So Sak is done, again??

From Keith Vargo, (re: Minotoro vs. Sak): "Wow. What a great fight. Anyone who needed proof that "little" Nog has a bright future got it in New Year's Eve. Anyone who thinks Saku is finished needs to see this fight. From beginning to end, Nogueira/Sakuraba was a grueling drama of sharp punches and even sharper grappling technique."

Sure this is one account of the fight and I havent seen it myself but seems like all the (though I hate using this term) Sak "haters" are ripe with excitement to trash, dis, and urge Sak to retire after (another) loss.

Sounds to me that Sak got beat by a better (and marginally larger) new age BJJ striker. BTT has shown so much in their overall MMA game its amazing. For the trolls, keep believing in the whole bjj and nothing but the bjj but BTT's wrestling and striking game has come around ten fold.

Minotoro has now beaten a game Sak, Mezger and TK (and also recently lost to Matyushenko). I'd say he's priming up pretty good.

As for Sak, I was about 50/50 on him this fight in prediction. I knew Minotoro was no joke (see above opponents) but thought Sak may be able to dictate the grappling. Well, according to Vargo's account it was a good fight, both throwing down well, Minotoro getting the better, Sak getting the takedowns, Mino with a few good sub attempts: unanimous decision to Minotoro.

What's the big deal, why all the dissing? Sak is obviosuly not who he once was but he's been fighting at the top of the game for a long time (and by now, for too long by Pride's matchmaking and scheduling).

I'd prefer he didnt fight bigger opponents and as often as he does but he is a proven warrior and legend and lost to a promising, well rounded, up and coming BTT fighter.

People dont like him for two reasons. He beat many Gracies and the rematch thing. The Gracie thing does not need to be addressed. The rematch thing well, it is "unfair" i guess, but its Pride who calls the shots not Sak and its not like they do everything in his favour. Protecting him, giving him rests? And keep in mind, poster boys will always been hated by many but they are crucial for the business and its not like Sak ducked is #1 contended blatantly and talked shit while doing it. Sak has always remained humble, as humble as any fighter.

The funny thing is the trolls are taking the opportunity to dis Sak more than riding Minotoro's jock. Some people havent gotten over Sak's success yet I guess...

TTT for Minotoro's next fight.

I dislike the weight excuses (given if he [Saku] fought guys closer to his size he would win more often) but IMO from the sounds of this fight and knowing what Sakuraba is capable of and not capable of... it was more of a case of what Sakuraba lacks in striking more than anything else... Sakuraba hasn't exactly evolved from what he was in his prime as some same generation fighters have....

Sakuraba is still great to me and he's fought enough this year and should take a break (especially with Kondo and Yoshida in the picture). If he feels that he wants to continue fighting, he should have surgery on his knees and let them heal as well as get in better shape than what is in these days.

Pax, true about his striking. Though I thinks it more that the newer generation is just better, thats all.

Minotoro is a young fighter just priming onto the scene now. Not all older fighters can pull off Coutures and learn to outbox the Liddels when they're 40.

No Sak is not done

Little NOG is just that good.

Unless, you lose like 3 times in a row, you're not done imo.

Ren, no excuses necessary on this thread.

I don't think Sakuraba can improve that much in his striking but it can surely be better than what he shows... everyone says his power is lacking and that can be corrected to some degree...

I look at guys like Silva, Newton, Henderson, Couture, Ken Shamrock, Militech, Tiger White, etc... they have all been around as long as Sakuraba and have improved on their "weakness" in order to be competetive...

Sakuraba just seems to be the same though I'm thinking his bottom game is probably somewhat more improved than it was years ago...

IT was reported Sakuraba was supposed to rest and recover from a leg injury but he decided to fight this show b/c of the fact it was competing against K-1 and Inoki and they probably needed Saku to fight so he took one for the team so to speak. So maybe he wasn't at max and if he fought Lil Nog again he could maybe pull of a win... who knows.

IMO injury or no, Sakuraba can be competitive against the top 205 lbers in the world if he fights them but will probably lose as many as he wins just b/c of his lack of striking. I think fighting guys closer to his size can offset his weaknesses in striking but constantly trying to takedown fighters who weigh 15 lbs more than he does and who don't fear Saku punches and kicks will only mean more losses in the future for Saku.

