The legend of Sakuraba????

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mrsmiley
8/17/07 4:53:42PM
Okay,i'll admit it.Sakuraba is one of my all time favirote fighters.But their are certain things in his career I can't overlook.I'm not trying to sway anyones opinion,I just want to see if these are just reasons to question the career of whom some people consider a legend.

Okay.Sakuraba was called the Gracie hunter after dispatching,Royce,Royler,Renzo,and Ryan Gracie.For a short time before fighting Wanderlei Silva,I even remember some calling him the best fighter in the world.My first question is this: Couldn't have a great number of fighters been considered the Gracie Hunter?
Think about it.At the time would you have put your money on any of those four Gracies taking out a guy like Igor Vorchanzin (spell check),or Mark Kerr?In no way am I trying to disrespect the Gracies,but in retrospect it seems as if alot of early PRIDE fighters could have accomplished this task and gained the reputation Sakuraba did.Now maybe they wouldn't have been as flashy as Saku was,but nonetheless,I think a great deal of fighters could have done that.

I am willing to admit it was probably a mixture of the Gracies always wanting revenge and PRIDE playing on the drama of that,but that leads me to my second point.Is anyone still scratching their head at Saku's decision win over Guy Mezger?

I'm just ranting and raving.Maybe it's just random MMA thoughts in my head.
juanez13
8/17/07 5:40:19PM
im not going to answer your question as why he is called a legend, but he did beat alot of good ppl, not just the gracies, honorable mentions: beat carlos newton, rampage, kevin randleman, vitor belfort etc....
JimiMak
8/17/07 6:21:26PM
I'll try to be short.

The Gracie Hunter was a nickname like any other. He did earn it. Regardless of who could've done it, he manhandled the guys who were thought of at the time to have written the book on MMA and applying grappling to fighting. He destroyed/exposed a legend. It's not who could've, he did it. (how many nicknames of fighters could fit another just as well)

Why would you question the legendary status of the winner of UFC Japan, the popular face of PRIDE when they had noone, invented so many moves including writing the book on guard passing (jumping stomp, cartwheel, baseball slide head kick, picking up the hips to take the leverage away.....), pretty much wrote the book on how to deal with BJJ. All this from a pro wrestler who's ideal weight is 185. A showman to the extreme, even when in a brutal match he always wanted to please the fans.

Like I said tried to be short and just hl some pts. I really can't see why this question would even be asked.
mrsmiley
8/17/07 6:41:53PM
Yeah that's all very true.Like I said,I wasn't trying to make a huge revelation,just wondering if anyone else ever thought about that.
LR
8/17/07 7:04:50PM
The match against Royler was ridiculous. Sakuraba had like 30-40 lbs. on him, he was taller, and he was much more powerful, yet Royler took the fight. Talk about stupid.

Sakuraba is probably going to get his head torn off by Kang anyways. He's a legend in Japan, and for the early part of MMA in PRIDE, I think he's considered one.
hippysmacker
8/17/07 8:49:56PM

Posted by JimiMak

I'll try to be short.

The Gracie Hunter was a nickname like any other. He did earn it. Regardless of who could've done it, he manhandled the guys who were thought of at the time to have written the book on MMA and applying grappling to fighting. He destroyed/exposed a legend. It's not who could've, he did it. (how many nicknames of fighters could fit another just as well)

Why would you question the legendary status of the winner of UFC Japan, the popular face of PRIDE when they had noone, invented so many moves including writing the book on guard passing (jumping stomp, cartwheel, baseball slide head kick, picking up the hips to take the leverage away.....), pretty much wrote the book on how to deal with BJJ. All this from a pro wrestler who's ideal weight is 185. A showman to the extreme, even when in a brutal match he always wanted to please the fans.

Like I said tried to be short and just hl some pts. I really can't see why this question would even be asked.



