Before The Octagon: Ali Versus Inoki

In a special episode made available exclusively on The Aidan Project’s YouTube channel, Aidan talks to Jared Miracle about the Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor fight as a cultural spectacle, before moving on to the main event: the fantastic story of Muhammad Ali’s little-known, but groundbreaking, mixed-rules match with Antonio Inoki in Tokyo, Japan on 26 June 1976. This episode also touches upon Ali’s involvement in pro wrestling, and the development of mixed martial arts, which for many, began with the Ali/Inoki fight, though, as Jared explains, there are far earlier examples. Also discussed on this episode are the notorious links between the Yakuza and Japanese pro wrestling and MMA. Jared holds a doctorate in anthropology from Texas A&M University, where his research focused on transnationalism and folklore between East Asia and the West, especially where violence and the fighting arts are concerned. You can find Jared on Twitter @dockungfu and online at