Sakuraba could have been all-time greatest

Dana White had some complimentary words for the legend.  White commented that had he been matched correctly, things would of been different.

Towards the end of his career he was really thrown into the fire.  God only knows what bookers were thinking throwing him in the scrap with Manhoef.


Translated from Tatame

Saku with an American MMA mind set would have been a 170lbers for most of his career, instead he was fighting at LHW and HW. Incredible.

I still think he's #1.

An absolute legend. The way he was used towards the end of his career was a disgrace, imo. Phone Post

the guy took out the gracie family and stole ricksons aura. he also willingly fought wand back when it was a death sentence. three times

Sakuraba was the greatest wrestler/grappler mma has ever seen.

His kicks were fantastic.

His ability to throw punches, and to block, parry, or evade punches...

was okay at best.

If he had spent more time learning how to box...


And he had ENORMOUS Courage, Charisma, and Will - and was always in Top Condition.

So instead, he's rightly looked upon as ONE of the best.

He was a really special talent. The fight he put up against Igor Vov in that 15 minute round right after the 90 minute fight with Gracie is perhaps the most amazing accomplishment in MMA history.

Could have been?
He is my friend he is ! Phone Post

Kneeblock -  If Sak had sucked down to 170, he wouldn't have been Sak and the discipline he would've had to enforce on himself would've likely led to a lot less entertaining fights that he would've lost.

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Thing is, he didn't need to kill himself to make 170. The few times he wanted to come in at a lighter weight, he very easily got under 180 lbs, and that was with no weight cut at the end. Even with his normally slack training habits he was in the high 180's at best.

It wasn't training that kept him fighting much bigger guys, it was money. The money fights were at LHW and HW, not Pride's virtually nonexistent lower weight classes.

A 170 lbs Sakuraba would have had to sacrifice none of his creativity.

Agreed, one of the best

His 90 minute fight against Royce and then taking Igor to a draw (Saku couldnt continue into round 2 the extra round...but if I had to choose, I would give round 1 to Saku) was one of the most amazing MMA single night performances ever

Biggest star to date in MMA

Saku WAS the greatest, forget bad matchups for fucks sake, this guy would fight multiple opponents ALL much heavier than him and in one sitting

Like it's so fucking unhealthy and disgusting from a medical standpoint, but also just about the most badass thing I'd ever enjoy witnessing growing up. Saku was a beast legend, and anyone who goes back in time witht he help of a little downloads or money and watches his fights sequentially from when he was a legen in the dark days OOoooh, it's a treat

He represented the original badassery of MMA origins in Japan - Pro Wrestling side
While Gracie represented the badassery of MMA origins in Brazil/US - Gracie Challenge side

Both were fucking insane in the way they fought, both were genius grapplers and both had zero fear. While, of course, helping contribute to their respective MMA scene

Course Gracie knew when to quit and use his fame and expertise to make a great cushy career and enjoy his life.

Saku on the other hand took dying by the sword a little too far and is probably going to end up a used rag, exploited for his talents and beat to fuck... Really godamn sad actually

Boy ends his fucking career being a notch for no talents like Mayhem - who I love but c'mon lol, nowhere near Saku's level - and ending his days in obscurity while the MMA market moves from his country and forgets people like himself

Saku, Fedor, Wand

The goats Phone Post

This guy's legend cannot be diminished by any number of pay the bills losses at the end of his career.

It's a shame he continued past 2008. He was already in his late 20s when he got into MMA in the 90s. The guy had one of the best single leg TDs in the business.

In my mind Sak IS #1.

He slayed the Gracie's. I don't care what he has become. I know what he was.

Biggest case of wiki-search assumption making that casual fans are guilty of. People hear us talk about how great he is and then proceed to look at his record and write off what i can only describe as the most naturally talented fighter i have ever seen compete. The man who broke the legend and mystique of the gracie family and restored faith in japanese martial arts. War saku Phone Post

Watching Saku's career (fights/hype) in chronological is like watching a funny/dramatic/documentary/hero-story. His career is the stuff legends are made of. Looking at his career on paper simply doesn't do justice for what actually happened as it went down.

My advice to any new MMA fan who wants to fall in love with this sport is to find a way to watch Saku's fighting career. Phone Post