Says it all
fullerene
8/17/07 9:20:18PM
I was an MMA fan back when Royler fought Saku and I, as well as the other 200 people who followed the sport, awaited the fight with a lot of anticipation. Even though it sounds impossible to believe now, Sakuraba was the underdog and most people didn't think they'd ever see a Gracie lose in nhb. In retrospect, yes, that fight should have been as easy as it was.

But how about fighting Igor Vovchanchin, one of the top 3 (some would say #1) HWs in the world to a 15 minute draw after already fighting a 1.5 hour fight. Vovchanchin outweighed him by about as much as Saku outweighed Royler and he had a 5 minute opening match. Yes, people who never saw the fight and look in fightfinder stats will see a loss there. That's as it should be, but that was because Saku was unable to come out for the overtime round--pretty understandable after one hour and forty five minutes of fighting.

If Fedor went on a 5 fight losing streak to end his career, you can enjoy telling everyone about how great he was back in the day as they scream "can" at him over and over again. There's no way of knowing how people's accomplishments will look in the future. Saku's have certainly lost some of their luster. But for the people that were there during his heyday, it was one hell of a run at the time.
sakurabaforever
8/18/07 2:00:22AM
I think this is a good place for me to butt in! Sakuraba is the greatest of all time! He was a light guy who made the most impressive run in MMA history (think if there were no weight classes and Fedor was a LHW or MW and was as successful). Sakuraba would have been one of the greatest champions ever if Pride had a weight class for him.

I mean he completely dismantled and exposed the Gracies when the ignorant world thought they were the best and BJJ was superior to everything. It is true that many others could have done that, but they didn't, Sakuraba did. He is a living legend, and the greatest the sport has ever seen. If Fedor goes on one more run, destroying at least a couple more top fighters, he might have a shot.

Sure the judges were often biased towards him (not his own fault), and he caught a few beatdowns after having so many wars against heavier fighters, but he is the epitome of a warrior with the most heart. Fight anyone, anytime, under any rules, and is both the greatest showman, and the classiest fighter. He has nothing left to prove (although I hope he does and upsets Kang!)




Mastodon2
8/18/07 6:25:00AM
I think what made him a legend where other Pride guys wernt, is that the fact that he was Japanese. Pride is (obviously) in Japan, and as we all know, the Japanese, so far, have not had the strongest competitors in MMA. When Sakuraba came out, and could convincingly and consistently compete with foreign, and sometimes bigger competitors, the Japanese fans had someone they could really get behind, whereas most of the other Japanese fighters were, and still to this day, having mixed success.

Furthermore, Sakuraba looked damn good fighting, mongolian chops, cartwheels around the ring, flying stomps, open hand slaps etc, he was a charismatic figure that just about everyone who watched him loved. In all the mma discussion I've ever seen, I have not seen one single person who didnt enjoy watching Sakuraba fight; There is not another fighter in the world I think I can say that for!
jomatty
8/18/07 7:32:58AM
while i agree with everything said i wonder if it is not time for him to hang em up. he just looks so battered everytime i see him now. its certainly understandable but i dont want to see him take punishment considering his ear is clayed onto his head, he has had some sort of head damage from repeated blows, and he can sometimes hardly walk when he shows up to fight (think royce 2). dont get me wrong this sort of warrior spirit is extremely admirable but...
LR
8/18/07 9:27:20AM
Wait, when Royler fought Sakuraba, Sak was the underdog? In what world? I watched that fight, and almost everyone involved in the media was saying it was going to be a steamroll of Royler. Bas Rutten thought the fight was a joke.
mrsmiley
8/18/07 10:04:21AM
I think fighters themselves knew the tide was turning were the audience at the time might not have seen it.Remember when Royce fought Takada?Listen to Ruttens commentating for that match as well. the Japanese had a strong following at that time as well for Sakuraba.
Believe-in-judo81
8/18/07 8:05:08PM
Put the "Gracie Hunter" purorresu storyline-esque hype stuff aside for a minute and look at it like this, the reasons Sakuraba is a legend and deserves a high place in the history of MMA are simple.

