Mongolian-born Byambajav Ulambayar competed in sports since he was a child. By age 15, “Byamba” had captured national junior champion titles in judo, sambo, and Mongolian wrestling (the national sport).
At that time, the retired Japanese Grand Champion, Onokuni, visited Mongolia, and held tryouts across the country, scouting for a protege. After testing dozens of young men, he invited only one – Byamba – to join his professional sumo team in Japan.
Byamba entered professional sumo with no knowledge of the sport, the Japanese language, the food, or the culture. Life was not easy, but young "Daishochi" (Byamba's pro sumo fighting name) adapted quickly, and at age 16, he won a divisional championship in professional sumo. By age 18, Byamba was the highest-ranked sumo wrestler on his entire team, i.e. the equivalent of MVP on his team, while still only a teenager!
At 20 years old, Byamba decided to leave professional sumo. If he had continued another couple years, many predicted he would have achieved Champion or Grand Champion status. However, injuries and other factors influenced his decision to leave Japan, for a broader opportunity to travel and compete worldwide.
At age 21, Byamba was invited to perform sumo in the film “Oceans 13”. After spending time in Los Angeles after the shoot, Byamba decided to stay longer.
Although he left pro sumo before reaching the highest pinnacles of fame and fortune in Japan, Byamba gained several opportunities not available to sumo wrestlers in Japan. Byamba now competes worldwide, and has been absolutely dominant on the world stage, winning tournament after tournament, all over the planet. At one point, Byamba had a streak of over 100 consecutive victories!! These matches were mostly against the national champions of other nations.
Byamba won two consecutive World Sumo Champion titles (2006 in Japan & 2007 in Thailand). In 2009, when the World Sumo Championships was not held, Byamba competed in the World Games, which is held every four years and run by the International Olympic Committee. At the competition in Taiwan, Byamba thrilled the crowds, by winning the gold medal – his third World title! In 2013, again a year without World Championships won gold at the World Combat Games, making him the 4-time World Sumo Champion!
Byamba continues to develop his own sumo skills, and has also brought an unprecedented level of expertise in training American sumo wrestlers on a regular basis. Many US athletes who train with Byamba see great results in a short period of time. Byamba's presence has been a great boon to the development of American sumo, and his intimate familiarity with every aspect of Japanese sumo culture is extremely rare. Byamba continues to compete internationally, while simultaneously developing his acting career.
Since acting in "Oceans 13", Byamba had performed in over 220 TV shows, films, commercials, and live events, all over the world. In just seven years, he has traveled abroad over 120 times for his performances, and all over the United States. Some of his significant projects include being the mascot and face of Subaru Canada for six years, competing on "America's Got Talent", spending a week on "Gran Hermano" (Big Brother), with rave reviews, in Spain, performing sumo to packed arenas in India, and much more. Wherever he goes, Byamba's quite a crowd-pleaser!