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How do you rate Kazushi Sakuraba?

Discussion in 'Worldwide MMA Discussion' started by Homervanderjaz, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Homervanderjaz

    Homervanderjaz Purple Belt

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    At his prime how would you rate him? How would he have fared in the current MW/LHW division in the UFC/Bellator?
     
  2. Hellowhosthat

    Hellowhosthat Brown Belt

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    I think he'd likely compete at WW if he was around today, he's far too small to be a LHW in the modern era.
     
  3. Katsumi Yamada

    Katsumi Yamada Gold Belt

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    10/10
    Champ
     
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  4. Jpenwell14

    Jpenwell14 Green Belt

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    The goat

    Probably could have made 160 back in the day. Pretty crazy to think about
     
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  5. AnthonyCasso

    AnthonyCasso Orange Belt

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    Saku was a brilliant grappler, he subbed Gracie's and that's really hard to do. He also fough bigger opponents on average and still faired well. He could easily pick up a belt in a Organization like Bellator , ONE or even the UFC if he could make the adjustments. Many guys peak for 2 years now then start slowing down. I think roids and the fact that a championship level grind wears on these guys. Jon Jones is young still and already is slowing down. I think PEDs are done being effective for sports after 6 to 10 years. Saku started to fall apart early because he was a legit pro wrestler.
     
  6. KimBo KiLLa

    KimBo KiLLa ....

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    Can
     
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  7. SeattleFightFan

    SeattleFightFan Steel Belt

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    pre-2002, the best 185ers in the world were Sak, Bustamante, and Pele. After 2002 they were joined by Hendo. A few years later, Anderson Silva.

    I have no idea how to rank Sak, Bustamante, and Pele, but I probably have to rank all of them lower than Hendo and Silva, purely for longevity in the rankings.

    EDIT: I took 'F Shamrock' out of that list. Maybe he could make 185 later in life, but not in 1999.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  8. Seso

    Seso Orange Belt

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    He destroyed the Gracie Family but got 3 times beat tf up by Silva. That's all what I know about him
     
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  9. Katsumi Yamada

    Katsumi Yamada Gold Belt

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    As in he 'can' beat everyone?
     
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  10. tehMoose

    tehMoose Black Belt

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    Champ against guys his own size
     
  11. SeattleFightFan

    SeattleFightFan Steel Belt

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    You should watch some more fights from yesteryear.

    Beating Rampage was similar to Big Nog v Bob Sapp. And submitting Newton was no small feat.

    But mostly you're right ;) His era was short - 1997-2001 or so - because Wandy fucking ruined him for good.
     
  12. robdogj

    robdogj White Belt

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    one word = LEGEND
    [​IMG]
     
  13. CinemaKingdom

    CinemaKingdom Brown Belt

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    He had better submissions than most guys around today.
     
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  14. Glove

    Glove Black Belt

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    He regularly fought against opponents larger than himself. Defeated 4 Gracies (Only Walid Islamil can make this claim as well). Fought in the longest MMA match in history (90 minutes) against Royce Gracie in the 2000 Grand Prix in which he returned to fight in the semi;s against Igor Vovchanchyon and lasted 15 minutes with him before calling it from exhaustion. He also managed to submit the legendary Masakatsu Funaki and even Quinton Jackson, Kevin Randleman and Carlos Newton. Sakuraba is without question one of the greatest grapplers i have ever seen in 27 years i have followed MMA, i would consider prime Sakuraba as someone who could definitely compete in today's Middleweight division.
     
  15. KenkaBancho

    KenkaBancho Blue Belt

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    Legendary but as with all legends, has been surpassed technically by the fighters of today. Hindsight is 20/20, but Saku isn't the guy whose techniques you should be copying in 2020.
     
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  16. Gmork

    Gmork Blue Belt

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    P4P one of the best of his era, for sure. If he were coming up today he'd probably have a more technical striking game, but you can say that about all of the guys fighting back then. The guy was a crazy talent.
     
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  17. Mixfight

    Mixfight Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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  18. Vom666

    Vom666 White Belt

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    Hero, 10/10, GOAT, most entertaining fighter ever, would gift him my daughter. His 90 min humiliation of Royce was a joy to behold, and never gets boring no matter how many times I watch it. Would love to get drunk with him.
     
  19. AnimalMutha

    AnimalMutha White Belt

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    With LOVE
     
  20. noizer

    noizer Red Belt

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    one of my few true heroes and one of the very few in this sport who has the right to say that he fought anyone anytime.

    Legend!
     

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