1. He illustrated more than any other fighter That any one style is not the be all end of grappling or striking or anything else, it's all about hard training, strategy, and being well rounded enough to be able to adapt and work whatever will win the fight.

2. He, and this CANNOT be argued, has given more of himself to the sport for the sake of seeing it grow than any other fighter ever has, or probably ever will.

3. His, Toughness, competitive nature, and willingness to self-sacrifice embody the true spirit of MMA, arguably moreso than any other fighter yet in the history of the sport. Save of course Rumina Sato.

That, fellow fans, is why Sakuraba is and hopefully always will be a legend.
sakurabaforever
8/18/07 9:24:11PM

Posted by jomatty

while i agree with everything said i wonder if it is not time for him to hang em up. he just looks so battered everytime i see him now. its certainly understandable but i dont want to see him take punishment considering his ear is clayed onto his head, he has had some sort of head damage from repeated blows, and he can sometimes hardly walk when he shows up to fight (think royce 2). dont get me wrong this sort of warrior spirit is extremely admirable but...



Yes it is true he has taken a ton of punishment, but you don't just turn off warrior spirit. He was born to fight...I imagine his life may be empty without it. Sure he can train others, but if he's not gonna be done fighting until he's done, and only he can feel when that will happen. I think he can still be competitive. Will > Skill.
griffinisback
8/19/07 6:53:42PM
Well no matter if he's a legend or not, his legendary comeback against Kestutis Smirnovas gives me a reason to get up in the mornings.
jocksmall
8/20/07 8:45:43PM
saku is an all time legend who desrves that title. as the other responder said its not who could have beaten joe gracie but who actually did it. saku did it and he faught everyone ducked noone. he was and is a mma warrior. im not sure mark kerr could have beaten all of the gracies. im not sure igor would have either. saku has some impressive wins and some hard faughtt losses. i say send him off with all props or better yet let him fight at 185 in the ufc. he would be top 5 right now.
LR
8/21/07 9:57:50AM
It doesn't matter, he will probably be beaten to death by Kang because the Japanese Commission never stops fights when Sakuraba fights because they think he'll pop up and beat Kang, but it won't be happening this time.
sakurabaforever
8/21/07 1:53:35PM
Blasphemy! Saku always finds a way to win! And yes, sometimes it seems like refs want to see him die, but the Smirnovas comeback just goes to show, if Saku was able to take the beating and come back and win the fight, the ref can't be criticized too much.

And Kang will not have an easy fight. I always bet on Saku.

Will>Skill
Damien6663
8/21/07 11:20:16PM

Posted by fullerene

I was an MMA fan back when Royler fought Saku and I, as well as the other 200 people who followed the sport, awaited the fight with a lot of anticipation. Even though it sounds impossible to believe now, Sakuraba was the underdog and most people didn't think they'd ever see a Gracie lose in nhb. In retrospect, yes, that fight should have been as easy as it was.

But how about fighting Igor Vovchanchin, one of the top 3 (some would say #1) HWs in the world to a 15 minute draw after already fighting a 1.5 hour fight. Vovchanchin outweighed him by about as much as Saku outweighed Royler and he had a 5 minute opening match. Yes, people who never saw the fight and look in fightfinder stats will see a loss there. That's as it should be, but that was because Saku was unable to come out for the overtime round--pretty understandable after one hour and forty five minutes of fighting.

If Fedor went on a 5 fight losing streak to end his career, you can enjoy telling everyone about how great he was back in the day as they scream "can" at him over and over again. There's no way of knowing how people's accomplishments will look in the future. Saku's have certainly lost some of their luster. But for the people that were there during his heyday, it was one hell of a run at the time.





I think that pretty much sum's it up, saku was on a tear, to a new comer or later addition to the mma scene, it might not be that impressive but at the time, it was amazing. The gracie's were still talked about in whispers at that point in time, and saku kind of put an end to an era, the gracie dominance era.

Alot of people hate on Ken Shamrock too, beacuse they did not watch early pancrase and appreciate his early ufc fights.
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