The World Martial Arts Tournament has a long history of battling excellence. Bringing together the best fighters around the world every five or three years (later tournaments were held every three years), the tournament pits them against each other to find the best of the bunch. The last martial artist standing crowned the best in the world.
Along the plethora of martial arts masters that have graced the tournament, a few familiar faces have shown off their martial mastery at the tournament. The Z Fighters and their friends have shown off their martial arts skills at the tournament and some even took home the championship. Though at this point, while they may be beyond what a simple world tournament can contain, let’s see where some of the best fighters in Dragon Ball have been placed.
Vegeta would only participate in two tournaments in the entire show. The first would see him decimate his first opponent, the punching machine. Then both he and Goku would have to forfeit the first round after he blew up part of the stadium.
Vegeta would show up again in the 28th Martial Arts Tournament. This time relegated to the sidelines to watch Goku and Uub fight. The show ending before the rest of the tournament played out.
Yamcha gets sidetracked but he did pretty well all things considered. Earning no less than a place in the quarter-finals in each tournament he participated in. Losing to Jackie Chun in the 21st. Then losing to Tien in the 22nd, and finally losing to a disguised Kami in the 23rd.
Piccolo would only participate in two tournaments. The first of which he would lose to Goku in the final round of the 23rd tournament. Ending not only the tournament but Dragon Ball as well.
In the 25th tournament, he concedes prematurely against Shin (Supreme Kai) in the first round after sensing strange energy from him.
4. Master Roshi
Not much is known about the Turtle Hermit before the start of the series, but Master Roshi is said that he won the 13th World Martial Arts Tournament. However, he never bothered to compete on screen. It would have been a treat to watch him fight Jackie Chun.
5. Goten, Trunks, & Mighty Mask
Unfortunately, an upset win against Ikose wouldn’t be enough to secure first place for Goten. He would then go on to lose to Trunks who claimed the championship in the 25th tournament and made his father very proud. Both would then go on to masquerade as Mighty Mask to participate in the Adult Division. Eventually being disqualified for misrepresenting themselves as one adult fighter.
Goku has a long history of attending the tournament. He first entered as a wee fighter to eventually fight the enigmatic Jackie Chun in the finals, losing by a fine margin when receiving the worse end of a simultaneous kick.
The 22nd tournament would end in a similar fashion. Goku once again earning 2nd place when a car hit him into the ground just before Tien. The 23rd tournament would finally secure Goku his one and only championship. Taking out Piccolo with a flying headbutt. Goku would then return much later in life – or rather, much later in death – to participate in the 25th tournament. Unfortunately, his first match against Vegeta ends up a tie after Vegeta blew up part of the stadium.
Arguably the world’s strongest human, Krillin would take out the stinky fighter Bacterian due to a defect in Krillin’s character design. Only to then lose to Master Ro… um… Jackie Chun in the Semi-finals of his first tournament. The next tournament would put pupil against pupil as Krillin fought Goku in the semi-finals. Goku ultimately winning with a scare tactic and a series of hits that knocked Krillin out of the ring.
In the 23rd tournament, Krillin would have the misfortune of fighting against Piccolo in the quarter-finals. The pure-blooded human forced to forfeit against the superior fighter. Years later, he would participate in the 25th tournament. He would win his first match only to then forfeit every other match due to the threat of Majin Buu.
The princess of the Fire Mountain loses in the quarter-finals against Goku in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament but gains a husband in the process. Goku keeping his promise and proposing to Chi-Chi after their match. So pretty much, it’s a win for Chi-Chi.
Chiaotzu loses his match against Krillin in the 22nd tournament. Though he didn’t lose so much to Krillin as he lost to the most worthy opponent of all, mathematics. Chiaotzu going no further than the quarter-finals in his only appearance.
Kid Buu’s reincarnation would enter the 28th tournament. Eventually fighting Goku and providing quite the fight after Goku used some good old fashion teasing to bring out his natural talent. Both of them then forfeiting the rest of their matches to go train.