Home USA Wrestling Morgan State All-Ame...

Morgan State All-American wrestler Emanuel Yarbrough, who also competed in Sumo and MMA, died at age 51

By from assorted sources | Dec. 23, 2015, 1:23 p.m. (ET)

Photos of Emanuel Yarbrough from MeetMannyY.com

Emanuel “Tiny” Yarbrough, an NCAA Div. I All-American from Morgan State who went on to careers in sumo wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts, died on December 21 at age 51 in Richmond, Va.

Yarbrough competed in the unlimited division in college, and was one of the massive heavyweights who were over 400 pounds during his competitive wrestling days.

At the 1986 NCAA Div. I Championships held at Iowa, Yarbrough was unseeded. He pinned his first opponent Mike Wallace of UT-Chattanooga, then lost in the second round by disqualification against eventual champion Kirk Trost of Michigan. In the wrestle-back, Yarbrough won three straight matches against opponents from Fresno State, Rutgers and Lehigh to reach the All-American rounds, where he lost two more bouts to finish eighth.

Morgan State had four NCAA All-American finishes in its history on the Div. I level, making Yarbrough one of their best of all time.

Yarbrough was also eighth in the 1983 NCAA Div. II Wrestling Championships for Morgan State. He was also a member of Morgan State’s football team.

In his career in sumo and MMM, the 6-foot-8 inch Yarbrough reportedly weighed more than 600 pounds and was still able to compete and win.

He was the 1995 World Amateur Sumo Champion, and won a number of medals at the Sumo World Championships. Yarbrough was certified as 4th Dan/Yodan by Nihon Sumo Renmei in 1996. He was a very popular Sumo athlete, both because of his massive size but also because of his personable and friendly nature.

His MMA record was 1-2, competing in the UFC, Pride and Shooto promotions. He fought in UFC 3 in 1994, where he lost by TKO to karate athlete Keith Hackney. His victory came in the Shooto promotion in Japan in 1998.

Yarbrough also was an actor, including a role in the HBO drama Oz.

UFC.com posted this statement from Yarbrough’s manager Beatrice H. Davis:

Emanuel's passion was to travel. Even though it was not an easy task for him, it never stopped him from following his dreams, and bringing smiles to the faces of all he would meet. He was to be the subject of a new reality show, and would have continued to bring smiles to all those who had the opportunity to be blessed by his infectious, compassionate, loving presence. He will be missed by his millions of fans around the world, friends and family.