Bob Sapp crouched down on the ramp with his team behind him -- torches brimming with fire on either side. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound former NFL lineman exploded his torso upright, sending his green robe off him into the waiting arms of a coach.
It was Dec. 31, 2003, and the Nagoya Dome in Japan was packed with 43,560 people for the K-1 Premium Dynamite combat sports event. Stevie Wonder, the legendary musician, played "The Star-Spangled Banner" on harmonica as Sapp and opponent Chad "Akebono" Rowan walked to the ring. Mike Tyson was on broadcast commentary via satellite from Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.