Well, Pax, he did give Minotoro some good shot, no?

Silva? Huh?

Most of the fighters you mentioned have been around as long or longer than Sak and have improved their striking game though with the exception of Hendo and Couture (from the amazing TQ) the others dont really have a great strength either with the exception of Newton who for all his great athleticism, isnt that great of a striker. I don think he would out strike Sak.

Miletich is one of the rounded fighters imo and certainly reflects on his camp.

Minowa just became one of the first major japanese fighters to train with a non-jap camp, as far as i know.

Is it too late for Sak to do the same?

What about that possibility of Sak and Crocop cross training each other. I know Sak joked about Croatia being too far to travel but doesnt Crocop spend time in Japan before/after fights?

he needs to fight at 185

My mentioning those fighters wasn't just about striking... it was in reference to their weaknesses in grappling or striking... Newton isn't great at striking but he's improved his takedowns far more than what they were when he first came up... just an example...

I think Saku training with Hume would be better but Cro Cop's cool too... IMO I think b/c Cro Cop is the "bad guy"/ heel in Japan they don't want to be too associated with Cro Cop or Sakuraba is considering a rematch with Cro Cop in the future and doesn't want to compromise that...

Newton has always been good at takedowns

all this retiring talk is bullshit.... sak suddenly fights matchups that would give him trouble, all of a sudden starts losing, and now it's because he's too beat up. he fights the same exact way. he was able to beat one dimensional grapplers because he could keep it standing and remain the better striker..... he was able to beat one dimensional strikers because he was much better on the ground. now that he's fighting guys that are better in both areas, the results seem pretty predictable.

i mean how differently would this fight have gone if this happened during the saku/gracie fiasco, when saku was supposedly "in his prime"? the same exact shit would have happened. saku gets outclassed standing... so he takes it to the ground. nearly gets subbed on the ground.... decides to stand up. repeat repeat repeat. nog is no amateur and deserves more credit for this win. the guy is relentless and very consistent.

Agreed jerkface.

But the "Sak only beat one dimensional grapplers" is an insult to Tiger, Braga, Vitor, Mezger (which was controversial yes but Mezger didnt exactly "beat" Sak either imo), and even Vovchanchin (Vov should have got the initial dec but sak gave him a good fight in Vov's prime and I dont think Vov can be considered a "smaller, one dimensinal grappler.")


I think Newton had great takedowns too but he showed that he could do takedowns from the clinch and was working on his judo as evidenced by Pele... most of the takdowns I remember were the typical freestyle shots... that kind of junx... to be honest though when I think about it, Carlos is probably in the same boat as Sakuraba in terms of improving just a little but not working on his weaknesses enough...

Guys like Militech, Couture, and even KEn Shamrock have shown that even after fighting for a while doesn't mean that its impossible to improve on one's skills...

From all accounts, Kondo has made that improvement on wrestling b/c I was thinking Kikuta and Sperry would have their way in terms of takdowns but Kondo was able to stuff/ stop them both during their respective matches......

Sakuraba fought a couple of one dimensional fighters but he did fight a lot of guys good at grappling and striking... I think Wasa-B's list is the proof... ITs just the whole Gracie story line that clouds that... Braga is the type of fighter that Lil Nog sort of reminds me of but from reading the accounts of the fight, Lil Nog seemed more aggressive and Sakuraba tried to strike with Mino which is never a good idea for Saku IMO.

Pax, like I said, Sak also hit Minotoro with some good shots though apparently it was evident that Mino was clearly controlling the standup action. And from Vargo's review, Sak was taking him down at will, not sure why he didnt shoot more?

Though I still remain a Sak fan, he and Pride and really trying my patience now...

Sak is a better kicker than anyone at BTT.

What is everyone making a big deal out of Sak losing to a guy who is much bigger and stronger than him.

Sak held his own, sounds like he even won the first round.

If Noguiera didnt win, he should have been ashamed of himself.

This fight was his to lose, they arent in the same weightclass.

If they were the the same size Sak would have won.

GD, the weight diff. smaller than you think.

I think Sak was up to about 190-195 (some are saying he was over 200 but I doubt it). And Rogerio is listed at Sherdog at 205. In the pics, there doesnt look to be much diff.

It doesnt matter if Sak is a "better kicker" than anyone, its who wins the striking exchanges.