009), as well as huge full-page photos in ESPN Magazine in 2012 and 2013. TOPPS also issued a sports trading card of Byamba, and he has appeared many times on ESPN Sport Science, and recently on ESPN SportsNation and ESPN Sports Center. With greater acclaim worldwide and growing popularity in the United States, Byamba continues to train and compete in sumo around the globe.
Ryuichi Yamamoto (Two-Time WORLD SUMO CHAMPION) grew up, dominating sumo competitions from elementary school and beyond. He won numerous championships in high school and university, and was a top prospect and recruit into Japanese Pro Sumo. In fact, he rose to top-division status in Pro Sumo in the second-fastest speed in history, plowing through opponents on the way to the top.
After a short time in the highest division of Pro Sumo, Yama left, and has since moved to Los Angeles, to support the development of sumo abroad. Back in his school days, he had already won two World Sumo Championships, and like Byamba, he brings both international sumo titles and Pro Sumo experience to the ring.
One popular feature of Yama is that he is the Heaviest Japanese Human Being in Recorded History, at 600 pounds! Even at that sobering poundage, he performs “shiko” (shoulder-high leg lifts) and “matawari” (full leg splits) with ease. He has also appeared on ESPN SportsNation, Fox NFL Sunday, and ESPN Sports Center. He has a cameo appearance in “Zoolander 2”, too.
Svetoslav Binev (Two-Time WORLD SUMO CHAMPION) is a sports legend in his native Bulgaria. He has won many free-style wrestling championships for over 20 years, including the national free-style wrestling championship. He has also won national titles in power lifting, track and field, and handball, and has received numerous awards, including Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year in Bulgaria. Svet began practicing sumo in 1997, and immediately started winning national and continental championships all over Europe. He won the World Sumo Championships in 1998 and 1999, before immigrating to America in 2000. Not only is Svet a renowned international sumo champion, but he also has extensive coaching success. In his first year as coach of the Bulgarian National Sumo Team, he led Bulgaria from a non-entity to the #2 sumo nation in the world (after Japan)! Svet’s guidance of our athletes has been a major factor in our sumo successes.