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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Kazushi Sakuraba Appreciation Thread.



One of my all-time favorites, and one of the most influential fighters of all-time. Saku was a natural. He was a pro-wrestler, who went in there and pwned Gracie's, it was awesome. His battles with the Gracie's still hold up well, and at the time, were HUGE deals. Saku was able to pull off stuff people shouldn't be pulling off, and he did so with ease. He's the man.

The Takada dojo usually produced turds, but Saku was far from a turd, he was a top class fighter. Pride really screwed him up, by having him fight larger guys. The larger guys, of course, pretty much killed him. Such a stupid move, and I never got why they did that to Saku, seeing as he WAS Pride for a while.

Sakuraba's awesome, a true manly man. Nowadays, I avoid watching him, but his past fights were the greats.

My top 5 favorite Sakuraba fights.

1. vs Carlos Newton (Pride 3).

A great grappling match. In fact, this was ground breaking for its time, since you normally don't see 2 guys having a high end grappling match in an MMA setting in 1998. Newton was a great grappler, and subbed another great grappler in Erik Paulson with ease. Sakuraba actually subbed Newton, and just moved so natural in there. It was amazing.

2. vs Vernon White (Pride 2).

This was a great fight, and was like Newton vs Sakuraba in a way, but Vernon added strikes later on. Freakin' Saku had, like, 3 fights before facing Vernon White, and he ended up catching him! That's amazing, especially since Vernon's a tough guy to sub.

3. vs Renzo Gracie (Pride 10).

Who knew Sakuraba was going to tap Renzo Gracie? I sure as hell didn't, and this fight was excellent. Both guys do some solid stand-up, and both guys work the ground. Never a dull moment, and this was Sakuraba at his best. Seriously, he was probably the greatest fighter at this point.

4. vs Ebenezer Fontes Braga (Pride 6).

Braga is no slouch, and he's a good grappler himself, but Sakuraba ended up armbarring him. Great fight, with Braga trying to stand with Saku.

5. vs Rampage (Pride 15).

Powerbomb, powerbomb, powerbomb, powerbomb, powerbomb. This was awesome, and it showed how solid Saku is off his back. He kept trying to catch Rampage in sub after sub, but Quinton was all, "Man, I'm going to go Big Van Vader on your ass." Exciting, fast-paced fight.

So yeah, appreciate the awesomeness that is Kazushi Sakuraba.

Discuss.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 02:41 PM
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I'd rep you again if I could! Saku is the man who, along with Minotauro, taught me to love ground fighting!

Also, he was the Japanese showmanship personified and subbed guys like quinton Jackson and did really well vs WAND the second time. Not to forget his iron man match with Royce gracie and his paced war with Renzo!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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I really wish Sakuraba vs Wanderlei 2 went longer. That was turning into a great fight, but then Saku got injured.

Saku's the only guy to finish the manly Dong! Yes, yes, I know it was Dong's first MMA fight, but it's DONG! He's manly!

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 03:38 PM
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I like sakuraba because he is one of the fighter who makes ground game fun for me. And he always does some fun stuff. For example, in his fight with renzo gracie he did a flip or whats the name. I dont know the name on englisch but it was really funny.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 03:43 PM
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I like both of his fights with Schembri. He was totally whooping his ass both times but just got a little careless in the first one and got dropped with that one knee, oh man. He was doing some funny antics in those fights though, and Elvis got beat up pretty good.




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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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I like the first Schembri fight and kind of liked the second. The first was Saku kicking Elvis' ass for most of the fight until he gets dropped big time from a knee and then kicked repeatedly.

The second fight was a slower paced fight, but I still kind of liked it. I didn't at first, but it grew on me.

His fight with Goes was the best Sakuraba vs some guy in the buttscoot position fight I've ever seen. His mismatch with Royler was pretty rad, too. Poor Royler, he looked scared. I bet he couldn't walk for a week, and I also bet he only had one functional arm for a month, maybe longer.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2008, 05:47 PM
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Kazushi Sakuraba's feud with the Gracies is timeless.

I love me some Kazushi Sakuraba.



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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 08:54 AM
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You can't talk about the Sakuraba VS the Gracies without mentioning the over 90 minutes fight with Royce Gracie, I loved that, talk about not gassing!!!

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 10:01 AM
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Yeah Sakuraba made submissions look like an art. Doing crazy inventive stuff. Nowadays everyone is all mount, armbar, armbar, mount etc etc.

When pride added knees and stomps to the ground it was the end for Sakuraba, he really knew how to crawl and drag someone down, but with the rule change suddenly he was very vulnerable, and it was really too late and too much for him to adapt. Though he is fighting again at middle weight, maybe he'll make a comeback.

Ahh I miss me my old one dimensional/ single discipline fighters (see avatar)

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70seven View Post
You can't talk about the Sakuraba VS the Gracies without mentioning the over 90 minutes fight with Royce Gracie, I loved that, talk about not gassing!!!
That fight was dull, though. It was just Saku screwing around with Royce for over an hour.

Sakuraba had unreal cardio, and that always shocked me, considering Sakuraba smoked like a chimney.

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