BYAMBA (Byambajav Ulambayar) passed away in Los Angeles on February 28, 2020, after a protracted illness. He was one of the most successful, international Sumo Champions, with years of experience and success in both Japanese Pro Sumo and internationally. His legacy, as an athlete and as an actor, is an inspiration to millions who have seen him perform, live and on TV.
Byamba was a true ambassador for sumo globally, performing and competing in 28 countries, during his 14-year career with USA Sumo. He’s a model for thousands of young sumo wrestlers, and a legend for millions of fans.
Far beyond his 4 World Champion titles and many other awards, Byamba’s presence as a warm-hearted, affable, and truly loving human being is sorely missed by all of us who knew him. He brought joy and enthusiasm, everywhere he went, truly a gentle giant.
We love you, Byamba (1984 – 2020).
In late 2019, we made a Tribute video for the 2020 US Sumo Open (20th annual). At the time, there was no clue that Byamba would be gone just a couple months later. Here’s the video that was meant to honor him at the tournament, in person, as well as videos with some of his other great matches.
US SUMO OPEN - LEGENDS
US SUMO OPEN AVATAR
Byamba’s presence at the US Sumo Open was legendary! He defeated all types of opponents in dramatic style. His “Sumo Slam” is the #1 sumo match on Youtube.
In total, he competed in 13 US Sumo Opens (2007 – 2019), winning 10 Heavyweight gold medals and 7 Openweight gold medals, against some of the toughest competitors in the world, including other opponents with Pro Sumo backgrounds. No one has ever come close to his numbers, and it’s unlikely that they ever will. Cumulatively, Byamba’s record was an incredible 110 wins and 7 losses, which will probably never be surpassed.
SUMO ACTOR PIONEER
Byamba was a unique performer, with rare spontaneity, charisma, and stunt capability. He was comfortable in all situations, from performing in hundreds of Sumo Sushi Shows, wowing full stadiums with his sumo exhibitions, to acting in TV shows, films, and commercials.
All told, he was filmed in over 500 TV shows, films, news clips, and commercials, and performed at over 800 live sumo events and shows, in 28 countries, with millions in attendance, overall, making him, arguably, the most prolific sumo entertainer on a global scale.
Byamba grew up in Mongolia, winning National Junior Champion titles in Judo, Sambo, and Mongolian Wrestling. Recruited to Pro Sumo at age 15, Byamba became the highest-ranked wrestler on his team by age 18, and even won a divisional championship, but at age 20, he opted to leave, for worldwide competition. He spent most of his 20s and 30s in the United States, still active as a sumo competitor, and also performing sumo shows and teaching sumo, while building a successful acting career in productions worldwide. He won 4 World Champion titles, set many US Sumo Open records, and received countless accolades for his cultural contributions, acting, and athletic achievements.