Eric Scott Esch (born August 3, 1966), better known by his nickname “Butterbean”, is an American former professional boxer, kickboxer, mixed martial artist, and professional wrestler who competed in the heavyweight division. He is also a minor television personality, having appeared in several programs and been referenced by many others. Esch transitioned to professional boxing in 1994 following a successful stint on the Toughman Contest scene and went on to capture the World Athletic Association (WAA) heavyweight and IBA super heavyweight championships. Beginning in 2003, he began fighting regularly as a kickboxer and mixed martial artist, most notably in K-1 and the Pride Fighting Championships. Butterbean’s combined fight record stands at 97–24–5 with 66 knockouts and 10 submissions.
Esch was born in Atlanta, Georgia however at the age of four years old Esch and his family moved to St. Johns, Michigan. He trained for the Toughman Contest in Bay City, Michigan. At around eleven years old his family moved to Jasper, Alabama. He had a difficult childhood; his mother died when he was eight years old, and he was frequently bullied at school for being overweight. While decking floors for manufactured homes at the Southern Energy Homes plant in Addison, Alabama, his colleagues dared him to enter a local Toughman Contest. He went on to win the tournament and begin his career in fight sports.
|Born||Eric Scott Esch
August 3, 1966
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||425 lb (193 kg; 30.4 st)|
|Reach||78 in (198 cm)|
|Years active||1994-2013 (Boxing)
|Professional boxing record|
|Mixed martial arts record|
Esch began his fighting career on the Toughman Contest scene in Texarkana, Arkansas in the early 1990s and went on to become a five-time World Toughman Heavyweight Champion with a record of 56–5 with 36 knockouts. He received the nickname “Butterbean” when he was forced to go on a diet (consisting mostly of chicken and butterbeans) in order to meet the Toughman 400 pound (181 kg) weight limit.