The Nigerian-Japanese television personality and mixed martial artist

Bobby Ologun is a Nigerian-born television personality and mixed martial artist with Japanese citizenship. In Japan, he is known simply as Bobby. He speaks English, Yoruba and Japanese. He lives in Saitama, Saitama Prefecture. On July 26, 2007, he announced on Mezamashi TV that he had become a naturalized citizen of Japan, taking his wife’s surname and registering officially as Bobby Konda. 

BACKGROUND

He is currently working as the narrator for You wa Nani Shi ni Nippon e 

Ologun is the third brother in a family of thirty-one brothers and sisters. After graduating from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he came to Japan as an assistant to a trading company which his father manages. In 2001, he worked a part-time job in the kitchen of a cafe in Daikanyama, Shibuya, while also first appearing in Sanma Akashiya’s television program Sanma’s Super Karakuri-TV on Tokyo Broadcasting System as a non-Tarento interviewee. By the end of the year, he was regular on the popular skits featured on Karakuri-TV, The Funniest Language School, as a student. 

Foreigners who have trouble speaking Japanese are often featured in Japanese variety shows, which may explain the immediate success of Ologun. His frequent confusion (or feigned confusion) quickly made him an instant star on the Karakuri-TV show. 

Ologun also stands out for using politically incorrect, racially-charged humor, often capitalizing on stereotypes of African Americans. He and fighting celebrity Bob Sapp were criticized for the perceived racism on their performances, but they defended it as part of the Japanese’s cultural views towards humor. Ologun and Sapp were reportedly hugely popular among African people living in Japan. 

One of the running skits on Sanma’s Super Karakuri TV featured Ologun attempting a variety of different jobs and skills in which he had no previous experience (he succeeded Tamao Nakamura in these skit performances). Inspired by watching Bob Sapp vs Tarō Akebono on K-1 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve in 2003, Ologun tried judo on Karakuri-TV. Karakuri-TV’s emcee, Sanma Akashiya (who had previously watched a VTR of Ologun struggling in the martial art and half-jokingly said, “Bobby might be able to take part in a combat sports event at the end of the year.”), in reference to the New Year’s Eve supershows put on by K-1, PRIDE, and Antonio Inoki’s now defunct BOM-BA-YE promotion. As a result, he tried various full contact combat sports on the program.

 By February 2004, he was initiated into the Pancrase stable, “GRABAKA” and studied under its founder, Sanae Kikuta. 

In March of that same year, he experienced a sparring match with MMA and Jiu-Jitsu legend Royce Gracie. He lost, but Ologun performed better than expected, as he was able to cut Gracie and make him bleed from his forehead. 

In a joke turned reality, he faced French kickboxer Cyril Abidi in K-1 Dynamite!! at the Osaka Dome on December 31, 2004. Billed as “The World’s Most Dangerous Newcomer”, Ologun won by a three-round decision and scored a surprise victory. This match was the only pure MMA rules bout on that night’s card, giving Ologun a slight advantage due to his training and the fact that his opponent, while an accomplished kickboxer, wasn’t prepared for MMA-style fighting. Abidi was a last-minute addition to the fight, Ologun’s original opponent Mike Bernardo had to withdraw due to an injury. 

Additionally, there was confusion to the rule system of the bout as the captions showed it to be the general kickboxing rules but ended up as an MMA contest. Abidi was admonished for actions Ologun was doing repeatedly in the fight, such as mounted punches, which led fighting pundits to believe the fight was fixed. Abidi himself hinted the fight was fixed in a post-fight interview. The Japanese media, which focused quite a bit of time on fighting events such as K-1 and PRIDE, soon dubbed Ologun Saikyō no Shirōto (The Strongest Amateur). 

Ologun’s next fight was against former Yokozuna, Akebono at K-1 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve 2005. Akebono, who had a fighting record of 1-9 entering the fight, fiercely attacked Ologun in the first and second rounds. However, Ologun steadily fought his way to another three-round decision. 

His next fight was a kickboxing match in Sapporo at K-1 Revenge on July 30, 2006, where he fought Asian GP champion Yusuke Fujimoto. Ologun earned the ire of the referee with unsportsmanlike conduct as he tripped and pushed over Fujimoto repeatedly, trying to punch at him afterwards, and going for sucker punches after gesturing for a break, all of which led to a yellow card. At the end of the 3rd round, he tripped Fujimoto one last time and then stood over him in an unsportsmanlike fashion. Added to the knockdown he suffered in the first round, he lost his first fight and his first under K-1 rules by unanimous decision. 

At K-1 Dynamite, New Year’s Eve 2006, during the K-1 HERO’S was set to face the 7’2″, 360 lb. Choi Hong-man. Choi, on the Hero’s website, warned Ologun about his in-ring behavior, saying (in Japanese), “Bobby had better grow up.”, and, “If he makes me mad, he’s going to the hospital.”. In the subsequent fight, Ologun immediately tried a flying kick to Choi’s head, but missed. This allowed Choi to capitalize and punch Ologun repeatedly in the head, leading to a stoppage of the bout after 16 seconds into the first round. 

Ologun’s latest fight was on the next year’s K-1 Dynamite show against the returning Bob Sapp. Once again, he was defeated easily by his larger and more powerful opponent by Technical Knock Out in the first round. 

Ologun made his return to martial arts against Katsuya Kitamura at Rizin 32 on November 20, 2021 He won the bout via rear-naked choke in the second round. 

Ologun’s younger brother, Andy Ologun, is a K-1 lightweight mixed martial artist and kickboxer in Japan. Bobby was in his corner for his first ever fight in a losing effort at K-1 MAX 2006.

Ologun is a character in the re-release of Shin Goketsuji Ichizoku ~ Matrimelee, namely as the new boss character. His set of moves does not involve any moves associated with K-1, however, they are more comical, possibly owing to his associations with comedy in Japanese culture. The character itself was later renamed “Bobby Strong”. 

Ologun had a cameo appearance in 2005’s angling comedy Tsuribaka Nisshi 16, a long-running movie series with Japanese actor/comedian Toshiyuki Nishida


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